Posts Tagged ‘The Tree of Life’

Terrence Malick’s film The Tree of Life introduced me to a huge collection of classical music I hadn’t heard before. There is one piece I can’t get out of my head, even months later – it just comes to me in the street, and brings back the pathos and beauty of the whole film.

I finally looked it up this morning. First, I found this great page from THE PLAYLIST that lists ‘all 37 songs’ featured in the film, and has links to recordings of many of them. Then I found the track that has been haunting me, which turns out to be: Pièces de clavecin, Book II 6e Ordre N°5: Les Barricades Mistérieuses, by Francois Couperin (1668-1733).

Here is one version:

And another on piano:

Does anyone know anything about Couperin?

OK, I know this can get a bit obsessive, the YouTube browsing, but here is the last version I’ll post, my favourite so far, which is slightly slower, and much more captivating for that.

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The Tree of Life

Some films are too beautiful and too powerful to be written about, at least not until a few weeks have passed, when you are writing about a memory and not an unmediated experience. Thank goodness I managed to avoid not only the reviews, but also any stray plot summaries that were floating around the blogs and papers, so that every twist and turn and even each new scene felt like an unfolding revelation. And once I had seen that the main poster in the UK was full of stills from the picture, with ‘too much information’, I averted my eyes from that as well. I know, there is some sort of obsessive-compulsive disorder here that I need to speak to my therapist about.

Anyway – I won’t say anything (and I won’t even link to the trailer) other than: Go to see this film. Don’t wait for the DVD, don’t download it illegally; just see it on the big screen, before it disappears into art-house obscurity. And if it has already landed there, then travel to the Glasgow Picture House or the Cambridge Movie Palace or wherever it is showing. It really is breathtaking. It really does turn your mind upside down and your heart inside out. It’s pure cinema. I’d better stop, before I start writing about the film.

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