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  • Silence

    Silence

    "It’s been nearly a month since I finally saw Scorsese’s Silence, and what I remember most is the cry of cicadas and how crucial sound is to the film’s translation of Shūsaku Endō’s novel. The cicadas’ song is loud, and in Silence, they sound a sorrowful note.

    We hear the cicadas and the crickets before we see anything onscreen. When the title screen appears, there is an abrupt cut to silence. The cue is helpful because we’ve learned to ignore…

  • Cameraperson

    Cameraperson

    "He looks at his daughter—the twins’ mother—who is also the cameraperson, so it’s as if he’s looking at us. “What’s the word? Ashes to ashes, dirt to dirt?”

    In creating a non-linear montage of moments drawn from her work as a cinematographer during the last twenty-five years, Kirsten Johnson searches for some contiguous logic that can make sense of the seemingly disparate moments that have, in her words, most marked her.

    The viewer will see many different countries via footage…

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  • The Tree of Life

    The Tree of Life

    ★★★★★

    Finishing up essay on TOL and have some new thoughts. I'm beginning to realize the full significance of the Job 38 frame. What's radical is that Malick is taking the Joban God-poet and translating it into a reframing of the God's-eye-view shot. Job 38 corresponds really nicely with what TM's doing if you construe his approach as associational form (Bordwell). As important as the sufferer's "Where are You?" in TOL is young Jack's "I wanna see what You see" and…

  • The Tree of Life

    The Tree of Life

    ★★★★★

    Showed the film to students this week.

    I've written quite a bit about The Tree of Life, but I have still often felt that I've not yet articulated why the film's so important to me on a more personal level.

    In the middle of the film when Malick is drawing the obvious contrast between the mother and the father--between the way of grace and the way of nature--he concludes the mother's sequence of scenes with young Jack praying by his…