Thursday, February 23, 2006

The New World

New Line Cinema
Director: Terrence Malick
Length: 135 min.
Country: USA
Format: 35mm (but mostly shot on 65mm, baby! How about a 70 print, New Line?)
Date Viewed: 22 February

The New World stands as one of the best recent examples of film poetry. Eschewing traditional narrative structures, Malick and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki capture the actors not so much acting as participating in a stirring and gorgeous dance performance. Intercut with this is remarkable footage of Virginia's flora and fauna, taking a cue from Malick's The Thin Red Line. The editing is mostly strong, though the overly jumpy sequences of Smith's rescue by Pocahontas, Smith's lashing, and the battle scenes are rather off-putting and destroy the rhythms of the rest of the film - this was the intention, but consider it mission accomplished too well.

Aside from this, the film succeeds masterfully. But like The Thin Red Line, it only does so for active viewers. More passive cinema-goers will most likely be incredibly bored and wonder where the story went. For the rest of us, we will be led into a magical world where the lack of story matters none and the images and sounds (and amazing score by James Horner) will astound and delight us endlessly.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Malick apparently wanted to shoot the entire film in 70mm, but choose not to because 70mm has fallen almost totally out of favor in the industry. To be blunt, DTS, Dolby Digital sound and small megaplex screens, coupled with nonexistant release windows essentially killed 70mm as a distribution format.

26 February, 2006 11:42  
Blogger Kyle Smith said...

It's a damn shame, too. 70mm is so beautiful to look at and listen to. I had heard a rumor that there might be a 70mm print of this film shopped around, and indeed there are still 3-4 screens that could project it in Seattle alone, but as time goes on, I become more convinced that this is just another baseless rumor.

01 March, 2006 21:40  

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