Monday, April 16, 2012

N is for The New World (#385)

The New World (2005) retells the story of Pocahontas and John Smith from the perspective of visionary director Terrence Malick.  You may actually consider it the original Avatar (if you need pop culture context).  Starring Colin Farrell and Q'orianka Kilcher and featuring Christopher Plummer, Christian Bale, and David Thewlis, did I mention it's directed by Terrence Malick?  If you've seen The Tree of Life, then you might know what that means.  If you've seen The Tree of Life, you might still not know what that means.  What it means is that you're in for an immersive, emotional experience as few filmmakers can do, all in a signature style that's unmistakable.  Since Farrell is one of my favorite actors, I cannot help but support this one as one of his major performances, combining his ability to convey both soft and hard emotions, something that sets him apart from his peers.  Anyway, you need to see this one.

Star Trek bonus!

N is for Nerys, Kira
(from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
In Bajoran culture, the first name goes last, so every time you heard "Major Kira," you were hearing her last name, not the other way around.  Only people she's close to know her as Nerys (that'd be, um, Vedek Bareil, before his death, and Odo).  Played by Nana Visitor because Michelle Forbes opted out of continuing in Star Trek as Ensign Ro, the first officer of station Deep Space Nine had as hard an edge to her as any character ever seen in the franchise, but that was just one of her many facets.  After appearing in the first season episode "Duet," Major Kira could no longer hide as one of the show's greatest assets, though many fans didn't enjoy the  Bajoran episodes, so the later Dominion War arc saw her transition into a much more pronounced relationship with Odo.  It didn't help that her earlier boyfriend was turned into a cyborg at the insistence of the vile Kai Winn, not that it helped him survive...Anyway, if you want to know about Deep Space Nine, you definitely need to know Major Kira.

A-to-Z Challenge!


Michael Abayomi said...

Wow. I'd all but missed this one until now. I really enjoyed Tree of Life though, so I'll be checking it out based on that very fact. Thanks for the recommendation.

Spacerguy said...

Ro was a cheeky little devil thats for sure with backbone to follow through on her convictions.

Amanda Heitler said...

I don't know where I stand on Terence Malick. On the one hand, clearly he's a genius with a camera. Film is maybe the only medium that would work for him and he just bathes in the impossible. On the other hand, I find him incredibly frustrating as a storyteller and ... dare I say pretentious? Ah well. Doesn't matter really as I'll watch any and everything he's ever made.

Timothy Brannan said...

I enjoyed DS9, but sometimes Kira bugged me. Not sure why though.

I am trying to read all the A to Z blogs, but coming back to the ones I really like.
Looking forward to seeing what you do all month!

The Other Side
The Freedom of Nonbelief

Tony Laplume, Scouring Monk said...

Tree of Life was definitely a little more out-there in some sequences than Malick's other movies, but Jessica Chastain and Brad Pitt were amazing in it (but that's something they don't have a problem doing). Malick has a knack for visual poetry, and he's the rare filmmaker who will step aside from strictly experiential storytelling and allow his characters to simply meditate on their perspectives. It's so unlike what anyone else does, it's not just a signature, it's an example that there are other ways to do a movie than what everyone else is doing. That much deserves supporting.


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