Recent Historical Films

 

 

The New World (T. Malick, 2005)
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

Produced by Toby Emmerich and Trish Hofmann; directed by Terrence Malick; screenplay by Terrence Malick; cast: Starring Colin Farrell, Q'Orianka Kilcher, Christopher Plummer, Christian Bale, August Schellenberg, Wes Studi, David Thewlis, and Yorick van Wageningen. Color, 135 min.

 

 

Synopsis

The New World is an epic adventure set amid the encounter of European and Native American cultures during the founding of the Jamestown Settlement in 1607. Inspired by the legend of John Smith and Pocahontas, acclaimed filmmaker Terrence Malick transforms this classic story into a sweeping exploration of love, loss and discovery, both a celebration and an elegy of the America that was…and the America that was yet to come.

 

Quotes on the Film

"The first 40 minutes of Malick's "The New World" contains his finest work as a visual poet, working intuitively." (Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune).

"Malick's film is a rousing, delicious experience. It has so much to offer; vast, lush scenery, elegant camerawork presenting hugely important historical moments, a sublime soundtrack and a roller coaster, compelling love triangle - and of course its majestic main character.This is cinema made individually, warmly and skillfully - just, in fact, as it should be." (Richard Mellor, Eye For Film).

"The film is not only achingly beautiful, but deeply felt. His sympathies are clearly with the "naturals," as the Europeans call the Native Americans; it's from their perspective that we first see the tall ships arrive. The Englishmen, part from Smith, for the most part, are dirty, cruel and petty and the less time the film spends with them, the better. What Malick has made is most definitely still an art film, with occasionally abstract or non-linear editing choices, but one that is never just art for art's sake". (Hollywood.com).

 

Press Clippings

 

By Peter Travers

Since his debut with Badlands in 1973, Terrence Malick has directed just two films: Days of Heaven in 1978 and The Thin Red Line twenty years later. That makes his fourth movie, the rapturously romantic and haunting New World, a genuine event. As Pocahontas, newcomer Q'orianka Kilcher, 15, is the canvas on which Malick paints his portrait of the old world colliding with the new. Kilcher, of Peruvian ancestry (and a cousin of Jewel), has a unique beauty the camera loves, capable of quicksilver changes from winsome to precociously wise and grave. She powers this mythic love story between the noble daughter of Powhatan (August Schellenberg) and Captain John Smith (Colin Farrell), a soldier of fortune who arrived in Virginia in 1607, with 102 other Englishmen, ready to settle the colony of Jamestown. Malick uses the myth to draw battle lines between nature and invading civilization. A wondrous early image of an Indian watching the three English ships sail into the harbor stands in stark contrast to the carnage of the Indian attack when the settlers refuse to leave.

Malick and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki -- a grandmaster at blending color and natural light -- craft a tone poem that may throw some audiences through its use of interior monologues. And Farrell's laddie-boy vigor sometimes feels at odds with the delicacy of the material. Christian Bale is far more persuasively in thrall as tobacco farmer John Rolfe, the widower who marries Pocahontas and sweeps her off to London when Smith deserts her. The final words of Pocahontas in England, a new mother constricted by her modern dress and surroundings, resonate powerfully. "Let's go home," she tells John. In rendering the sound and spirit of that home in exquisite detail, Malick brings his film very close to a state of grace.

(Rolling Stone, December 15, 2005).