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Title: Director [Year]
"The New World" Terrence Malick [2005]

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Liner Notes.

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"The New World" [Terrence Malick] 2005

"The New World [2005] is a historical drama that depicts the founding in 1607 and next few years of the Jamestown settlement in Virginia. Written and directed by Terrence Malick, its stars Colin Farrel as Captain John Smith, Q‘orianka Kilcher as Pocahontas and Christian Bale as John Rolfe.

"Malick is known for his lyric use of cinematography. Here he concentrates on the natural beauty of the land and water to such an extent extent that the narrative is neglected. This is indeed a beautiful film to watch, but it is frustrating if you want to know what was happening. In much of the early portion of the film it is difficult to hear dialog, what there is of it, which isn‘t much.

"The actual history is brutal. Nearly 80% of the settlers died in the first year, primarily due to starvation. Resupplied with new settlers and goods, during the winter of 1609-1610 only 60 of the 214 settlers survived and there is evidence that cannibalism occurred. Very little of this is seen in the film, which initially concentrates on the romance between John Smith and Pocahontas and later her marriage to John Rolfe. The film could well have been titled Pocahontas.

"It is amazing that Kilcher was only 14 years old for this film. Within the limits given her, she only learns and uses English in the last third of the film, she gives a fine performance.

"Malick is extremely talented, his best work to date is Badlands [1973] and The Thin Red Line [1998]. He has been nominated twice for Best Director and once for Best Writing. In The New World he let his lyrical, artistic sensibility dominate to the extent that this film is unbalanced."


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