The New World
Terrence Malick, 2005
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So while I've spent a lot of time here complaining about the film's sentimentilzation and idealization in the first act, ultimately, I do like this film a lot - the performances were all so good (even Farrell's), I loved the pacing, and of course, I was rewarded once again by the amazing sensuality and beauty of the cinematography.
Malick shows us the Indians through the eyes of the colonists, and then shows the colonists through the eyes of the Indians. The trip to England is, for me, the crucial sequence of the whole film. It crystalizes the idea that the meeting between the two peoples was a dual discovery of two new worlds. Wes Studi wandering through the geometrically manicured gardens is as full of awe and terror as Colin Ferrell lost in the swamp. This is a radical decentering of perspective in film, wherein the focus on contact between European and Indian is always the discovery of one by the other and where one side is always demonized (Dances With Wolves).
so what if malick is a tree f—ker. maybe the guy just like sap on his gonads.
I love everything about this film. Most romantic film ever?
The New World was so dreadfully boring that I've blocked out most memory of it.
Never have I been more disappointed at not seeing a film on the big screen. ... This is one of the finest crafted films ever made, and full of power and emotion.
Editorially, a fascinating work, unfolding in constant ellipses whereby the dialogue of a scene is voiced over its 'establishing' shot(s) and great, complex use is made of the Kuleshov effect. It lends a real sweep to the narrative, a deeply suggestive and elusive sophistication tempered by a childish curiosity and romanticised whimsicality that embodies the duality of explorative science and imperial expansion, the latter being at the intrinsic expense of an alluring foreign people. It's a seductive work that both complicates and problematizes its own subject matter, and builds through ever-shifting perspectives to an extraordinary climactic sequence. Lubezki's cinematography is beautifully naturalistic, his imagery edited together to imbue an associative symbolism; its finest achievement might be the humane authenticity with which it combines two transitional processes: that by which a female holds onto a past romance whilst a more enduring love carries her along with a certain inevitability, and that by which two new worlds clash with a cyclical, to-and-fro tension with one another, their history forever entwined thereafter if determined by the more advanced oppressor.
Obviously I do have some complaints, of which some might have to do with that I watched it "the wrong way". On the other hand I'm not immune against all the beauty and his efforts to make movie poetry. It's a good movie for someone like me who like nature photography and bittersweet love stories.
You know when a movie works? It's when you finish and realize that before watching it, you were functioning half asleep and now never want to go back to that state again.
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.