These days, movie trailers tend to tell the whole story in two and a half minutes.
But the same cannot be said of Three thousand years of nostalgia trailer, the utterly riveting new film from Australian filmmaker George Miller.
The last time Miller made us run instead of walk at the movies was for Mad Max: Fury Road in 2015.
Hailed as a triumph of cinema, road of fury ultimately won six golden statuettes at the 2016 Oscars.
So what about Miller’s new film, which he intriguingly describes as “anti-Mad Max”?
Did it thrill viewers when it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival?
Short answer: Yes.
release the genie
Three thousand years of nostalgia earned its director, cast and crew a six-minute standing ovation after its world premiere in Cannes on Friday.
However, those of us who won’t be present at the famous festival will have to settle for the next best thing: the trailer.
And what a teaser it is.
Based on the 1994 short story The Djinn in the Eye of the Nightingale by English novelist AS Byatt, Three thousand years of nostalgia stars Tilda Swinton (snowdrops) as an academic named Dr Alithea Binnie and Idris Elba (Luther) like the genie she finds in a bottle in the markets of Istanbul.
During a long conversation in a hotel room, the Elba djinn makes a deal with Dr. Binnie, offering him three wishes in exchange for his freedom.
Storytelling expert Dr. Binnie knows wishes can be tricky. But she ends up agreeing to the deal, surprising them both with her wishes.
Snippets of the jinn’s long history, the stories of who found it before, are revealed in the trailer.
These ancient stories are full of bizarre characters, rich colors and mysterious creatures. The scenes are loud in more ways than one, with the trailer’s heart-pounding music only emphasizing the savagery of the djinn’s past.
And to think that this film was shot in Sydney (with lots of special effects).
By contrast, Dr. Binnie is a “lone creature” who is understandably shocked when the djinn bursts out of his ancient bottle, so large it expands to the size of his hotel room.
“What would you wish for? ” he asks. “What is your heart’s desire?” »
Although Dr. Binnie doesn’t explicitly answer the question in the trailer, we do see her staring at a loving couple with a smile on her face.
After all, it’s a fantasy romance.
“An Eccentric Fantasy”
Three thousand years of nostalgia is not madmax, it’s not even madmax-ish.
As Miller has said in the past, the film is conversation driven, not War Rig driven.
The envelope compared him to Ang Lee Pi’s life (2012), because it “mixes screen performances and philosophical reflection”.
Critics seemed generally pleased with the film (especially the “epic” visuals), if not a bit disappointed with the story. Looks like he didn’t have enough Punch.
The BBC described the “eccentric fantasy” as “wonderfully imaginative”, but found it to be “not enchanting enough”.
He needed some of “everything Mad Max uses to power his cars”.
Comparisons to the famed franchise were inevitable, though other reviewers said it was the mere mention of madmax it gives Miller the right to try something different and look into a passion project.
Like The Guardian wrote, “Miller has earned the right to do what he wants, when he wants, and to hell with the fans who demand more road warrior movies.
“I think he made this one just for him. I suspect everything went exactly as he hoped.
vanity lounge wrote much the same in his review of the film, with a title that read, “George Miller has earned the right to do something as gushing and bizarre as Three thousand years of nostalgia”.
“It’s a curious film, messy in all its ambition but constantly piercing, a serious labor of love – and one about love.”
And what not to love in love?
Three thousand years of nostalgia can be a sharp turn away from the madmax franchise, but fans won’t have to wait too long until the next installment.
Their time will come in two years when Mad Max: Furiosa should be released in cinemas.
The prequel, based on Charlize Theron’s character Imperator Furiosa from road of fury, kicked off filming in Hay, southern New South Wales, this week.
Miller brought in Anya Taylor-Joy (Queen’s Gambit), Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (The Matrix Resurrections) to star in the blockbuster, which we’re sure will feature some crazy stunts to rival even that of Road of Fury.
Three thousand years of nostalgia cinema premieres September 1