Sunday, December 05, 2010

The New World

I watched Terrence Malik's The New World today, starring Colin Ferrell, Christian Bale and Christopher Plummer, about Pochahontas and Captain John Smith. It was certainly one of the most unusual movies I've ever seen.

The film, as the entry describes, is shot almost entirely with natural light. To modern audiences, this small thing itself is a revelation. We're so used to artificial light in the movies (or even digitally created CGI lighting) that to watch an entire movie that shows the different quality of light on sunny, cloudy, rainy days; candlelight inside wood cabins - it's visually stunning to behold.

The description on IMDB pretty much says it all - this is a long, plodding, sometimes boring movie. I started it last night and finished it this morning because it was putting me to sleep in the middle. But, it did make me think a lot about how a lot of people, including me, who live in cities, get their food from supermarkets and rarely walk barefoot through fields of grass have lost an essential contact with nature.

This movie reminded me that there is much humanity that we put ourselves in danger of losing when we distance ourselves from the natural world.