Saturday, February 22, 2014

Post-classical Narrative in Tree of Life

Mrs O'Brien receives a telegram
Morning-after discussion of a “difficult but rewarding” film…

Thor: Been thinking of that movie all night.
Thora: Tree of Life?
Thor: Still haven’t…
Thora: Haven’t what?
Thor: You know, figured out what was going on. Like the opening scene. Was R.L. killed in the war, or did he commit suicide? Mystrious.
Thora: You mean mysterious?
Thor: Possibly. But I also mean that R.L.’s death could be either.
Thora: Specifically…either?
Thor: Military death, the cold impersonal telegram. Or suicide, a replay of the director’s brother’s own death.

A movie can be a personal statement by the director. Even with elements of autobiography.Tree of Life is told in fragments, having a dream-like quality, through randomly-ordered scenes. It is a heterodiegetic, post-classical narrative. The snatch of conversation above is more explicated than any in the film.

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