“Terrence Malick is an enigmatic filmmaker. He’s a brilliant photographer. He’s a brilliant cinematographer. In a way, though, he doesn’t know how to coalesce a story from beginning to end. When I first saw [The New World] it was an early edit. There was no reason this movie couldn’t have been as successful as Titanic. It was cut that way. It was a story of this Native American girl meeting this guy and it was really romantic.
“[But in the] editing, Terry, as he does in his filmmaking, made much more of a dreamworld and he disassociated the scenes. There was no through-line any more. He lost the love story. He wasn’t interested in that. He started telling a story about images and it didn’t hold together. The movie didn’t hold together for me, or for an audience.
“I think that Terry’s brilliant but he is an abstract painter. You have to know going in that what you initially see — which is a real story — ends up looking more like a Picasso or an abstract painter, and it’s broken up and musically that doesn’t work. You can’t tell a linear story any more and he ends up cutting stuff and for an audience, emotionally, I just don’t think that holds together. Visually, it’s stunning but the storytelling…it’s a book that can’t be read.” — Composer James Horner speaking to Little White Lies‘ Sophie Monks Kaufman.