Saturday, January 07, 2006

The New World

Terrence Malik has made four films. I have seen three of them; Badlands, his first, I have yet to see. I remember seeing Days of Heaven when it first came out many, many years ago. It was a beautiful, haunting picture and I even liked Richard Gere in it. Linda Manz was the little girl in it and she narrated it.

Terrence Malik, I believe, grew up near Bartlesville, OK so I was always interested in what he did (I grew up in Oklahoma City, myself). Bartlesville was the headquarters of Phillips 66 for many years and was a company town. After Phillips 66 merged and merged again, now with Conoco, I believe the headquarters moved away from their and ever since the town is but a shell of its former self.

When "The Thin Red Line" came out, it was another haunting picture about the battle of Guadacanal. His storytelling was visual and lyrical and the film was narrated by several different characters. He combined the horrors of was with the beauty of nature. It is certainly one of the most different war pictures you'll ever see.

I had a chance to see "The New World" and it is very similar to "Days of Heaven" and "The Thin Red Line". "The New World" is a visual picture. The narration is told by Colin Farrell, Christian Bale, and an interesting young girl, Q'Orianka Kilcher who plays Pocahantas. It is about love, the loss of love, and settling for what you can't have. The narration is in hush tones, almost whispers, and the story is more about moods that happens to be told against the backdrop of the Farrel/Kilcher/Bale love triangle.

While it is a good film, it is not easy to watch. Most of today's Hollywood output is spoon fed to the audience and requires little effort. But "The New World" forces you to think and not be solely entertained. It is authentic in feel and sound and the acting is natural. But I'm doubt I would ever sit through it again.


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