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The New World

Just finished watching The New World. There is sublime, there is transcendental, and then there is Terrence Malick. To be sure, a Malick movie is not for all. But if one ever wants to see an example of film as art (in the painting sense), I can think of no director better than Malick. Some of the most beautiful work you’re ever going to see on the screen.

I have only seen two of Malick’s for directorial works: The Thin Red Line and The New World. I did not “get” The Thin Red Line until about 30 minutes after it was over. There were so many long shots, shots directed at seemingly nothing. Audio did not necessarily jive with what I was seeing on the screen. It was a shock to my system. It took a while to set in.

Thankfully in Malick’s old age his output has increased to about three movies per decade. Tree of Life is slated to release in 2007 or 2008. Strangely I’ve never seen the two movies released before The Thin Red Line: Badlands (1973) and Days of Heaven (1978). Here I come, Netflix.

(Oh, and Malick’s employment of the Das Rheingold: Overture by Wagner was stupendous. The piece basically sounds like the notes of Taps being played forward, backward, and inside-out. Extremely fitting for the end of the movie, and supremely interesting for the beginning of the film as we watch the settlers arrive in their new world.)