A2P Cinema 100 Films of the Aughts
-
THE NEW WORLD
2005 - Terrence Malick - United States / United Kingdom
9

-
"Come spirit. Help us sing the story of our land. You are the mother, we are the field of corn. We rise from out of the soul of you." One of the great aspects of cinema's power is feeling and I simply love the way Terrence Malick's films feel. They transcend the time, the setting, and the place of the story (even when based on history- as his films are). The New World is no exception and feels like a poetic dream. This is one of the most spiritual films I've ever seen and every image leaves a hallucinating memory that is unforgettable. Of course not to go without mentioning is the powerful presence of newcomer Q'Orianka Kilcher, who as Pocahontas (or Princess/Rebecca as she's referred in the film) perfectly captures the seductive and humanistic expression of Malick's heavenly world (which is contrasted by it's imagery of hell- a thematic trademark for Malick). The New World is a love story, but it is more a spiritual love story of Pocahontas and her mother earth. John Smith (played by Colin Farrell) loves her, but above all he loves the world she symbolizes. It is John Rolfe (played by Christian Bale) that offers her the true love. The New World captures Malick's definitive style (including poetic use of voice-overs, minimal dialogue, alternating editing, as well as repetitive images of nature including trees/birds/fire/water). Like his previous work, The New World is a film in which everything lives and breaths equally and this is represented by Pocahontas' translation of the water, the wind, the sun, and the sky. The New World is a spiritual connection of nature and humanity as told by Malick through the story of colonization as well as mans unwise battle to recreate civilization and nature. Days of Heaven may be my favorite Terrence Malick film, but The New World is close and it might be his most ambitious, and most quintessential work. His style of editing and compositions are poetic, and even if occasionally sporadic there is an incredibly meaningful detail and expression within each and every shot and cut. Perhaps most remarkable is the way Malick tells the emotions and story simply through imagery and sounds. Malick's films are always beautiful on a visual level, but above all the film is an experience in that the sounds and music become an essential connection of the imagery. The use of sound in this film is among the very greatest in the history of filmmaking. The New World is cinema at it's most artistic and transcendent. It is above all, a poem on film from one of the greatest filmmakers. This may not be for everyone, but I know how I feel when I experience the emotions and beauty of this masterpiece… and it is a spiritual feeling I hope always remains with me!
-

-