Monday, July 25, 2011

Tree of Life

I've had an odd movie-going weekend.

In the first place, that it was a movie-going weekend was odd. My Karen and I might see 2 or 3 movies a year in the theater, and if more than one is in a first-run house, that is itself unusual. The 2010 Oscar list was unusual in that for the first time ever I had seen 4 of the 10 "best film" nominations. Many is the year we just don't get out this way. So, "movie-going" is not one way to describe us!

Beyond that, though, the pairing of movies was, well . . . odd. We had long made plans to see a movie with friends on Saturday. So it was surprising that Karen suggested she would be open to seeing "Tree of Life" on Friday. Now, when Karen suggests going to see a movie, that is unusual! This particular movie was on our list at son Pat's recommendation. And it was brutally hot all week. And we were losing energy to get normal things done after work. Off we went.

There is a lot to recommnend, think about, discuss, argue over, etc., with "Tree of Life." What is the film-maker's view of life? What is this 2-hour dialogue with God about? Is it, ultimately, a celebration of life and God's place in our living? Or is it "Job" without  hope?

Well, when you see it, let's talk.

What I want to mention about it here is the rich abundance of music in the score. Symphonic, choral, sacred, abstract, maybe even a little trance? (I don't know from trance music, so that may not be right.) Brahms, Respighi, Tavener, Gorecki - it is rich. And I should have heard it coming, when I caught snatches of the "Requiem" text, but they even slip in "te decet hymnus" near the end: "praise awaits you, O God, in Sion." I did not know that music, which as it turns out, is by Zbigniew Preisner . I think I need to find a recording!

At the end, I take a rather positive view of this movie. There are strong reactions to it, including a group who walked out of the showing we attended, and others who at the end announced to no one in particular, "we should have left when those people did." Me? I'll want to see it again.

So, what was our movie the next night? We wouldn't have planned this . . . it was the new/last "Harry Potter" film. OK, whatever. But now here's the oddest part of the whole experience. The composer of original music in "Tree of Life" is Alexandre Desplat. And the composer of the Harry Potter soundtrack? Who knew? Alexandre Desplat! As it turns out, as few movies as we have seen, quite a few have soundtracks by this guy. Magnifique!

1 comment:

Chuck King said...

AND we watched the DVD of the movie, "The Queen" the other day ... Score by Alexadre Desplat! He's everywhere!