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The Story of the 3 Cuts of Malick's THE NEW WORLD!

Hey folks, Harry here with a nice report on the state of THE NEW WORLD as updated by producer Sarah Green. If Malick is doing some tightening - I will say, for most audiences the film could do with it - and certainly I'd be curious to see that. And honestly folks - whatever it is you have a chance to see in theaters - you must go. This is a film shot mostly on 65mm and the clarity and beauty is simply a theatrical experience you must indulge in if you love nature and the history of this country. However, I'd love more details on the longer cut - we know that whole sequences and performances were cut from the film - and if the film we have is an indication of the acting throughout - those performances would be a welcomed addition. Here ya go...

Hey Harry & Co,

I caught a special screening last night of Terrence Malick's The New World at the Loews 20 in the Liberty Tree Mall in Danvers, MA. The screening was a fundraiser for Wellspring House, a local organization that provides shelter for homeless families. One of the producers of The New World, Sarah Green, lives in Gloucester, MA and organized the event with Wellspring. Q'Orianka Kilcher was also in attendance and joined Green at the end of the film for a Q&A session with the audience.

This won't be a review of the film. There isn't anything more to say about the film that Harry, Moriarity, and the Talkbackers haven't said already. I loved it. I really loved it. But I'm also a huge Malick fan so I guess I am biased. But I did manage to glean some info from Sarah Green regarding the multiple cuts of this film and its eventual DVD release.

I asked Green if it was true (as Moriarity mentioned in his article from 12/31/05) if Malick had cut a shorter version of the film for the nationwide release on 1/13/06 and she mentioned the following three details.

1.) The version we saw is the 155 minute version that is presently playing in NY and LA. She mentioned that this version "will always exist" but . . .

2.) Malick has trimmed this version and it will be this new cut that will be released when the film opens nationwide. She said that "none of the scenes were cut out, all the scenes are intact, but he did trim down scenes and made a tighter cut of the film."

3.) But, more importantly, she said New Line has agreed to release an extended cut of the film, even longer than the 155 minute cut, to DVD. Again, this was info straight from Producer Sarah Green. It's not as official as if it came from execs at New Line, but that's what she said, for what it is worth. She didn't confirm if the nationwide theatrical cut will be packaged with the extended cut or if New Line will drop the Extended Cut Super Special Edition (with flair!) some months after a bare bones DVD of the nationwide theatrical cut is released. I love Malick's work and I love this film but I can't see the public willing to double-dip for this film, so who knows what the DVD roll out will be exactly?

Despite all of the info, I couldn't help but get the feeling that the cut I saw, the same one in NY and LA, is going to fall by the wayside. By saying that this cut "will always exist" (she said it twice, in fact), one gets the feeling that what we saw (though it was finished with credits and a sweet sound mix) is just a glorified work-in-progress stuck somewhere between the tighter nationwide cut and the extended cut. I'm sure this version will "always exist" but only to the those who worked on it and the few who saw it. There's not much room in the market for three versions of a film unless it's Blade Runner or something like that. This isn't fact, though. It just seems to make sense with the info she gave.

As for Kilcher, she's very beautiful in person but really didn't have much to say in the Q&A, though. I did, however, run into her as my friend and I entered the mall to get to the screening. She seemed a little flustered because the Dippin' Dots vending machine wouldn't take her money. Of course, this means nothing to nobody but after I saw her very layered and downright honest performance in the movie projected up on the big screen, the thought of her just trying to get herself some Dippin' Dots brought a smile to my face. But hey, I'm simple like that.

Looking forward to a good '06 from AICN.

If you use this, please call me Fuckles.

Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 4, 2006, 4:02 a.m. CST

    Great Movie

    by x-oManowar

    Go see this movie. I loved it. I think three versions is going to confuse everybody but what do I know.

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 4:03 a.m. CST


    by x-oManowar

    Because I can. Also, Dippin Dots are awesome.

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 4:13 a.m. CST

    NEW WORLD: Best Film of '05

    by zikade zarathos

    I've seen it three times now. I honestly wouldn't want to see a "tighter" version, even if Malick himself thinks it would improve the picture -- the length and patience the scenes have carry a weight that accumulates over time, ending in a final flurry of images that is INCREDIBLE after what you've just sat through. Editing a movie like this further is like playing Jenga -- one too many small pieces get snipped and the whole thing topples. I, however, would be VERY interested in seeing an even longer version (I'm STILL waiting for the four-hour THIN RED LINE), just to see some scenes that were cut. Watching the trailer now that I've already seen the movie, I was shocked to see that damn near every scene featured isn't in the finished film. Anyhoo... it's really an acquired taste (one guy in front of me said, "Thank God" when the movie ended), but if this type of filmmaking is your bag, GO SEE IT.

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 4:27 a.m. CST

    I'd Dip her Dots

    by evolvingsensblty

    2-3 yrs. from now of course

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 5:18 a.m. CST

    Good to see an accurate "Pochahontas" film, but...

    by Anna Valerious

    ...if they start singing "Colors of the Wind", I'm leaving. :P

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 5:25 a.m. CST


    by DerLanghaarige

    Make it short, make it long, make it short, make it longer than before...

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 6:12 a.m. CST

    "If Malick is doing some tightening - I will say, for most audie

    by Trazadone

    Why do I feel like Harry just insulted us? Is he saying, "The peasants could use a shorter version because they won't be able to appreciate a longer cut of the film"? I still predict that this film is going to be a huge flop.

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 6:13 a.m. CST

    i wonder which is malick's preferred cut? no one has mentio

    by Chief Redcock

    and i still think directors should try to make one and only one version of each movie they make... everything else is just a chance to cash in on DVD sales. theater goers, if you really want to see a movie, you should be willing to devote an extra hour or so of your existence to getting the full story. what else are you gonna do with your time? malick and others, take note and don't chop up your movie on account of a few impatient fucks. oh, and i'd like a 4 hour thin red line as well...

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 6:23 a.m. CST

    This film is a masterpiece.


    Easily one of the very best of 2005. Absolutely mesmerizing. See it any way you can, especially on the big screen.

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 6:36 a.m. CST

    That's the movie Malick should make next...

    by Kevin Bosch

    An epic 4 hour film about a teenage girl wondering around her local mall, trying to find a crisp dollar bill so she can buy dipping dots out of the machine. Seriously, the thought of this girl being flustered with the vending machine seemed cute to me too. This movie she's in is all about the primitive world coming in contact with an more advanced exsistance, and how that currupts innocence, and so on. Considering that, her being preoccuptied with a vending machine seems funny. Like seeing Jesus water sking.

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 6:45 a.m. CST

    zikade zarathos: 4h cut of TheThinRedLine?

    by CurryIce

    Call me ignorant but i've never heard of it. Are your sure about that?

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 7:17 a.m. CST

    The DVD cut has more blades of grass

    by Spacesheik

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 7:43 a.m. CST


    by Shigeru

    Liberty Tree Mall in Danvers, MA? I go there all the time... live like 10 minutes away. Why the hell wasn't I invited to this crap?? And YES that Dippin Dots machine sucks ass. I think it's been broken for like 11 years now.

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 8:13 a.m. CST

    Thanks for the report Fuckles

    by LilOgre

    Awesome that you saw it Fuckles. I cannot believe that the film version that we saw and that is appearing on many Top Ten lists, hell its number two on Roeper's, will be in some sort of limbo forever. Guess those Academy DVD screeners will be going for A LOT on ebay. Did she mention a running time on the new abbreviated version?

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 8:41 a.m. CST

    Great report - what AICN is made for

    by Koola_Norway

    I just want to say that these kinds of reports is GREAT, and part of the reason I truly love AICN. More of this. Information like this should be released by the officials of course, but why not by a spy on AICN? Just as good. :) Great work, Fuckles.

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 8:45 a.m. CST

    I heard they are releasing a 20 minute version to play after Fri

    by ChileanSeaBass

    ..are americans the dumbest , least cultured bunch of idiots since the vandals sacked even surprised that malick would even m ake movies in english...

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 9:15 a.m. CST

    Hey, LilOgre!

    by Fuckles

    Sarah Green didn't give any indication what the new running time will be but if it's only scene trimming, I can't imagine it being that much shorter. What I forgot to mention was that Green said even she couldn't tell much of a difference between Malick's new cut and the 155 mins. version. Either way, I can't believe I saw it. LilOgre knows that just two days ago I was bitching in a TB about looking into bus fares to NYC to catch it at the Loews Lincoln and then I came across this screening in Danvers. Sorry you missed it, Shigeru. The audience could have used more film geeks. Since it was a fundraiser for a good cause, most of the audience seemed to be there to support Sarah Green and Wellspring, and to meet Kilcher. I think, for most, the film was an afterthought. But I ain't complainin'. It was a cool screening for a good cause. And for those who are interested in it, like Harry said, just see whatever version you can. The cinematography is worth the price of admission alone. It's very rare these days to see a film of this scope lit mostly by natural light and color timed the old fashioned way (I assume) and not color corrected digitally. Just the closeup shot alone of Kilcher's face that tracks around to the back of her head just in time to see a bolt of lighting hit ground far in the distance in front of her was enough to make my eyes damn near bug out. But hey, if I keep going, I'll be waxing poetic about this film all damn day. Have a good day, everyone!

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 9:28 a.m. CST

    The theatrical version will be 150 mins long...

    by jimmythesaint

    ... at least the British theatrical version will be, according to the BBFC website. So any trims to the version reviewed here are probably very minimal. Can't wait to see this, I remember seeing Thin Red Line at the cinema aged 14 and it changing the way I thought about movies.

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 10 a.m. CST

    Spacesheik, you made me spill my coffee laughing.

    by FluffyUnbound

    The gusts of wind that make the blades of grass flounce are also longer in the DVD version.

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 10:03 a.m. CST

    "changing the way I thought about movies."

    by Blue_Demon

    Nicely put Jimmythesaint. When I was a kid, movies really hit me hard. The trailer for this movie looks damn fine. I hope it delivers. Oh, ChileanSeaBass? You're right, other countries have been around a lot longer than us Americans. They have centuries of culture to draw from. A friend of mine got married in a 600 year old church in Europe. That building is older than our nation! Boggles the mind. But we do have a culture, young and maligned as it is...and the world eats it up.

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 10:12 a.m. CST

    The rainstorm and the river are my brothers...

    by Osmosis Jones

    ...the heron and the otter are my friends...and we are all connected to each a circle, in a hoop, that never ends...

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Save Blade Runner!

    by Veraxus

    I can't help but wonder why Warner dosn't just pay off Mr. Scrooge Perenchio and be done with it. I'd like to see the other versions of Blade Runner some day.

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Kodak 5218

    by watashiwadare

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 10:36 a.m. CST

    This movie could definitely use some trimming. But it could als

    by kdraines

    Hey, I'm all for long, meditative films as long as the story is being moved along. I was a little torn by this film. On the one hand I appreciated the fact that it was more an experience than a movie. On the other, it did get rather old watching Captain Smith and Pocahontas play out their game of puppy love by continually walking through the damn fields. The other thing that really bothered me was how the natives were all filmed as happy, loyal, pretty, clean people while the colonists were all portrayed as dirty, ugly, crazy people. The fort was constantly brown and covered in mud puddles while the native village seemed to exist in continual spring. It's a conceit that started with Dances with Wolves and was more than a little distracting in this film. However, it is still far superior to most of the other crap that's out there.

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 10:43 a.m. CST

    God Bless you Fuckles!

    by BurtGummer

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 10:44 a.m. CST

    It is a surprise, ChileanSeaBass, considering Malick's from

    by IAmJack'sUserID


  • Jan. 4, 2006, 11:20 a.m. CST

    let me guess jack, you were watching Will and grace when i first

    by ChileanSeaBass

    ..Texas was right to try and secede..but texas does seem to make the only worthy americans these days, ie. Dubya etc..

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 11:39 a.m. CST

    i hope the 155min version IS a work in progress, cuz its not a s

    by chickychow

    I appreciate much of it, and am a big Malick fan, but alot of New World needs work. the 2nd act especially. i like Malick's jarring editing technique in Thin Red Line, drifting in and out of scenes, relying more on atmosphere than words, but here I felt it made for a most frustrating viewing experience (and Farrell is not a strong lead. Bale is the stronger presence in the movie). that said, its a frequently beautiful film and i hope Malick makes a flick every two years.

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 11:58 a.m. CST

    RE:Save Blade Runner!

    by earl of sandwich

    Ditto brother, ditto. I'll even cough in a couple bucks for Jerry if it means I can get my mitts on that 2 DVD Special Edition they've had in the can for years now.

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Those 'merican Moroons

    by nairbnyllednavkr

    As a Scotsman living in the USA, I have met my share of the moroons of which you speak, but consider this. There are 280 million people here, and say, 5% are pretty damn smart. That's 14 million smart people. Now go to the UK, where 14m represents 25% of the population. Is 25% of the UK smart? Don't think so. p.s. Malick rocks.

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 12:09 p.m. CST

    And if The New World tanks at the BO, this movie will be release

    by moviemaniac-7

    Also, Blade Runner on Special Deluxe Director's Cut Etc.-Edition!

  • I thought the THIN RED LINE was sort of a bore that had some fantastic parts but overall was more puzzling and frustrating than anything else. Its been years since I have seen it though. And that the editing style was antithetical to the point of the film or just a war film in general. Whereas in THE NEW WORLD it really worked as you could become a part of the dreamlike state that these people were in who were literally discovering eachother - and expanding their reality.

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 12:25 p.m. CST

    That and the film serves Malick's studies well

    by LilOgre

    Malick's studies at Harvard in the theories of existence and consciousness under Stanley Cavell are well served by this film - to me much more so than THE THIN RED LINE - as the viewer is presented with an opportunity to truly reflect on the nature of one's own existence and how that existence can be rocked, disproved, and reformulated by a completely unforseen discovery - be it of a new culture, love, etc.... And how discoveries such as these can both prove and disprove and sort of formal nature of existence or consciousness. Alas, I digress....

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 12:54 p.m. CST

    oh brother

    by lopan

    Am I alone on thinking this - that Terrence Malick is one of the most pretentious, least interesting filmmakers to get so much praise? I mean the cinematography is undoubtedly beautiful, but I don't need to stare at wind blowing through the grass for ten minutes for any reason. I get it. Cut. Move on. I think a four-hour cut of Thin Red Line sounds like my worst fucking nightmare. And before you say, "You just don't get it," let me assure you I do. Not trying to be a troll, I swear, but I just cannot get excited about The New World. It's right up there with Grandma's Boy and BloodRayne for upcoming films I have zero interest in. Hopefully on DVD, each painfully extended sequence of wind rustling through the trees will be sequenced with its own chapter so I can skip the fuckers. I hope this admission doesn't make me less of a cineast or get me kicked out of film school or something. But God, Malick is really boring.

  • Fuckles, thanks for the report, Fuckles.

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 1:20 p.m. CST

    i dont see how this movie could be as good as everyone is saying

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    its rated PG-13 and its an epic that should have big battle scenes. i dont see how it wont compromise the film to have them sanatized which is silly, because i dont see the youth appeal in this film.

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 1:35 p.m. CST

    I don't think it has big battle scenes

    by jrbarker

    its not that kind of movie

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 1:43 p.m. CST

    the trailer made it look pretty bloody by the end

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    but then...i never saw thin red line (i was like...12 or something when it came out) so i have no experience with malick.

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 2:07 p.m. CST

    CurryIce - The long cut of Thin Red Line

    by Flansy

    There was a piece about this in Entertainment Weekly during the January1999 Oscar hooplah. Apparently, the full unedited version of TRL runs close to 6.5 hours. Never intended to be released as-such, the original edited-down 3hour cut was a radically different film than what was eventually released, featuring Adrian Brody's character more than any other (who had top billing on some teaser posters at the time.) A week before the NYC premiere (a few days before Xmas), Malick realized that the Jim Caviezel story was the better "more human" story, and recut the film into what we now know. Apparently Adrien Brody was never informed before the premiere that his character was reduced to a 2-line cameo and had to sit there confused with his whole family who'd turned out for what would allegedly be his starmaking oscar lead-role. I do hope the full TRL cut surfices someday, or at least the "Brody version" as a 2nd disc in an inevitable Criterion set or something.

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Historical Inaccuracies

    by filmcans

    Where's the talking tree? I specifically remember a talking tree in the Pocahontas story...

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Correction: Not mostly shot on 65 mm.

    by Flim_

    They found the cost too prohibitive, and so only shot some select scenes on 65, the rest on 35. Kudos to them for being the first to do it since Brannagh did on HAMLET, though. We need more 65 mm production, to bring the costs down!

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 3:13 p.m. CST

    thx Flansy for your post

    by CurryIce

    Hmmm now i'm very curious how the other version works and looks like when the Caviezel version was the "more human" story. Hope we'll get a chance to see that (or even the more longer cut) on another DVD edition. Fingers crossed.

  • seems like all the critics disagreements with film were concerning the narrative and length of the film, which now we know has been cut down, even though the film has received generally favorable reviews and I will see it no matter what, it doesn't seem fair.

  • Jan. 4, 2006, 5:36 p.m. CST

    real review

    by Lovecraftfan

    I keep wanting to see this but then every review I hear if form a Malick fan. Lets hear a review from someone like me who hated Thin Red Line

  • Jan. 5, 2006, 8:35 a.m. CST


    by oh_riginal

    Well, technically, a lot of the people who came to America back then actually WERE a bit dirtier than you would think. Just look at how it used to be back in England or wherever they originally sailed from for instance. People used to toss their shit and piss out the window! Natives didn't live that type of lifestyle then, as they were living off the land and such. So what was shown in Dances With Wolves was historically accurate really. Although, the Pocahontas story happened so damn long ago it might as well be fiction now.

  • Jan. 5, 2006, 2:35 p.m. CST

    too much grass and grain touching.

    by PVIII

    And shots of birds, mid-flight. They got pretty repetitive, but after the Thin Red Line I was ready for it. Beautiful film, but could use some tweaking. At least 15 minutes could've been cut IMHO.

  • Jan. 6, 2006, 2:47 a.m. CST

    umm it's a bit confusing and annoying having two cuts openin

    by Demosthenes2

  • Thank you white trite Hollywood and goodnight.

  • Jan. 7, 2006, 5:14 a.m. CST

    Adrien Brody wasn't the only one CUT from The Thin Red Line

    by alucardvsdracula

    He aparantly played a sniper taking out japs and like many others cut out of the picture, he too was a bit pissed off. I'd love to see stuff like that put back into the movie.