To be honest, I wasn't sure if I was going to post a write up about this film, but after thinking about it for a few days decided to. Let's start by saying this film is long, really long. 2 hours and 20 minutes long. While I think that there should have been some better editing, this was a film worth mentioning. I am not quite sold on saying that I fully enjoyed it, but it is an extremely unique picture unlike just about anything you will see this summer.
It is a story of a family living in the 50's in Texas. Brad Pitt plays role of a rigidly stern father of three. Most of the film is dedicated to the effects of his relationship with his eldest son Jack, and how Jack more or less loses his innocence due to this relationship. We then leave the 50's and jump ahead 15 years to find out that one of the brothers has lost his life while serving the military, devastating the family. After this chapter, the film goes off on a 20 minute sidetrack of non-dialogue, nature based scenes that are truly stunning. Volcanoes. Jellyfish. Bees. Waterfalls. DNA. Basically, a short visual history of life itself. While the director lost me when the injection of dinosaurs into this montage, the shots are incredible.
Sean Penn plays the role of Jack in modern times, reflecting back on his childhood and the loss of his brother. Religious undertones aside, this movie does get you thinking family dynamics and the rippling effects that parents have on their kids. Working with my sixth graders, I know all to well how they aim to please at this age and how sensitive they are to harsh criticism. The young Jack is no different and suffers greatly over how he is treated. His father does berate him, but also has a tender side and without fail is quick to wrap and arm around of his boys after a blowup.
Just like the Pitt's character, I felt this polarizing movie didn't really have an idea of what it wanted to be. It flops back and forth between all the above mentioned aspects without really driving home a central theme. The ticket bellhop told us he loved it, but I would say that I am leaning towards the other end of the spectrum. It will give you something to talk about though, so see for yourself and let me know what you think.
Bläeckfisk is the Swedish translation for the word octopus. I am not Swedish, but I do own a lot of furniture from Sweden and I like octopuses while admiring their multi-tasking ability. I would like to travel to Sweden at some point, plus I think it is a pretty cool looking word. Anyhow, speaking of words, I guess you could say that is why we are here. Words are the foundation for way we try to wrap our thoughts around everything in the galaxy. The tendrils that lead to emotions and curiosity. I am not here to solve the mysteries of the universe, just to discuss words in general. Specifically words written by other people and have been printed off and slapped between two slices of thin card stock. Many of these sandwiches go on to bigger and better things, some bigger and better than others. So, I guess we will be talking about those as well. If you share an interest in words or enjoi seeing what they can look like in action....välkommen! (Swedish for welcome.)