If a genie could grant you three wishes, what would you wish for? This classic motif from literature has been given a new twist in the new film “Three Thousand Years of Longing” by 77-year-old director George Miller.
In the film, Tilda Swinton plays a scholar who meets a black genie in Istanbul who grants her three wishes.
The learned Tilda knows that any story about wishing for something doesn’t end well, so the genie tells her story of a thousand years ago.
“Three Thousand Years of Longing” was screened in non-competition at the recently concluded Cannes Film Festival, where it received a lot of praise for its fantastical and light-hearted atmosphere.
This is George Miller’s new film after seven years since “Mad Max: Fury Road”. In addition, the much-anticipated prequel “Mad Max: Furiosa” has recently started, and the sequel “Mad Max: The Wasteland” has also been on the agenda.
In short, although nearly eighty years old, but the film director still does not lose vitality, more show a kind of old when strong energy.
Today, we will talk about the legendary life of this “mad” director.
George Miller was born in Australia in 1945 to Greek immigrant parents. For a middle-class family, a doctor was a good career choice.
George studied medicine at the University of New South Wales in Australia, and near graduation he collaborated with his brother on the short film “St. Vincent”, which was lucky enough to win the first prize in a local competition.
At the awards ceremony, he met filmmaker Byron Kennedy, who became his long-term film partner.
After a brief stint as a doctor, George decided to pursue his passion for film. Throughout the 1970s, he was busy making short films or working for people on set to gain experience.
In the late 70s, George returned to his old job as a doctor in the emergency room to prepare for the film “Mad Max”. He was able to earn enough budget to start the film in a hurry.
The lead actor, Mel Gibson, was a student at the Australian National Academy of Dramatic Art when he auditioned for the role of “Max” and was paid $10,000.
Back then, the classmate who accompanied him to the audition was Judy Davis (“Naked Lunch”, “Barton Fink”), who was not yet famous.
“Mad Max” tells a simple story: in the near future, the patrolman Max in the work and the biker gang to form a relationship, but unexpectedly his wife and children were killed by them.
In order to take revenge, Max became gradually crazy, after killing his enemies, he set out on a lonely road.
“Mad Max” builds a post-apocalyptic landscape in a heterotopian world, and although the film’s plot is simple, it is full of tension. The protagonist’s anger and unrest is impressive, and his means of confronting violence with violence resonates.
George Miller was strapped for cash and could not afford to set and transfer the film, which forced him to change the realistic setting of the original script to a future post-apocalyptic setting.
Because there is no shooting permit, they can only “guerrilla-style shooting” on the highway.
In order to save time and costs, everyone shot very quickly, and there was little room for more than a few shots. Constrained by the cost, the film used mostly decommissioned police cars and the crew’s personal cars.
After the film was shot, George Miller nestled in Byron Kennedy’s home with a home computer to complete the post-production.
Under all the restrictions, “Mad Max” presents a coarse texture, just the right atmosphere to match the film.
With a low cost of $350,000, the movie earned $100 million at the worldwide box office, which was a huge profit.
Taking advantage of this wind, George Miller released “Mad Max 2” in 1981, the plot follows the previous film, about the story of the desert oil battle.
Max who lost his wife and children + desert natives vs. the bikers who came for oil. The first two are strategic cooperation, while the latter and Max are old grudges and new grudges together.
1985’s “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” continues Max’s journey as he becomes a mercenary for the town’s rulers and ventures into the underworld.
After returning without success, he was marooned in the desert and befriended the children of the children’s tribe, for whom he returned to the town for another bloodbath.
While working on the set of “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome”, George Miller’s partner Byron Kennedy died in a plane crash. He was once depressed, and also moved to give up the idea of filming, but eventually persisted to complete the trilogy.
The first three parts of “Mad Max” successfully portrayed Max as an anti-hero, who slowly evolved from a lone avenger to a re-definer of rules and order.
The second part of the trilogy, which blends violence and excitement in the right way, is the most popular.
In 1986, George Miller wanted to continue Max’s IP and turn it into a TV series, and the new actor he found for this purpose was Jon Blake, who unfortunately suffered brain damage in a car accident soon after, and the TV series plan was aborted.
Perhaps burned out on the action genre, George Miller made the fantasy-horror comedy “The Witches of Eastwick” in 1987.
Cher, Susan Sarandon and Michelle Pfeiffer play three best friends who are unhappily married and whose lives are shattered by a mysterious man played by Jack Nicholson.
The film, which brought together three actresses and one actor, received mediocre reviews, but was a commercial success.
In 1992, George Miller made a more tender family drama “Lorenzo’s Oil”, which brought to the screen the true story of a mother and father working together to save their son from a strange disease.
The film earned George Miller a nomination for the 65th Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
In 1995, George Miller married editor Margaret Sixel and had two sons. This was his second marriage, after he had a daughter with actress Sandy Gore.
I don’t know if it’s because he’s getting older or because he has children, but George Miller’s creativity has become more moderate.
From 1995 to 2011, his directing credits were “Babe: Pig in the City” (where he wrote the screenplay for “Babe”) and the “Happy Feet” series.
The story of piglets breaking into a farm and the adventures of a family of penguins was a children’s favorite and won an Academy Award.
It is hard to imagine that he was once the director of “Mad Max”, which is famous for its violent scenes, but the seemingly contradictory children’s fun and the world are both his interests.
In 2007, George Miller has a big project, he signed a contract with Warner, intends to direct “Justice League Mortal”.
Rumor has it that the proposed cast is: D.J. Cotrona as Superman, Armie Hammer as Batman, Megan Gale as Wonder Woman, Adam Brody as The Flash, Santiago Cabrera as Aquaman.
George Miller intends to have superheroes appear as a group in “Justice League”, and then plan single movies for them one by one. This idea is exactly the opposite of Marvel, but there is a lot of room for it.
George Miller in the preparation stage of “Justice League”, designed a lot of character concept art.
From the outgoing drawings, if the film is shot successfully, it should be a science fiction masterpiece, and may even change the current situation of superhero movies.
Unfortunately, before the film was shot, it was met with a general strike activity in Hollywood.
George Miller came back from the strike with a bang.
In 2018, the aborted film and the story behind it were turned into a documentary “Miller’s Justice League Mortal” by Australian director Ryan Unicomb.
In 2015, George Miller rebooted the Max series, a move that took fans by surprise, and the top-quality and highly acclaimed “Mad Max: Fury Road” also gave him another career high.
The story takes place in a futuristic wasteland world, where different gangs are constantly at odds with each other. The cold leader ImmortanJoe’s second-in-command, Furiosa, betrays him with the enslaved fertility, and she allies with Max during her journey back to her homeland. Eventually, they succeeded in defeating ImmortanJoe.
The story of “Mad Max: Fury Road” is simple and clear, but the imagination and restoration of the future world brings people the ultimate visual enjoyment.
Highly saturated yellow desert, exciting hot car chase, challenging physical limits of violence scenes …… everything is crazy over the top, passionate.
In the age of sophisticated computer special effects, George Miller insisted on shooting on location, and about 90% of the dangerous scenes in the film were done by his hired circus members and professional athletes.
The film was initially shot in Australia, and then the entire crew moved to Namibia, Africa, because of the purity of the desert colors. Compared to the old trilogy, George Miller’s time and cost are much more generous.
George Miller used Tom Hardy to play the new generation of Max, and he inherited Max’s jacket from Mel Gibson in the old trilogy.
George Miller believes that “Tom, like Mel, has the same animal-like quality of being gentle on the outside but a tiger at heart.”
Charlize Theron plays Furiosa, a key female character in the film, for which she shaves her head.
This maverick female character is the soul of the film and gives the old testosterone-dominated trilogy a feminist perspective shift.
According to George Miller, “The switch from Mad Max to Furiosa was a successful change of guard.”
“Mad Max: Fury Road” led the awards season, raking in ten Oscar nominations and ultimately winning six awards. At the same time, it became a benchmark for action films that could not be ignored after the millennium.
George Miller didn’t move quickly into the sequel, believing in slow and steady work for the new trilogy he had in mind.
In 2018, he began work on “Three Thousand Years of Longing,” which didn’t premiere at the Cannes Film Festival until this year due to delays from the epidemic.
At the moment, George Miller’s top priority is the long-awaited “Mad Max: Furiosa”, which is currently being shot in Australia.
The film’s timeline is 15 years before “Mad Max: Fury Road,” with Anya Taylor-Joy replacing Charlize Theron as the young Furiosa, along with “Chris Hemsworth” in the cast. “Chris Hemsworth.
When pressed by reporters about George Miller’s new film, he made a small point: “I’ll just tell you that “Mad Max: Furiosa” has gotten off to a great start. I’m excited about it because it’s absolutely thrilling.”
We look forward to seeing the “exciting” “Mad Max: Furiosa” soon, and we also expect George Miller, who “lives to make films,” to continue to bring other masterpieces.