The New World (2005)

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The New World (2005)

Postby hengcs » Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:25 am

Pardon me for starting this new thread ...
I thought it would be more readable ...
hengcs
 


Re: The New World (2005)

Postby hengcs » Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:26 am

wpqx
(1/27/06 12:15 pm)

The New World (2005)

Terrence Mallick's new film is everything one might expect from him. The pacing is slow and hypnotic, shots last longer than most directors would bother with, and there is a lush atmosphere throughout. Apparently this film was cut 15 minutes by Mallick for it's widespread release, and no one seems to be able to tell. The film might not have the majestic sweep of the Thin Red Line, or the longing of Days of Heaven, but it has something else. There is a social current to this picture generally unseen in Mallick's other movies. And the acting is top notch, perhaps Collin Farrell can rebound from the nose dive he took in Alexander. Although for continuity purposes I wonder if John Smith had tattooes. I'd like to get a full review of this, but it's been almost a week since I've seen it.
hengcs
 

Re: The New World (2005)

Postby hengcs » Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:29 am

Johndav
(1/27/06 3:36 pm)

Anyway, i'm looking forward to The New World. Malick's one of the good uns, intelligent, thoughtful + wide-ranging in his cultural interests, and there aren't nearly enough with those qualities.
hengcs
 

Re: The New World (2005)

Postby hengcs » Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:32 am

trevor826
(2/10/06 4:41 am)

Forgot to say what I thought of "The New World", loved the overall feel, absolutely in awe of the way a 14/15 year old girl carried the film, loved the quiet narratives, almost like thoughts just suspended in mid air and some of the camera work was pure magic. The almost dreamlike state of innocence of the "naturals" as opposed to the stark ugliness and greed of the "civilised" white man worked well to define not just this particular story but colonialism altogether. Sweep in, seduce, corrupt and destroy, the death knell of the American Indian.

Definitely a big screen experience, I do remember reading somebody's comment that this is a film you go to experience and I'd absolutely agree with that.

Apparently the version I saw was the 150 minute one but I'd have no idea what the difference would be.

Cheers Trev.
hengcs
 

Re: The New World (2005)

Postby hengcs » Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:34 am

arsaib4
(2/10/06 6:32 pm)

Good points, Trev re: The New World. I thought the young girl was a lock to get a nomination but she didn't. Her transformation was much more complex than what we saw from the young girl in that film from New Zealand (I can't remember the title, sorry). Malick's film comes as close to a true art object as possible: on many occasions it feels like a video installation as I've said before. But the sound is very important as well, not the dialogue, but the ambient, naturalistic sound. Films like The New World don't win awards, but they're around for a long, long time.
hengcs
 

Re: The New World (2005)

Postby hengcs » Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:35 am

trevor826
(2/11/06 5:05 am)

Re: The New World

Her transformation was much more complex than what we saw from the young girl in that film from New Zealand (I can't remember the title, sorry).

Very true, while I was impressed with "Whale Rider" and Keisha Castle-Hughes in particular, there is no real comparison when compared to Q'Orianka Kilcher in "The New World", one is acting, the other performing and drawing us into her world.

Malick's film comes as close to a true art object as possible: on many occasions it feels like a video installation as I've said before.

Sorry I must have missed your comments.

But the sound is very important as well, not the dialogue, but the ambient, naturalistic sound.

Absolutely, I don't know why I failed to mention it but it is a key element and is another reason why the film needs to be seen in a cinema. Home cinema systems are very good but you're confined in the amount of space you have.

"The New World" did remind me of little elements from a couple of other films, "Aguirre", for obvious reasons and "The Scent of Green Papaya" for being drawn into and experiencing the atmosphere, immersing you into the world within the film. I think if you're looking for a purely plot/character driven narrative in these films then you've missed the point. "The New World" is primarily art.

Cheers Trev
hengcs
 

Re: The New World (2005)

Postby hengcs » Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:37 am

wpqx
(2/13/06 9:38 pm)

Regarding the New World/Whale Rider comparisons, I am of a different mind. I was impressed with the acting in the New World, but I must say I was very impressed with Miss Hughes in Whale Rider, there were just a lot of little things I noticed in the film that made that performance stick for me, but I'll admit it isn't as fresh in my mind.
hengcs
 

Re: The New World (2005)

Postby A » Thu May 11, 2006 9:52 pm

Regarding the performances of the two female protagonists in Whale rider and The New World, I felt both were equally remarkable. The difference is in my opinion in the direction. I found "Whale Rider" full of clich, and Caro's direction very text-book like. As a whole, the film was thus a failure for me.
It's different with "the new world". Malick may be one of the best living directors, and though "The New World" often felt like a mess - as well as over-constructed, rushed, and clichd - it is not only an unforgettable experience, but imo also one of the best films of 2006.
What i saw though, was sadly the shorter version. I don't know how much difference 15 minutes can make, but one thing was clear after the screening. The movie was way too short. Malick is known for shooting a lot of material, and I hope it was only commercial consideration that forced him to cut it down. As it is, almost all of the films shortcomings (which aren't few) were imo due to this compression. Hopefully the longer version "eliminates" some of them.
But despite all my criticism, a beautifully rich and complex film, that is a must see.
We'll probably meet again at the end of the year when writing about the highlights.
A
 

Re: The New World (2005)

Postby howardschumann(d) » Mon May 15, 2006 5:43 pm

THE NEW WORLD

Directed by Terrence Malick (2005)

"Beauty is truth, truth beauty, -that is all ye know on Earth and all ye need to know" - John Keats

With the newest Terrence Malick film, The New World, one looks for words that express a quality beyond beautiful, but there is no language. It is a work of stunning cinematic poetry whose appreciation, I believe, will grow with the passage of time, though it may never appeal to a wide audience. I came away from watching The New World with a feeling of having traveled back in time to a land of pristine beauty where the vigorous dream of establishing a sane civilization was still alive, if only for a brief moment. Malick attempts a retelling of that dream, specifically the vision of Pocahontas, the Indian princess, daughter of Algonquian Chief Powhatan, who imagined a country where both Europeans and Natives could live together without bloodshed.

While actual events may have been somewhat different, Malick takes the story at face value, enhancing it only with voiceovers that allow us to enter the minds of the characters and feel what they are feeling. The film opens with the arrival of three English ships docking on the James River in Virginia in 1607 to the music of Wagner's Das Rheingold. It then describes the early days of the settlers, their near starvation, the clashes with the Indians, and the relationship between Pocahontas and Captain John Smith (Colin Farrell), a rebellious English explorer awaiting execution for insubordination. When the Indians capture Smith during an expedition to seek trading partners, he is threatened with death until Pocahontas saves him from execution by cradling his head in her lap and laying her head on his shoulders.

The Captain and Pocahontas become friends but the true nature of their relationship is clouded in myth and allegory. In the film, however, the Captain and his Indian princess express a love so intense that it suggests a state of grace. As Smith is drawn under her spell, he thinks about abandoning his life, to "start over.... exchange this false life for a true one.... give up the name of Smith." But the thought is fleeting. After Pocahontas warns the Captain of an impending raid by her villagers, her father sends her into exile. The settlers take her hostage, however, convert her to Christianity (not shown in the film), and dress her in frumpy English attire, but she is content just being close to the man she loves.

Smith leaves Pocahontas, however, to explore the Canadian North for a trade route to the Indies, instructing a friend to tell her after two months that he died at sea. His betrayal and their doomed love affair serve as a metaphor for the failure of the Natives and the Europeans to live together in harmony. The spark in Pocahontas' life flickers but when a new settler, tobacco farmer John Rolfe (Christian Bale), arrives, he falls in love with her and asks her to marry him. She must now decide whether to follow her head and marry Rolfe or her heart, holding out for the return of Captain Smith. Her resolution of this dilemma takes her to England where the process of discovery takes on a new meaning.

The role of Pocahontas is played by fourteen-year old Q'orianka Kilcher in a powerful and brilliant performance that never strikes a false note. While the director has excised most of the dialogue, little is required to convey the depth of feeling written on her soulful face or on the faces of Smith and Rolfe.
Whoever Pocahontas really was, Malick depicts her as a spiritual force and the film achieves transcendence through her vision. The New World is a meditation on love and loss, innocence and betrayal, and the limitations of a society based on material progress.

It is also a lament for the civilization that might have been: a multi-ethnic society rich in spirituality and closeness to nature, inhabited by people with a sense of community, devoid of fear. For the English explorers, the landing at Jamestown and the colonizing of Virginia was a triumph. For Native Americans, it was the beginning of a tragedy that lasted for centuries and continues to the present day. Though The New World is a masterful film and thoroughly enchanting, our knowledge of what is to come leaves a lingering sadness.

GRADE: A
howardschumann(d)
 

Re: The New World (2005)

Postby arsaib4 » Wed May 17, 2006 1:05 am

"...one looks for words that express a quality beyond beautiful, but there is no language."

The same could be said about your review, Howard. I think it's one of your very best!
arsaib4
 

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