Cannes, France ( Associated Press) — Australian director George Miller has spent a lot of time and longing to make “Three Thousand Years of Longing,” his long-awaited follow-up to “Mad Max: Fury Road.”
Miller premiered “Three Thousand Years of Longing” over the weekend at the Cannes Film Festival, the culmination of a journey that began 20 years earlier when Miller first read the story of Ess Bayat, on which the film is based, “The Jinn.” In the Nightingale’s Eye”.
But it was only when “Fury Road”—the friction over profits from Miller’s operatic action opus—opened a window that the time for “three thousand years of longing” came.
“After we wrote it, it was really a question of when to do it,” said Miller, along with its stars Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton, shortly before the film’s premiere at Cannes. “It was lucky, really. We litigated with Warner Bros. on ‘Fury Road’ and that meant, we could bring it up.
Most of the Cannes festival spectators were on the edge of their seats at the unveiling of the “Three Thousand Years of Longing”. What will Miller do this time? Can the 77-year-old filmmaker match the thrilling thrill of ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’?
The film, which Miller is preparing to reunite with the prequel “Furiosa,” made its stellar premiere at Cannes seven years ago, amassing a handful of Oscars, $374 million in box office receipts, and best-of-the-century There was a spot on the list. ,
The answer, it turns out, is a singular mix of fantasy epic and room-piece drama that gets to the heart of Miller’s own feelings about storytelling. The film, which MGM will release on August 31, was written by Miller and his daughter, first time screenwriter Augusta Gore. In it, Swinton plays Alithia Binny, a storyteller who is visiting Turkey for a convention about how science has changed mythology.
When Alithia buys an old bottle at the Grand Bazaar and rubs it in the sink of her hotel, a wish-fulfilling genie (Elba) is seen filling the room. A long and intimate conversation ensues, in which he tells her about his previous masters over the past 3,000 years. Using computer-generated imagery, Miller blends mythology and the modern world into a contemplative, history-triggered fairy tale that believes solemnly in magic.
“There are some people who are great storytellers who can do it as a performance,” Miller says. “I know I struggle with it. I can’t get up and tell a spontaneous story well. But I can do it in the ultra-slow motion of telling a film, where I can see every detail of it, I think of every rhythm.”
Miller reunited with several of his “Fury Road” collaborators, including cinematographer John Seeley, editor Margaret Sixel and composer Tom Holkenborg. But the director felt that in some ways “Three Thousand Years of Longing” was “anti-Mad Max” — talkative where “Fury Road” was wordless, spanning epochs rather than real time.
Responses have been mixed to the “longing of three thousand years”, but some have questioned its ambition or its specificity.
And whatever eras there are, the film reaches to this day. The pandemic is seen late in the film in scenes where the background actors are wearing masks. The production of the film was also dramatically shaped by the pandemic. Miller relied on CGI and his native Australia for the bulk of the film, having moved from shooting in a range of international locations.
“When we started talking about this film, it felt so right,” Swinton says. “But now, this year, it’s even more. And I think it’ll be even more next. Your instinct for the wind, which is to run and run. It’s like the seed one sows.” ”
For Miller, “Three Thousand Years of Longing” isn’t just yet—it’s beyond.
“It’s a very relevant story,” Miller says. “It’s like a metal detector or a Geiger counter, when something actually activates it. You go: ‘Oh, there’s a rich seam somewhere in here.'”
“Time will tell if there are enough things going on in this for others to respond. You expect the story to be someone else’s and everyone’s,” he said.
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