Monday, June 20, 2011

The Tree Of Life, Etc.

THE TREE OF LIFE by Terrence Malick is the impressionistic story of a Midwestern family in the 1950's. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father . Jack finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith. Through Malick's signature imagery, we see how both brute nature and spiritual grace shape not only our lives as individuals and families, but all life.

A couple days after Xmas last year I got a note from photographer Gabriela Herman with a link to this trailer. She had seen this preview and it reminded her of Echolilia in some intanglible way. I watched the trailer and was drawn to it right away. The world of boys, visited thru the memory of the eldest brother. Curtains, drapery, screen doors, lanky limbs, shirtless and fragile, these kids all seemed to carry the weight of family and all it's complexities with them.

Sunday was both Father's Day and my birthday. A strange intersection of holidays that happens once every ...oh...I don't know how often really? What better day to escape the family and buy a matinee seat to The Tree Of Life by myself and just try to take it all in. Before heading out the door I rediscovered a blog post written about ECHOLILIA by Angela Auclair, from her blog titled "From The Dock":

many people photograph their children.
photographers are no different.
but not all photographers photograph their children honestly.
you know what i mean. always clean, always happy, always perfect.

that is just not reality.

others feel that there is more beauty in the imperfection of childhood, but not just the umbrella of the imperfection of the actual child. because none of us are perfect, for whatever that word means.
it is the very qualities that make a child different that makes that child so spectacularly beautiful to their parent. and frustrating.

and in his collection, echolilia, timothy archibald is both father and photographer and his son...well, he is just eli in all his wonder.

this series is a collection of photographs sharing eli's world.
it is much more than that...but i want you to discover it for yourself.
i can stare at these photos for hours. i see my kids in these photos. hell, i see me in these photos. i see a parent's struggle and i see a photographer using his medium to survive something really freaking hard in his life.

i see innocence, confusion, much here.

So well stated. Thank for all of that, Angela and Gabriela.

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