- At the Margins of the World: The Nature of Limits in Terence Malick's The Thin Red Line
- Text Matters
- Volume | Issue number
- 2 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
Terence Malick’s The Thin Red Line (1998) is an anti-war film which can be read as an Orphic narrative meditating on the relationship between humans and "nature." Many scholarly readings of the film have been attracted by analysing the influences of Cavell and Heidegger on Malick (Critchley, Furstenau and MacCavoy, Sinnerbrink). Kaja Silverman’s recent opus, Flesh of My Flesh (2009) contains a chapter, "All Things Shining." She elegantly examines how Malick’s film explores the theme of "finitude." She argues that, ontologically speaking, human existence gains a more intense "glow" when humans are made aware of their mortality. The present becomes paramount. But like Orpheus, the present seeks to make amends with the past. Taking Silverman’s analysis one stop further involves exploring finitude through the film’s many animal, arboreal and geological images. Nature can be read as a "margin" that more fully enhances the film’s exploration of connection and finitude. To this end, the opening chapter of Jacque Derrida’s Margins of Philosophy (1986) is invaluable. Entitled "Tympan," Derrida’s introductory essay introduces a wealth of ecological metaphors. These stimulate an interaction between Silverman’s model of finitude, Derrida’s surprising ecologies at the margin and Malick’s quest for what shines in all beings.
- go to publisher's site
If you believe that digital publication of certain material infringes any of your rights or (privacy) interests, please let the Library know, stating your reasons. In case of a legitimate complaint, the Library will make the material inaccessible and/or remove it from the website. Please Ask the Library, or send a letter to: Library of the University of Amsterdam, Secretariat, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You will be contacted as soon as possible.