Filmfetish Friday: The Tree of Life, Rundskop, Inside Job

Filmfetish Friday: The Tree of Life, Rundskop, Inside Job

Jun 3, 2011 |  by  |  Art
About the author
As a freelance journalist, Anouk (26) usually writes about what other people do or like. In her precious spare time she watches arthouse films. Not a few. A lot, thanks to her trusted Cineville pass. Here she can finally share her film-fetish with the world.

To watch or not to watch? Anouk will tour around Amsterdam’s cinemas and answer this crucial question every Friday. Without mercy, of course. Sucky movies will be slaughtered, cinematographic pearls will be appreciated as such. Or the other way around. After all, good taste is in the eye of the beholder.

The Tree of Life

After watching this two-and-a-half hour long and winner of the Palm d’Or in Cannes, I didn’t know what to think. What did I just see? What’s this story about? We see a family in Texas with Brad Pitt as a strict father, we see Sean Penn in the business district of Manhattan as the eldest, grown up son of the same Texan family, and we see the earth becoming our living planet, with even dinosaurs playing a small part! All accompanied by classical music, sometimes peaceful, sometimes bombastic. The scenes are beautifully shot, making ordinary life look like an artwork of God. Director Terrence Malick, who doesn’t explain his film and barely shows up in public, proves again that he is very capable of telling a philosophical, larger than life story. He graduated summa cum laude in philosophy at Harvard, and maybe you should have the same education if you want to really understand the symbolism at the end. Go see the Tree of Life, although I still don’t understand why.

Watch this film in: Tuschinski, Cinecenter, Kriterion .


I will make a small prediction here: after watching the trailer you will think “Jeez, really? This seems super lame”. My thoughts exactly, when I saw it for the first time. Why the hell would I want to see this? But after reading the critics and some background information in de Volkskrant and Het Parool I was intrigued. Good for me, because this is the best film I’ve seen in quite a while. The actor Matthias Schoenaerts gained 27 kilograms for his part as a cattle farmer. He’s like a prisoner of his own enormous body, due to his hormone abuse and a very traumatic youth experience. I repeat: very traumatic. The story is set in the gloomy Belgian countryside, where the ‘hormone mafia’ rules the place (The Dutch actor Frank Lammers is great as an unreliable hormone dealer). Please, don’t be deceived by the trailer. You will rarely see a film in which all the scenes are so captivating.

Watch this film in: Pathe City, The Movies, Kriterion.

Inside Job

Wow, those Wall Street types really screwed us over. This documentary about the bank crisis of 2008 makes that all very clear. You don’t need a master in Finance or Economics to understand it, and if it’s still unclear to you, Matt Damon (as the voice over) will explain it again. I haven’t seen the other nominated documentaries of 2011, but that Charles Ferguson won an Oscar for Inside Job doesn’t surprise me. He makes painfully clear what went wrong, and who’s to blame for it. Painful? Yes. No wonder a lot of high placed people didn’t want to co-operate; others got mad during the interviews. WE (the viewers) should be mad though! They totally destroyed the international economy, yet they got millions and millions in bonuses. Bastards!

Watch this film in: Kriterion.

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