🍿47: Three Thousand Years of Longing
This week, Idris Elba plays a djinn as we provide you with some optimal autumnal viewing!
“You ain’t never had a friend like me.”
~ Aladdin, 1992
The dog days are over
As summer comes to an end and we say goodbye to blockbuster season, it’s time to look forward to all the great films coming out this winter, because there are lots! In the meantime, we thought we’d put together a selection of films that make for good autumnal watching.
You know the ones… the films that are just perfect for a Sunday afternoon following a walk through a leafy woods, curled up on the sofa with a hot chocolate and your favourite jumper. Bliss.
So, here’s a few for you to watch in the coming weeks - click the links for the trailers:
And a few more if you’re watching with kids:
Now for the headlines:
The first photos for Damien Chazelle’s upcoming film Babylon, starring Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt and Tobey Maquire, have been released. Take a look.
Catherine Keener and Brendan Gleeson have joined the cast of Joker: Folie À Deux - let’s hope they can sing! Read more.
Katherine Waterston, Benedict Cumberbatch and Mark Strong join the cast of Mahalia Belo’s upcoming survival film, The End We Start From starring Jodie Comer. Read more.
A poster has dropped for Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical film, The Fabelmans which is set to debut at the Toronto Film Festival this month. Read more.
Salty Popcorn is 100% free, but if you enjoy SP, please consider buying us a cinema ticket for just £5 per month - or a bunch of tickets for just £30 per year. Thank you!
The Good Nurse
UK: 26 October // USA: 26 October
Suspicious that her colleague (Eddie Redmayne) is responsible for a series of mysterious patient deaths, a nurse (Jessica Chastain) risks her own life to uncover the truth in this gripping thriller based on true events.
UK: 18 November // USA: 12 October
Starring Anne Hathaway, Anthony Hopkins and Jeremy Strong, Armageddon Time is a coming-of-age drama that explores the complexity of friendship and the generational pursuit of the American Dream.
All Quiet on the Western Front
UK: 12 September // USA: 12 September
Based on the book by German war veteran Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front tells the story of a young German soldier in World War I. Paul (Felix Kammerer) and his comrades experience first-hand how the initial euphoria of war turns into desperation and fear as they fight for their lives in the trenches.
This one is showing in some cinemas, but will be hitting Netflix on 28th October.
Fact of the week
For his part in the 1922 Aladdin, Robin Williams improvised so much of his recording sessions that the filmmakers ended up with almost 16 hours of material!
For the opening scene, however, Williams was taken to the sound stage and asked to stand behind a table that had several objects on it, covered by a sheet. The animators asked him to take an object from the table without looking and describe it in character.
Much of the material in that session wasn’t appropriate for a Disney film, but here’s a reminder of what made the final cut.
Review: Three Thousand Years of Longing
3.5 (out of 5)
Where to watch:
USA: Only in cinemas
UK: Only in cinemas
Based on A. S. Byatt’s short story, ‘The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye’, Three Thousand Years of Longing follows Alithea (Tilda Swinton), a lonely scholar who discovers a djinn (Idris Elba) that offers her three wishes in exchange for his freedom.
The review (NO spoilers):
Three Thousand Years of Longing is a cinematic treat for anyone with a love of stories and storytellers. That is, provided you’re not one to shy away from fantasy and magic as anyone looking for something more ‘real’ may be disappointed.
As the trailer suggests, this is not just one story but several, told by the djinn (Idris Elba) as he explains to Alithea (Tilda Swinton) how he came to be at her service. While it’s been dubbed the “Aladdin for adults”, the only common ground it shares with the rags-to-riches story we know and love is there’s a genie - or rather a djinn.
There are in fact a number of fantastical beasts strewn throughout the film and while surrealism for surrealism’s sake can be tedious, these creatures are mostly kept in the background but support the setting of a time long, long (long) ago. Moreover, the high-gloss CGI filter that dictates much of the film’s visual style adds to this fairy-tale feel.
The only disappointment I found with this film was the clear lack of chemistry between Elba and Swinton. It’s a refreshing role for Elba, who has favoured Hollywood action films over anything else and Swinton rarely disappoints, but something between them is left longing.
Scroll down to see what’s in the next issue.
If you liked Three Thousand Years of Longing…
2003 | UK: Amazon Prime (£2.49) // USA: Netflix
A frustrated son tries to separate the fact from the fiction of the unbelievable tales his father has told him about his life. Just like Three Thousand Years, this is a story of stories, though its tales lean (slightly) closer to realism.
In the next issue:
See How They Run
UK: 09 September // USA: 16 September | Watch the Trailer