Seven years after the thunderous Mad Max: Fury Road, George Miller plunges the audience into the fantasy tinged with philosophical tale of Three Thousand Years of Longing, screened Out of Competition.
Cannes Film Festival 2022: George Miller‘s eleventh film Three Thousand Years of Longing evokes the encounter between a creature of reason and an oriental spirit, a Djinn. The Djinn, locked in a bottle for three thousand years, longs to be reunited with his pairs and offers to grant him three wishes in exchange for his freedom. After creating a stir with The Square, Palme d’Or in 2017, and Turist, Prix du jury Un certain regard in 2014, Swedish director Ruben Östlund is back in Cannes in Competition to present Triangle of Sadness, a satire of the fashion world.
Wreck in the ways of thinking
Carl and Yaya, two model-influencers, know the world of fashion well, but are still looking for each other. The couple embark on a yacht for a luxury cruise with passengers of unusual rich backgrounds. While the cruise is initially having fun, a storm ruins the captain’s dinner before pirates wreck the ship. The guests are stranded on a deserted island. Values are suddenly turned upside down, as the toilet cleaner is the only one who knows how to fish and start a fire.
Strange creatures seen only by her
The eleventh film of George Miller, president of the Jury at Cannes in 2016, Three Thousand Years of Longing, features the encounter between a creature of reason and a spirit. Alithea Binnie (Tilda Swinton) is a narrative scholar, content with her life of solitude, devoted to the study of fictional texts and stories. Coming to Istanbul for a conference, Alithea Binnie first sees strange creatures perceived from her alone, before becoming interested in a beautiful glass vial, an “eye-of-the-nightingale”, which she buys as a souvenir of her stay in ancient Byzantium. While cleaning the trinket in her hotel room, a Djinn escapes the bottle and materializes.
Wishes that go awry
The Djinn (Idris Elba) has been languishing in a bottle for three thousand years and offers to grant her three wishes in exchange for his freedom and his return to his pairs. But the scholar doubts: history and mythology, as well as fairy tales, warn against wishes that go awry… To convince her to accept, the spirit tells her about his past, made of incredible encounters. Thrilling stories with women, each more beautiful than the last, who have unwittingly caused his exile in various bottles, from the bottom of the sea to the walls of the city. Gradually seduced by the Djinn and his stories, Alithea ends up making a most surprising wish… for both of them.
Stories, the oxygen of the Djinn
When they are with each other, the Djinn tell each other stories which are for them the equivalent of oxygen for us. If “human beings have a visceral need to be told stories”, George Miller explains, the way in which they are told remains the most important thing. Three Thousand Years of Longing thus becomes a love poem to narrative and literary creativity. Before it becomes a film, a story comes out of a bottle: the writer’s brain. And, despite a somewhat slow pace, the sumptuous direction, served by a sobriety in the special effects and the superb performance of the couple of actors, tells us a story that takes us along the paths of time and love.
Inspired by a short story, The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye by A.S. Byatt, the film, screened out of competition in the world premiere of the film, earned George Miller a six-minute standing ovation.
The Red Carpet of Triangle of Sadness
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