138 minutes| U.S.A.| 2011| Colour| Dolby Digital Stereo| 35mm

Terrence Malick travels from the dawn of the universe to a ’50s Texas suburb to afterlife points beyond with The Tree of Life, a magnum opus in which the cosmic and the microcosmic are unified in service of a poetic, highly personal inquiry into man’s relationship to God, his kinship with his environment, and his capacity for compassion and violence. Unconventionally structured with free-flowing, elliptical lyricism, Malick’s Cannes prize-winner touches on the Big Bang, the birth of dinosaurs, and the tense household of Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain’s parents, whose oldest son (Hunger McCracken) – played as an adult by Sean Penn, and functioning as the director’s proxy – grapples with his contradictory feelings towards both his father and His Heavenly Father. A religious rumination on humanity’s light/dark warring heart and the extent of the Almighty’s hand in our fates, it’s an apotheosis of the auteur’s formal and thematic preoccupations, and one that plays like a swirling, plummeting, kaleidoscopic reverie of lucid memories. (Notes by Nick Schager).

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