One per year otherwise this list would be WAY too long. I define the biggest snubs as the ones that…
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…
"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 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…
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…
Finally a Malick movie that I truly enjoyed.
Also, how that girl didn't get an Oscar nomination? Fuck the academy!
As happy as it makes me that this is finally being widely acknowledged to be a masterpiece, it's even more gratifying personally to still think as highly of it now as I did ten years ago, with all the changes in taste and priority and life experience that has ensued in that time. Partly this is due to it having established so much of that interest, but mostly it's to do with this being a vast reservoir of thought, feeling, and expressiveness. Three different cuts seem hardly sufficient to exploring it.
The extended cut allows the story to breathe and to become the masterpiece it was always supposed to be.
The story of Pocahontas + Terrence Malick + Emmanuel Lubezki + a great cast + an amazing score + some elements in The Tree Of Life = A masterpiece.
Extended Cut: 5/5
Theatrical Cut: Rating will be added once I view it.
First Cut: Rating will be added once I view it.
The Theatrical Cut
New Criterion HD 135-minute theatrical cut
The New World was a film I've been looking forward to for a long time, patiently waiting since the time Criterion announced the release right as my interest in it dawned. I went into it completely blind, even surprised when I opened up the sleeve and saw that there were three discs, 'Theatrical', 'First Cut', and 'Extended Edition'. As per my uninformed rationale, I decided to go with the original theatrical release, pondering that of the three cuts, it'd likely be the best first experience, considering that Malick usually has complete control over his projects. All in all, there's an immense amount of feelings and intuitions that I've had scattered around in my head…
This was the most beautiful looking film I've ever experienced. Absolutely breathtaking. Thank you Terrence Malick and Emmanuel Lubezki! What an experience. I watched the extended cut of the film, and at right under 3 hours, never lost my interest. Q'orianka Kilcher blew me away. Her portrayal of Pocahontas is fantastic! Colin Farrell also gives a great performance. It is more of a Pocahontas biopic than anything. I am a recent discoverer of Malick's films. And this is the fourth one I have seen behind Badlands, Days of Heaven, and The Thin Red Line. It may also be my favorite of his. Beautiful
Extended Cut. Eager to see the Theatrical now. Have an inkling I'll like it more. The last two minutes or so can absolutely not be denied, though. "It's the beauty that hurt you the most. Not the ugly."
Movies that are slightly off.
A list that, if nothing else, proves the day-to-day usefulness of applied statistics.
Between 2015 and 2016, a series of…