07/05/2011 04:37 pm ET | Updated Sep 04, 2011

Terrence Malick's 'Tree Of Life': The Classical Music Factor

In an early scene in "The Tree of Life," the new movie by Terrence Malick, an authoritarian patriarch played by Brad Pitt disrupts a family dinner to instruct his three young sons in the appreciation of classical music.
Before their inexpressive faces, he brandishes an album cover of Brahms' Fourth Symphony, performed by the NBC Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Arturo Toscanini. Pitt's character rather obnoxiously conducts along to the recording, which has been playing throughout the meal, and exhorts his boys to open their ears to Brahms' majestic chords.
Classical music clearly plays an important role in this 1950s suburban Texas household, as it does in "The Tree of Life."


Subscribe to the Culture Shift email.
Be the most interesting person at your dinner party.