movie

Religious Belief Or Mental Illness?

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The paranoid few who seem genuinely disturbed by the possibility of the coming end of the world may be responding the most reasonably to current events. Or not. This ambiguity is at the heart of Jeff Nichols’ recent film Take Shelter. The film explores whether its protagonist is crazy, or a prophet, or both.

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Tree of Life, Book of Job

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Structured around a family (mother, father, three children) which suffers a terrible loss, The Tree of Life is an extended midrash, or commentary, on the Book of Job, a verse of which forms the epigraph to the film and which is sermonized upon during an extended scene at a church. At once essentially Catholic and doggedly scientific in its worldview, its central family becomes an archetype, undergoing processes of childlike wonderment, Oedipal lust and rage, the loss of innocence, the loss of faith, and finally, it seems, redemption.

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2012 Film Heralds Progressive Utopia, No Effort Required

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Makers of a new film imagine 2012 as an idyllic time of peace, environmental stewardship, and equality. The documentary asserts that whatever happens in 2012, it will allow things like rooftop farms, bicycle culture, and other aspects of urban environmentalism to thrive. It sounds completely lovely. But film does not explain is why we must await the stroke of 2012 to start building this utopian vision.

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