Three Thousand Years of Longing Gets Six-Minute Standing Ovation at Cannes

Posted 2022/05/23 5 0


Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller is back with a very different cinematic beast, helming the romantic fantasy epic Three Thousand Years of Longing, which evidently impressed the audience at Cannes Film Festival 2022. Starring Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton, Three Thousand Years of Longing reportedly earned a six-minute standing ovation after its world premiere at Cannes’ Palais theater. Clearly, Three Thousand Years of Longing must be something special.

Screening out of competition at the 75th Cannes Film Festival, attendees were thoroughly enamored with Three Thousand Years of Longing, which centers on a conversation in a hotel room between a scholar and a genie, who offers the academic three wishes and tells her cautionary tales of epic proportions. After the ovation, director George Miller addressed the crowd saying, “This is the first time I’ve seen the film with an audience, and it’s very moving. I’m very, very grateful.”

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Based on the short story “The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye” by A.S. Byatt, Three Thousand Years of Longing follows Dr. Alithea Binnie (Tilda Swinton) is an academic – content with life and a creature of reason. While in Istanbul attending a conference, she happens to encounter a Djinn (Idris Elba) who offers her three wishes in exchange for his freedom.

This presents two problems. First, she doubts that he is real, and second, because she is a scholar of story and mythology, she knows all the cautionary tales of wishes gone wrong. The Djinn pleads his case by telling her fantastical stories of his past. Eventually, she is intrigued and makes a wish that surprises them both.

Three Thousand Years of Longing Combines Sprawling Historical Tales with an Intimate Conversation in a Hotel Room

According to those in attendance at Cannes, Three Thousand Years of Longing is split almost half-and-half, with one half regaling the audience with vast, sprawling historical epics designed to teach profound moral and ethical lessons, while the other puts the spotlight on an intimate, enclosed conversation in a hotel room between the two main characters.

Directed by George Miller, who co-wrote the screenplay with Augusta Gore, Three Thousand Years of Longing will undoubtedly demonstrate why the man behind Mad Max is considered one of the most exciting filmmakers working today. Alongside that, Three Thousand Years of Longing is a two-hander between stars Idris Elba as the Djinn and Tilda Swinton as Alithea, with both actors likely given ample opportunity to show off their renowned talent.

Starring alongside Swinton and Elba, Three Thousand Years of Longing features Alyla Browne, Burcu Gölgedar, Matteo Bocelli, Kaan Guldur, and Aamito Lagum as the Queen of Sheba.

“What I saw in the short story was that it probed a lot of stuff,” Miller recently explained. “There was a lot of detail, in a relatively compact narrative, about all the mysteries and paradoxes of being human, or of being alive as a human. And, of course, it was allegorical; it’s a fairy story.”

Three Thousand Years of Longing is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on August 31, 2022, by United Artists Releasing.


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