CryptoFuture – 24/7 Cryptocurrency & Blockchain News
Uncategorized

George Miller Has Earned the Right To Make Something as Gushy and Strange as Three Thousand Years of Longing

Lavish and strange as the Cannes Film Festival can be, it’s fitting that filmmaker George Miller—as lavish and strange as mainstream filmmakers get—should debut his latest inventive, erratic work here. His last trip to the Croisette was of a rare order: the marvelous Mad Max: Fury Road debuted here and became an instant classic. Now Miller has returned to the festival with a project of a very different sort, as we should expect from the man who made both The Road Warrior and Happy Feet.

His new film, Three Thousand Years of Longing blends the storybook tones and hues of Miller’s Babe: Pig in the City with the dark, sexualized magic of his The Witches of Eastwick. It’s a curious film, messy in all its ambition but consistently transfixing, an earnest labor of love—and one about love.

Tilda Swinton plays Alithea, a narratologist (a real vocation, it seems) who travels the world giving lectures on the nature and uses of story throughout history. She speaks of science’s conquering—or, perhaps, gentler replacement—of myth as humanity’s way of codifying knowledge. All the fantastical creatures of old legend have just become metaphor. I suppose that makes her an atheist of a sort, though she doesn’t seem disdainful, exactly, of supernatural belief. She’s more of a close studier.

While in Istanbul, Alithea finds herself confronting one of the very creatures she has reduced to mere trope. She buys an old glass bottle at an antique shop and, back in her hotel room while giving her new prize a scrub with her electric toothbrush, uncorks a long-imprisoned Djinn (Idris Elba). Grateful for his freedom and longing to return to the other-plane of Djinn existence, he grants Alithea three wishes. Once that duty is fulfilled, he will ascend.

But first Alithea, ever the skeptic academic, wants to talk things through. In her conversation with this hulking, melancholy spirit, Alithea learns the story of the Djinn. His previous imprisonments were caused by misplaced trust in his human handlers combined with the tricks of fate that govern any life in the world. Miller renders these flashbacks to ancient places—the kingdom of Sheba, the court of Suleiman the Magnificent—with his usual rich saturation, making painterly images from computer technology.

Not all of the visuals in Three Thousand Years of Longing were created equal; some look a bit chintzy for someone of Miller’s technical acumen. But there is enough offbeat beauty to be found in the film that it is recognizably his. It’s fascinating to see what Miller did within the constraints of COVID-era filmmaking. He’s found his own metaphor for our age; the confines of two people stuck indoors together gradually open up into a vast and teeming world of the digital. If only Zoom calls had such grand dimensions.

The look of the film is certainly its most eye-catching advertisement. But this is really a film of talk. Miller wrote the script with Augusta Gore, and they’ve given their two main characters a heap of flowery, philosophical language to contend with. They’ve cast sharply, then. Swinton, lilting along in a pleasant burr, is a great asker of questions, while Elba answers them commandingly. He’s got an ideal voice for storytelling. Elba’s elegant narration fills the film, ably conjuring up Miller’s intended mood of grace and profundity.

His stories involve a murderous prince, a brilliant woman vastly ahead of her time, a scheming concubine. These tales each unspool toward something maybe resembling a moral lesson, but Miller is not so interested in the neat conclusions of fable. Greed and lust and pride and other human all-too-predictable folly that can’t be tidily resolved keep the Djinn bouncing lonely and frustrated through time. Alithea eventually makes her own mortal mistakes, which leads the film to its underdeveloped third act, into which Miller invites contemporary politics to mostly dismal effect.

The film is, unfortunately, peppered with moments that clang with off-color ugliness, undermining Miller’s bighearted intentions. He seemingly can’t help himself when it comes to garish attempts at oddball humor, which land with a thud. (Most literally in one glaring case.) But those instances are glided past and then Miller shows us something stirring or sweet and the film’s peculiar spell ensnares us again.

As often happens in films that are, when all the busy wonder is boiled down, really about something as general as love, Three Thousand Years of Longing ultimately can’t serve up a message as thorough and transporting (or coherent) as the design that houses it. Still, the film’s idiosyncratic determination to deliver its homily proves endearing. Before he heads back to the Mad Max world to tell us the story of Furiosa’s fraught beginnings, Miller just wants to talk about gushy matters of the heart for a bit. Which he’s probably earned. Or maybe he just made a wish and the gods of film financing wistfully obliged.

Read More

Related posts

Reminder: Reject The Financial Action Task Force

CryptoLiveTracker.com

How not to do DAOs?

CryptoLiveTracker.com

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Manga Inspires Live-Action Movie

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.