there's a thing where you adds 'in my ass' to the end of a movie title, so here are some…
The New World
Once discovered, it was changed forever.
A drama about explorer John Smith and the clash between Native Americans and English settlers in the 17th century.
All of Malick’s films have an intangible quality; a quality that either speaks directly to its transfixed audience or seems distancing and stylistically pretentious. For me Malick doesn’t make pretentious films, there is always a simplistic lyricism and honesty to all his work, instead the pretentiousness comes in trying to explain and rationalise his beguiling imagery. It is so easy to fall into the trap of grandiloquence when reviewing any of his films as you desperately try and capture their ephemeral beauty and ability to stir untapped, almost primordial, emotions. The irony is that verbose critiques (of which I’ve already succumbed within the opening paragraph) do a great disservice to Malick’s quietly devastating body of work as no amount of…
When aliens invade earth and unforeseeably exterminate our entire race in the passing of a millisecond with their incomprehensible bio-weaponry, the only human being that they're going to spare is Terrence Malick.
"What else is life but being near you?"
One of those times where you think "Damn it, why didn't I bring my notebook." So here's some discarded thoughts. This was my first Malick back in 2005 and it struck me back then as it strikes me now as monumental, much more than the visually ambitious but not as philosophically ambitious Tree of Life. Something of magisterial power being worked out here—a film that almost attempts to recognize the infinite ("There is no unreal," Smith tells us). It's also the film that I think best typifies what people think about when they think about Malick—The Thin Red Line is very much still a war picture with Malick's sensibilities, while this has…
Malick has done it again. The New World is one of the best historical dramas out there. Easily the best portrayal of the story of Pocahontas and John Smith ever put on screen; sorry Disney :P. My only complaint about the film is that it really drags in some parts; especially the last 30 minutes. Q' Orianka Kilcher was superb as Pocahontas.
"I have never truly been the man I seem to you to be."
The New World is Pocahontas for grown-ups.
What I love most about Terrence Malick—even more than his beautiful imagery and visual compositions—is his editing. His unconventional Kuleshov-inspired technique in Days of Heaven had me yearning for my film school days, and with The New World he continues to impress.
Malick is notoriously meticulous with his editing, often recutting his films right up to their release, and this is no exception. A 150-minute cut was shown early in order for the film to quality for Oscar contention, but by the time it received a wide, theatrical release it had been trimmed down to 135 minutes. When the film…
I feel like an absolute paedophile right now, discovering that Q'orianka Kilcher was merely fourteen years old in this film. I was praising Terrence Malick throughout the whole films for making an almost three-hour epic about love and relationships without even implying sex once, turns out that was probably because of the actress’ age. Oh well, she was great though, playing an utterly believable Pocahontas I bought into the very moment she entered the frame. What struck me about the screenplay most was how relatively non-miserable it was. There were quite a few instances that I feared something truly dreadful was about to happen - like Pocahontas being raped - but the New World happens to pretty progressive minded for…
Just going to state obvious facts with regards to "The New World"
1) "The New World" has gorgeous cinematography from the extraudinary cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki. Lubezki is one of the best cinematographers of all time. Lubezki's shots of nature from rivers to tree are jaw droppingly gorgeous. Lubezki's use of close ups capture more emotion then any wide shot ever could.
2) Colin Farrell gives a career best performance as Captain John Smith. Farrell is full of depth and confliction and honest intensity. A phenomenal casting choice - as was Q'orianka Kilcher as Pocahontas. Kilcher, just as Farrell, is full of depth but also infuses Pocahontas with innocence and joy and pain.
3) The score is lovely to…
Sorry Disney, but Malick wins on this one. No film is more naturally beautiful.
Hypnotic and beautiful. Malick adapts Pocahontas story and makes it great, sad and fascinating. Lubezki's impeccable, as always. The Extended Cut might be a bit too long, though.
Huh. So, perhaps I've trained myself to like Mallick a little bit. I even watched the mega-long "extended cut," and still had the patience for it, for whatever that's worth. (It was only a few short years ago that I found myself barely tolerating Days of Heaven, so perhaps my expectations have changed post-Tree of Life.)
So, yeah. "Languid" feels like a good word for the experience. I have a bunch to say but I don't really know where to start, and it's late, so I'll stop here.
The length is such that I suppose some sag in the middle (basically 'Settler fort in trouble/Pocahontas and Smith frolic in the woods') is to be expected, luckily you can just focus on the gorgeous cinematography and design. The ending is better than I remembered, in large part thanks to Q’orianka Kilcher. She was (is?) seriously an insane find.
As problematic as the 'noble savage' theme can be, there is some really depressing stuff for a caucasian western viewer like myself (e.g. Pocahontas in heels and corset, King James with his caged animals).
First time watch of the 2h 52min extended cut.
An absolutely stunning romance, wrapped up in VERY pretty paper. Malick delivers a glorious film that portrays 'love' in such a simple, and seemingly effortless way. So much is said here with touches, gazes, and without the clutter of words. Splendid.
where do you live
give me a sign"
I just saw the pages of a history book come to life in the most vividly refreshing way.
I like to think of filmmaking as a superpower. Some filmmakers are stronger in areas and weaker in others, but the best of the best (from my perspective) have extremely refined style. Malick's "superpower" is harnessing gracefulness, beauty, and nostalgia in each of his works effortlessly.
Terence Malick's "The New World" is a romance set in a period of palpable discord between the native people of present day America and European settlers.
Pocahontas is one of the best love stories written, and Malick's adaptation puts Disney's to shame.
I just couldn't get into it... It kind of bored me. I know Malick films are supposed to be explorations of the world and characters, but I just didn't really care about either in this movie.
3 hour Criterion cut. Incredible, stunning, a perfectly told story that pushes the viewer to wonder further. Smith's stay in the native camp is pure magic, similar to the opening sequence of "The Thin Red Line".
The best that cinema has had to offer since 2000 as picked by 177 film critics from around the world.…