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Jefferson Root Written by Jefferson Root
May. 19, 2011 | 10:15 AM

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LACMA Concludes Terrence Malick series Friday with Director’s Cut of THE NEW WORLD

With his new film The Tree of Life about to be released after a tumultous screening at Cannes, now’s the perfect time to revisit the work of Terrence Malick.  After releasing two films in the 70’s, Badlands and Days of Heaven, Malick took a twenty year break before returning with 1998’s
The Thin Red Line.  A mere 7 years later (lighting quick by Malick standards), he released The New World, which will screen this Friday, May 20th, as the final film in LACMA’s retrospective of the director’s work.  Oscar nominated costume designer Jacqeline West will be present for a discussion after the film, and the version show will be Malick’s extended director’s cut, which has never been seen in theatres.

One of filmdom’s most enigmatic and reclusive figures, Malick’s work remains singular for its haunting beauty and lyrical observation of the natural world.  After the museum’s screening of Badlands, Sissy Spacek remembered how the director was always armed with a camera, and would frequently rush off to shoot whatever caught his eye.  It was rumored that Malick shot over a million feet of film for The Thin Red Line, which contained many more shots of flora and fauna than it did George Clooney or John Travolta.  In spite of this, Malick still seems able to line up top Hollywood talent at will.  Colin Farrell appears as John Smith in The New World, and the upcoming Tree of Life will feature Sean Penn and Brad Pitt. 

Terrence Malick is nearly 70 now, and his rigorous examination of man’s place in the natural world couldn’t be further out of step with an industry now obsessed with superheroes and sequels.  Opportunities to savor his work on the big screen are rare, and shouldn’t be missed.

The New World will screen at 7:30 on Friday, May 20th at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  For more information, visit

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