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Tragedy that I would not see THE NEW WORLD from Director and Writer Terence Malick while in it’s theatrical release but now less tragic in that I have seen this wonderful work on DVD and now viewed it several times. The DVD helps with key dialogue — spoken so well as to be easily missed on film — because of pause and rewind and replay and in this case, it’s welcome because it’s not a fault of this film that the performances of dialogue are sometimes nearly inaudible or dialect-intense, but that they are those things, making it difficult to reap the full benefit of the stupendously fine script in just one view but surely reinforcing of the moments spoken.

I have few more words for to write about this astounding writing and filmmaking from Malick, and, as significantly, by the actors so incredibly well cast (and well cast, too), only because there be so few superlative adjectives available for creative work this cooperatively fine. And fine this film is, all told, all the way through, around and pervasely present. THE NEW WORLD is among the finest works of art I have ever had the pleasure of viewing.

And hearing, what with THE PRELUDE TO THE OPERA OF DAS RHEINGOLD by composer Richard Wagner accompanying the opening minutes of this film, seemingly written for this very marriage of talent.

The cast, superbly cast, immensely well performed:
Colin Farrell as Captain John Smith
Christopher Plummer as Captain Christopher Newport
Christian Bale as John Rolfe
Q’Orianka Kilcher as Pocahontas
and more…

For a detailed analysis of the two releases — theatrical at 150 minutes vs. DVD at 135 minutes — read Keith Uhlich’s fine thread in the blog, THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR.

Terence Malick’s next film will be THE TREE OF LIFE, starring Mel Gibson and Colin Farrell, set to begin production in “early 2007.” I anticipate another wonderful work of art.

C O M M E N T S : now closed