Tuesday, November 22, 2011


My job takes so much of my time and energy that I rarely get to interact with film in a serious way anymore. That's a huge regret, because one of the things that made this blog somewhat successful back when it used to be somewhat successful was the time I spent watching serious flicks and commenting on them.* Now I'm likely to fritter away any free flick time on TV shows via Netflix or fluffy entertainments like horror flicks. I simply don't have the requisite intellectual space to devote to one of my main passions anymore. Even over the summers I prefer to veg in front of light fare, and I can't recall the last film I saw in a theater. I'd had this disc at home for about six weeks before I got to it at all.

I watched The New World in half-hour increments over several days. That's not ideal. Malick's stuff deserves one's full attention, and I like to soak in his films like a hot bath in order to appreciate them. But I did the best I could with the resources allotted me.

I found my experience of Pocahontas totally overwhelming, almost painfully intimate. Malick's dreamy approach perfectly conveys her curiosity, her deep sorrow, her joy, her playfulness. Who else could direct this material? The Scorcese who made Age of Innocence, or Kundun? Perhaps he'd do something interesting--but his approach is too direct, too severe. Peter Weir? Jane Campion 15 years ago? I don't know. But Malick nails it. I want to spend another few half-hours in this new world. And Ms. Kilcher? Wow. Why hasn't she done anything at this level since?

A strange melange of The Fall of the House of Usher, The Premature Burial, and The Pit and the Pendulum. I skimmed some scenes, I admit it. I never really liked Vincent Price much. I don't find him particularly creepy.

*blogging, alas, is another passion I've had to give up--or at least I devote much less time to it than before

1 comment:

Steven Hart said...

That final shot of Barbara Steele in the Iron Maiden does pack a punch, though.