House Logo
Explore categories +

Douglas Trumbull (#110 of 3)

Locarno Film Festival 2013 Story of My Death, Costa da Morte, The Unity of All Things, El Futuro, & More

Comments Comments (...)

Locarno Film Festival 2013: Story of My Death, Costa da Morte, The Unity of All Things, How to Disappear Completely, El Futuro, & More
Locarno Film Festival 2013: Story of My Death, Costa da Morte, The Unity of All Things, How to Disappear Completely, El Futuro, & More

It might be every major film festival’s claim to take over its host city, but for the 11 days over which the 66th Locarno Film Festival took place, the Swiss city was a colony of leopards. You couldn’t go anywhere, it seemed, without absorbing the sheer extent to which the place had been rebranded with the gold-and-black spotted cat, all the way down to the leopard-print sewing machine that sat in the window of a shop I passed on my way to press screenings every morning. The pardo, as the Italians name it, is a seemingly arbitrary choice for a festival mascot, but Januzzi Smith’s design and marketing strategy goes to show how far something simple can be taken to breed an infectious feeling of community.

In the Beginning: Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life

Comments Comments (...)

In the Beginning: Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life

Fox Searchlight Pictures

In the Beginning: Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life

For a filmmaker so consumed with the inexorable progression of time, history, and life, the way in which we’re all complex byproducts of the past and harbingers of the future, it’s fitting that The Tree of Life finds Terrence Malick finally returning to the beginning, travelling back, back, back to the dawn of everything, even as he grapples with his own complicated childhood memories and the bewildering present. Though that eon-spanning journey doesn’t occur from the outset, its relatively early appearance colors the entirety of this bold, mystifying, hypnotic film, laying bare the director’s desire to comingle the ancient, recent, and now for a lushly poetic inquiry—at once more personal and specific than his prior work, and yet also more universal and oblique—into man’s rapport with his environment, his place in the galaxy, his heart’s simultaneous capacity for kindness and cruelty, and his contradictory relationship to God. It’s the last of these that repeatedly takes center stage during the course of Malick’s fifth magnum opus, as a title-card quote from the Book of Job intriguingly open this metaphysical investigation into suffering and forgiveness—a bibilical reference to set the stage for a drama gripped by the question of why a father, and our heavenly Father, might hurt the very ones he claims to love.