And, while I know he can be a divisive filmmaker, any discussion of steadicam should also note the contribution of Darren Aronofsky and his cinematographer Matthew Libatique in attaching cameras to his actors in particular scenes in Pi
and Requiem For A Dream
, something which seems to crop up everywhere now, perhaps most obviously in a Mark Romanek directed music video for Mick Jagger
They certainly made it more popular than ever, and I presume it's easier to do now with good stabilization technology, but it should be noted that this technique predates the 1975 invention of Steadicam. The earliest film in which I can recall seeing it is Seconds
, and I'd be very curious to know if anyone can think of an earlier instance.
Actually, a similar technique is used in both THE LAST LAUGH (1924) and METROPOLIS (1927) but for a much shorter time.
...Regarding the religiosity of the film, I certainly felt some of it was in your face, but then again, if it was really overly religious, would it have shown something more traditionally "secular" like the big bang? I don't know. Honestly, I was raised Jewish and am now an atheist, so perhaps there was a lot more to this story that is meant to directly connect with God and the church, but I wouldn't know it! (Though it did occur to me the WHOLE story could be a modern Gob)...
There are quite a few progressive Christians out there, Malick being one of them probably, who see no conflict between their spiritual faith and the acceptance of science and evolution. The more literal fundamentalists get the press coverage for taking the more extreme position.
As for being an analogy to the Story of Job, I don't think there's enough in THE TREE OF LIFE to suggest that as there is precious little hardship actually shown; it's more of a philosophical crises. Now, the Coens' A SERIOUS MAN is definitely the Story of Job told in a recent historical setting with national implications.