Yeah, ok. This wouldn't have been my favorite movie of 2005, mainly because there's a lie at its core that I find disconcerting, to say the least, but it's my favorite Terrence Malick movie since Badlands, and I guess that's saying something. And it moved me, which is more than I could say for The Thin Red Line. Oh, silence your gasping, ye
acolytes. Malick's poesy and his stunning images, including the nature cutaways, feel far more organic to this tale of colonization than they did to his WWII drama. They jolted me right out of that movie, and made me all too aware of the "visionary" behind the camera. The New World works as cinema on many levels. It is a coherent and beautiful film, and Q’Orianka Kilcher was absolutely amazing. ("Still wearing that rabbit fur coat" above) If I were to vote on my best actress/breakthrough performance awards for the OFCS today, she would be right at the top of each category. It goes beyond the "ray-of-sunshine" naturalism that Seitz describes. This is a startlingly complex and nuanced performance. Her character changes radically through the story, she assimilates, and yet she retains her essence. There is not a false note in Kilcher's work here, amazing to consider how young she is. (I was trying to resist the urge to put in a defensive aside to Lisa here, but I guess it was too strong. I know how you think. Come now. I am a professional. Let me work here.)
Anyway, the film itself--despite my reservations about it, and how it depicts the growing conflict between Native Americans & colonists--definitely merits another one of my many, increasingly meaningless honorable mentions for 2005.
Friday, February 03, 2006
I almost laughed aloud hearing our president exhort us to avoid "creating human-animal hybrids" in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, but then on Thursday I saw Billy O'Brien's Isolation, which is going to be shown as part of the Film Society of Lincoln Center's "Film Comment Selects" series later this month (and eventually put into theaters by Lion's Gate) and damn if I didn't realize just the type of horror old GWB was talking about. It's actually a pretty good, icky, creepy, and efficient little shocker, with a lot of disturbing psycho-sexual undertones and just a smidgen too much mad scientist for my taste. I will probly review it for AMG, but here I just wanted to mention how very timely it is.
On another note, I had to change my blog template, because I could not stand the way the old one dealt with comments, they'll now come up in a pop-up window, so you don't have to scroll down to the bottom of a long post to read/add them.