In other news, I saw a couple movies this weekend. Terrence Malick’s latest film, The New World, managed to just about live up to my immense expectations for it. It’s very hard to describe if you haven’t already seen it, or seen any other Malick movies. The plot revolves around the relationship between Pocahontas and the colonists John Smith and John Rolfe. But, as with every Malick film, plot is never really what the movie is about. It has everything you expect from one of his films: poetic, sometimes ridiculously so, voiceovers, long shots of nature being nature (or not), very little dialogue and a way of looking at a familiar subject that I, at least, had never quite thought of before. In this case, the film seems to be playing with the idea conveyed in the title: for the English, America is The New World, but for Pocahontas and the Indians, it’s England that’s new. The film only becomes truly extraordinary when Pocahontas and Rolfe travel back to England, and we see that world though her eyes. What results is the idea, contrary to the superficial view of Malick as a tree-hugging anti-modern freak that’s the easy way out of interpreting The Thin Red Line, that there’s magic in both chaotic and overgrown America and in urban, manicured England. That the Old World inevitable leads to the New, and that there isn’t really much difference between them anyway.
At least that’s my early, rather incoherent impression of the film.
We also watched Melinda and Melinda today. it was alright. Nothing all that interesting though. Will Farrell’s Woody Allen impression was annoying. The rest of the film was basically just bits and pieces of other, better, Woody Allen films all chopped up and mixed together.