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Author Topic: The New World (2005)  (Read 14526 times)
Juan Miranda
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« on: November 20, 2005, 06:27:38 AM »

Back in the summer, Terrence Malick shot his latest feature film THE NEW WORLD. Malick is, of course, the reclusive genius who in a 32 year career has completed just 3 features, to date.

BADLANDS was a classic of US Indy film making in the seventies, and still makes amazing viewing today. DAYS OF HEAVEN has justly celebrated cinematography, and some memorable sequences, however, it never gells as a whole, and has Richard Gere as it's star, an "actor" I find unwatchable.

His last film was THE THIN RED LINE, which I thought was the finest American film I had seen in years. An absolutely stunning thing.

His latest, still in post-production, is Malick's take on the founding of the Jamestown settlement by the Englsih in 1607, and the subsiquent clash of cultures between them and the tribes already living there. 15 year old Q'Orianka Kilcher (who's name will have many critics making fools of themselves to pronounce) stars as Pocahontas.

Judging from it's trailer, a line spoken by Christopher Plummer provides the key to the film's concernes:

"I beg of you, let not America go wrong in her first hour."

Also going by the trailer, the film looks astonishingly like THE THIN RED LINE, despite the fact that THE NEW WORLD has a different cinematographer. It shows that Malick has a huge amount of controle over the framing and composition of the images, despite the "casual" look which shooting with a steady-cam and hand held cameras can impart.

There's a good web site for the movie here:

http://www.thenewworldmovie.com/

« Last Edit: November 20, 2005, 06:29:24 AM by Juan Miranda » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2005, 09:41:27 AM »

This is gonna be an event.

Malick's output does seem to be picking up. Strange in a film industry climate which doesn't really cater for filmmakers like himself anymore. The late Stanley Kubrick being another culprit of stricked 'no-artistic comprimise' filmaking.

________

Talking of Virginia.. I was listing to a Melvin Bragg Radio programme on BBC Radio 4 about a year ago.  Something about how the English language has changed and come to be in our world through history to today.

He mentioned this one little thing. An antidote.

Very early in the Europeans failed attempts to land at Virginia, through heavy native fighting. One English expedition managed to kidnap a Native American Indian during the fighting, before heading back to England.

He eventually became apart of the British Navy. They taught this man to Speak English, had a English name etc (Which I can't remember off the top of my head -could help with a internet search).  This was nothing new of the time.

But.. Now ten years down the line he managed to escape back to the father land from Portsmouth.
He was taken back into his tribe on the east coast some where.

Now much later the first proper European settlers on landing, where approached by this Native American Indian on the beach.

With the word... W e l c o m e.

And continued to speak to them in fluent English, with a Bristol accent.

How much of a head f&*k would that be?   
I had to laugh.  Grin

P.S. Pocahontas was supposidly parcial to doing cartwheels naked through the Viginian compound. Terrible little attention seeking, exibitionist.
Something the Disney animated film seem to leave out. Can't think why.  Grin

« Last Edit: November 20, 2005, 09:52:42 AM by The Smoker » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2005, 06:28:12 PM »

  Like the Smoker said, this movie is gonna be an event.  This looks like an old-fashioned epic movie.  My only problem with it, judging from the trailer, is Colin Farrell.  For me, he didn't work in Alexander, although some parts were very good concerning his performance.  I just don't know if he can carry a huge epic movie like this.

  On the other hand, Christopher Plummer and Christian Bale were meant for movies like this.  With all this said, I'm really looking forward to this movie.  Its few and far between that costume dramas are released.  Thanks for the link Juan.

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« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2005, 07:58:21 PM »


Judging from it's trailer, a line spoken by Christopher Plummer provides the key to the film's concernes:

"I beg of you, let not America go wrong in her first hour."

http://www.thenewworldmovie.com/
He says "America," not "Virginia," eh?  I wonder how many other blatant anachronisms the film contains.

Of course, they aren't going to present Pocahontas as a 10-year old girl, so, as far as any kind of historical accuracy is concerned, this film is gonna be a bust. I look forward to the battle scenes, though.

Oh, and I'm going to be arguing that John Smith should really be known as Sean Smith........LOL.

« Last Edit: November 20, 2005, 08:29:15 PM by dave jenkins » Logged


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Juan Miranda
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2005, 05:13:47 AM »

As I said, it's Malick's own take on the story, rather than a painfully exact dramatic reconstruction, although huge lengths seem to have gone into the accurate portrayal of the native tribes (half the film is in Powhatan Algonquian).

A line of dialogue like "I beg of you, let not Virginia go wrong in her first hour." may be more accurate, but it entierly lacks any universal significance.

Casting Pocahontas as a very young girl would be difficult for the following two reasons. The actress has to age convincingly between 1607, the year she saves Smith, and 1614, the year she marries Rolfe. Also, casting an underage performer in a sexual role will always be big trouble when it comes to censorship pressures and general critical reception. As it is, Malick has cast a 15 year old, I'll be curious to see if any "ban this filth" tabloid nonsese bursts out when the film is released.

As for John Smith, everybody knows it's his old mercanary chum Sean, who he betrayed back in the old country who's name he keeps blurting out.

« Last Edit: November 21, 2005, 06:02:55 AM by Juan Miranda » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2005, 10:14:10 PM »


Casting Pocahontas as a very young girl would be difficult for the following two reasons. The actress has to age convincingly between 1607, the year she saves Smith, and 1614, the year she marries Rolfe. Also, casting an underage performer in a sexual role will always be big trouble when it comes to censorship pressures and general critical reception. As it is, Malick has cast a 15 year old, I'll be curious to see if any "ban this filth" tabloid nonsese bursts out when the film is released.


Of course Malick could have cast 2 different actresses for the different ages. That approach was good enough for Sergio....

Looking at the trailer, the actress appears to be one of those 15 year olds who can pass for 25.

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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2005, 12:55:55 AM »

This is the most anticipated film for me this year!
In fact I just met the editor for "The New World" last weekend down at the Texas coast.
He told me that they had just screened the film for the Warner execs and that the final cut will be about two and a half hours in length.
I will be attending a film festival in Austin called Buttnumbathon, which is a 24 hour film fest from noon till noon and they always seem to have a few sneak peeks mixed in with classics and avante garde films as well.
Since Terrence Malick resides in Austin and "The New World" is a New Line film, I am hoping that we get this film on December 10th, which is the day of the fest.

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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2005, 02:09:23 PM »

Sorry guys, but Terrence Malick is my favourite filmmaker. I'd rank him higher than Leone, so yeah, I'm looking forward to this. The trailers look stunning. I downloaded the production notes (can't remember from where), a total of 95 pages. Excellent read.

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« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2006, 07:56:37 PM »

Anybody seen it? It's the most badly released film I can remember. It's UK distributers obviously had no idea what to do with it, coz it's "long" and has subtitles: therefor they did nothing. It opened in about 6 London cinemas, and within a fortnight was playing on just two.

All the gong givers are ignoring it too. Extraordinary, as it's the greatest American film since... well, Malick's last film. If nothing else, the cinematography is magical, and Q'Orianka Kilcher is unforgettable. This film has reduced me to jelly, I could have happily sat through a 5 hour version. It's dialogue free opening sequence was sheer perfection.

As I posted on another board, Pure beauty, magic and heartbreak. Malick is a true visionary, up there with Tarkovsky, Bergman, Kurasawa, Fellini and Leone at their best. Sadly he seems to be the only person around these days making cinema like this, with it's obsession with nature, spirituality and philosophy.

The whole film feels oddly improvised, in a Herzog kinda way, as though Malick has dragged his cast and crew onto the Virginia coast, looking for beauty.... a consequence of the large number of hand held and steadycam shots, I guess.*

It's power was slightly blunted, as Malick had visited this "lost Eden" scenario at the opening of THE THIN RED LINE. Apparenty he has wanted to do the Pocahontas story for 25 years. When he made RED LINE, he may have been working some of those ideas out of his system, in case he never got the chance again. Thank God he has though, as in THE NEW WORLD he really is showing us just that. Something never shown before.

"Why does the Earth have colours?" indeed.


*I have since read that, according to Emmanuel Lubezki, Malick does employ a great deal of improvisation in terms of camera movement/placement and actors dialogue.

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« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2006, 09:09:40 PM »

I am waiting for the DVD. I'm not sure what the theatrical release represents, but the DVD is more likely to accord more closely with the director's intentions. A 5 hour version would be nice. The legendary 6-hour version of The Thin Red Line would be nice too.

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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2007, 11:47:57 PM »

What do you think of this brilliant film directed by Terrence Malick. It seems like people either LOVE it, respect it, are fascinated by it, or they absolutely HATE it, find it boring, and couldn't finish it. I personally think it's one of the most beautiful, poetic, and engaging movies I have ever seen. This film, like Malick's "The Thin Red Line", show the brilliance and talent he has behind the camera. He's what you call an artist.

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« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2007, 11:54:40 PM »

  I'm in the "Love It" camp.  You're right, it's a beautiful movie.  It takes a little while to get going, but once you get sucked in there's no turning back.  The most pleasant surprise in TNW was Colin Farrell who gave a really good performance as John Smith. 

  I think my favorite part may be the end (no, not like that  Smiley) with all the different shots of nature with the musical score playing.  A very moving picture overall.  I might have to buy this one now, thanks TB!  Grin

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« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2007, 11:58:58 PM »

  I'm in the "Love It" camp.  You're right, it's a beautiful movie.  It takes a little while to get going, but once you get sucked in there's no turning back.  The most pleasant surprise in TNW was Colin Farrell who gave a really good performance as John Smith. 

  I think my favorite part may be the end (no, not like that  Smiley) with all the different shots of nature with the musical score playing.  A very moving picture overall.  I might have to buy this one now, thanks TB!  Grin

I'm glad you love it Tyreen! You must really have great taste to appreciate a work of art like this. I can understand why it wouldn't be for someone, but I still wonder why some people don't love it. It's trully one of the most moving films I have ever seen.

That shot at the end that you're reffering to, is indeed a great shot. I love how Malick uses natural lighting, and the sounds of nature for his films. It makes for a more realistic setting. He uses it to his advantage. I hope you go out and buy this asap!

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« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2007, 07:50:39 AM »

It's a bluddy masterpiece. I left my tuppence worth here:

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=2628.0

The last time I saw it I had something of a "religious experience". I saw it on a giant screen in a cinema beside the Thames in London, with a perfect sound system. As I staggered out onto the Embankment on a lovely summers evening, the sun was setting on the water, turning it into a blinding mirror, the same river she had travelled on, and sailed down to Gravesend and her death. The vision turned me to mush.

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« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2007, 09:03:30 AM »

It's a bluddy masterpiece. I left my tuppence worth here:

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=2628.0

The last time I saw it I had something of a "religious experience". I saw it on a giant screen in a cinema beside the Thames in London, with a perfect sound system. As I staggered out onto the Embankment on a lovely summers evening, the sun was setting on the water, turning it into a blinding mirror, the same river she had travelled on, and sailed down to Gravesend and her death. The vision turned me to mush.

You're lucky you had the chance to see this on the big screen. I actually refused to at the time because I was told by some friends that it was terrible, so stupid me took their advice and didn't go. When it came out on DVD, I went out and bought it and gave it a try. I sat  down that night and watch it, and I was blown away. I hope someday I get the chance to see it the way it's supposed to be seen, and that's in the theatre.

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