Movies that are slightly off.
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…
"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…
"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…
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…
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.
"You don't know the meanings of the words."
"But I am."
The established pattern in Malick's movies up to this point has been one of characters finding some kind of utopia either in each other or in a place where they don't necessarily belong (the house in Days of Heaven, the village in Thin Red Line), only to be forcibly ejected from paradise thanks to some human flaw (small things like World War). When New World is only from John Smith's point of view it verges on reductive "noble savage" characterizations of the Native Americans. Smith views their village as his Eden, thinking about it in terms that sound like lyrics from a gospel song or devout country song. The…
The most important word to understanding Terrence Malick's The New World is "gorgeous." It is meditative, experiential, completely disinterested in politics or making a slant on history. It must be seen.
If I see another tree again, I will shoot someone.
Parte do projeto de pesquisa “Vozes sobrepostas nos filmes de Malick”.
O Novo Mundo é um filme que cria as fundações do principal embate em A Árvore da Vida: a fé e a natureza. É incrível, porém, como Malick já possui essa ideia amadurecida aqui. Para ele, é através da natureza que seus personagens encontram a graça, o poder divino, embora não percebam. E, na busca constante deles por entender sua fé, justamente acabam perdendo aquilo que procuram.
Fora tudo isso, O Novo Mundo ainda é um fascinante filme que dá importância e peso para o mito de Pocahontas. É um filme de uma beleza efêmera, que busca emoções primordiais. E as alcança. O Novo Mundo é belíssimo, selvagem, sensível e arrebatador. É preciso revê-lo, talvez mais do que qualquer outro filme do diretor, para perceber as fundações de sua beleza.
THIS is the weakest of Malick's first five films? This wasn't an immediate, richly deserved cause celebre? Good grief.
Malick's beauty accompanies narrative harmoniously. His primal focus on love expounds the humanism that is consistent throughout his filmography. People making each other greater in their fellowship, understanding each other as they interact through a desire for peace. It draws the old world in such a vivid manner, bringing historically consequential events into a perspective divided from the natural outlook, yet embedded within a deep empathy. Never is it not evocative.
The tendency to inject faith within his tales showcases a peace brought upon the souls of his characters from a force I cannot connect with. However, his visual aesthetic, brought to life by Chivo's mastery, achieves a transcendent sense of clarity in their religious attitudes. The New World provides a love story between culture, time and space. It's a vibrant exploration into a beginning and an end.
This movie is SO god damn good, and two weeks later, I find myself still returning to it, over and over again.
I ride the line with Malick and am always more than a little skeptical when settling in for one of his films, but WOW, "The New World" couldn't be a more perfect fit for his sensibilities.
The story has been done to death, and yet he finds such a romantic and dreamlike way to tell it from three clearly defined perspectives over a fairly epic period of time, that it feels so rich and vibrant and lived in; I wouldn't be surprised if the 3-hour cut is even more magnificent.
That said, what I saw was the studio…
Complex and bold, The New World is a wonderful and poetic take on the story of Pocahontas and John Smith, beautifully conveyed by Colin Farrell and Q'orianka Kilcher, Chivo once again brings in bold camerawork in awe and wonder. Terrence Malick has finally become one of my favorite directors working now.
It gives me no pleasure to report that the fourth film in nearly eight times as many years from that most roguish of Hollywood's rogue directors, Terrence Malick, is mostly a failure. Give the guy a break, though. When the first three movies you make are unequivocal masterpieces, you're allowed to stumble.
All of the devices Malick has employed in previous films to turn what would be sweeping epics in the hands of any other director into feverish internal character studies are present here. But in "The New World," they curiously have the reverse effect. Instead of drawing us into the minds of his characters, Malick keeps us at a distance, and his film remains too enigmatic for us to…
Watched the theatrical cut.
These are the movies that I'm fairly confident will be looked back upon as the "classics" from this generation. Whether…
All the way from 'The Land Before Time' to 'The Social Network'.
(Read notes for dates.)
Work in progress, will…