william steig drawing

Terrence Malick

The Tree of Life

motherhood I became aware of my mortality before we had a dining room table. I don’t recall the exact age, I only know the arrangement of furniture, and the dining room then was just an empty space to play in. I can tell you that I was five or six and no older than that. Six however is a world apart from five when you’ve only existed on earth for that many years. And this must have had something to do with it; the realization of how long I had existed. To realize your existence is to also become suddenly aware of how long you have not existed. Of course I had not existed for billions of years before my […]

I Am Love vs. Somewhere

**Watch my “Ebert Presents” segment on “I Am Love” here** In Luca Guadagnino’s I Am Love Tilda Swinton plays Emma Recchi, a Russian woman who marries into a wealthy Italian family and finds herself moving (somewhat unwillingly) into the role of matriarch. Dissatisfied with a soulless life of planning dinner parties, Emma finds love with a younger man, one with the earthiness she needs to remedy her stale aristocratic life. Now this is a movie about many things: family, legacy, death, birth, incest, and definitions of love and loneliness among them, but what I like most about the film is its size. I Am Love isn’t a movie that minimizes itself. Though we associate this kind of grandeur with melodramas […]


Malick, you son of a bitch. If you’re only going to make 1 film every 500 years, at least make them crappy so I’m not thirsting for more. In every way, shape and form, Malick’s 1973 film Badlands is a perfect dream. Everything is magical about the film. Nothing fits. Everything is a tad off (things that are a little “off” are inherently magical you know): The strange dialogue (Kit and Holly make childlike observations about simple things. This intensifies the surreality of the two. They are more than surreal, almost omnipotent in some way. As insane as he is, Kit seems to have a greater awareness of the world. Nothing slips by him),