Days after the premiere of his latest film, Three Thousand Years of Longing, director George Miller is ready to open up about his what led his drive to tell his adult fairytale. At Deadline’s Cannes Studio, Miller said the surfeit of “so-called ‘content'” from streaming platforms and distributors desperate to engage viewers meant that filmmakers needed to focus on delivering films that offer a unique perspective. “You are obliged to make your work unique in some way,” he said. “Otherwise it doesn’t stand a chance. If it falls too much into tropes or patterns that it doesn’t bring something apparently fresh in one way or another, it just doesn’t have a chance.”
Cinema, he said, was evolving, “And it’s evolving more rapidly than we ever thought. We have more so-called ‘content’ than we’ve ever had. There was a time when I felt I would see just about every film there was to see that was coming out. But that’s impossible now. Literally impossible.”
Three Thousand Years of Longing is a project 20 years in the making for Miller, who has tinkered away on it around other projects such as his last, Mad Max: Fury Road. But there is little accident to the timing with which he finally executed the film, as Miller attempts to rationalize his own drive to be a storyteller. The film follows a literary scholar, Alithea (Tilda Swinton), and her meeting with a Djinn (Idris Elba) who tells her the stories of his long life. Miller said he sees himself in both characters. “A lot of me is in Alithea,” he noted. “And the Djinn represents living storytelling, and also the effect of stories and how they can impact on the person who receives them.”
Miller also noted that he had based the storybook Alithea creates in the film on the illustrated diaries of his friend, Guillermo del Toro. And that on the day he met Idris Elba to discuss him starring in the film, he happened to be traveling to Loch Ness in Scotland for a DJ engagement. “About two hours [after we spoke], I got a photo from him, and he was sitting on a lawn with Tilda Swinton on her farm in Scotland. It was a beautiful coincidence.”
For more from Miller, check out the video above.
Aero is the official sponsor of the Deadline Studio at Cannes Film Festival. Sponsors are Soia & Kyo and Jamones Iberico from Spain: Ambassadors of Europe in the World
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