Friday, December 2, 2022     Volume: 23, Issue: 40
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
A QUIET PLACE PART II
AMSTERDAM
ANOTHER ROUND
BARBARIAN
BINGEABLE: 100 FOOT WAVE (2021)
BINGEABLE: A FRIEND OF THE FAMILY (2022)
BINGEABLE: A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN (2022)
BINGEABLE: ALASKA DAILY (2022-present)
BINGEABLE: ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL (2022)
BINGEABLE: ANDOR (2022-present)
BINGEABLE: BARRY (2018-present)
BINGEABLE: CASTLEVANIA (2017-2021)
BINGEABLE: CHEER (2020-present)
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG (2016-2019)
BINGEABLE: HACKS (2021-present)
BINGEABLE: INSIDE MAN (2022)
BINGEABLE: JOE PICKETT (2021)
BINGEABLE: KUNG FU (2021)
BINGEABLE: LAST LIGHT (2022)
BINGEABLE: LIFE & BETH (2022)
BINGEABLE: MAID (2021)
BINGEABLE: MIDNIGHT MASS (2021)
BINGEABLE: ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING (SEASON 2) (2021-present)
BINGEABLE: SLOW HORSES (2022)
BINGEABLE: SQUID GAME (2021)
BINGEABLE: STATION ELEVEN (2021)
BINGEABLE: SWEET TOOTH
BINGEABLE: TELL ME YOUR SECRETS (2021)
BINGEABLE: THE BABY (2022)
BINGEABLE: THE BEAR (2022)
BINGEABLE: THE ENGLISH (2022)
BINGEABLE: THE GREAT (2020-present)
BINGEABLE: THE WATCHER (2022)
BINGEABLE: WELCOME TO WREXHAM (2022-present)
BINGEABLE: YELLOWJACKETS (2021-present)
BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER
BLAST FROM THE PAST: COWBOY BEBOP (1998)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX (1999)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE SHOOTING (1966)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART (1990)
ENOLA HOLMES 2
GUILTY PLEASURES: GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE
GUILTY PLEASURES: JOLT
HAVE A GOOD TRIP: ADVENTURES IN PSYCHEDELICS
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM (1996)
I CARE A LOT
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
NEW FLICKS: ANTLERS
NEW FLICKS: BULLET TRAIN
NEW FLICKS: CAUSEWAY
NEW FLICKS: CRUELLA
NEW FLICKS: DAY SHIFT
NEW FLICKS: FINCH
NEW FLICKS: FRESH
NEW FLICKS: GEORGE CARLIN’S AMERICAN DREAM (2022)
NEW FLICKS: HALLOWEEN ENDS
NEW FLICKS: HUSTLE
NEW FLICKS: I WANT YOU BACK
NEW FLICKS: KATE
NEW FLICKS: MONTANA STORY
NEW FLICKS: MURDER AT YELLOWSTONE CITY
NEW FLICKS: PREY
NEW FLICKS: RED NOTICE
NEW FLICKS: SIGNIFICANT OTHER
NEW FLICKS: THE GOOD NURSE
NEW FLICKS: THE GRAY MAN
NEW FLICKS: THE NORTHMAN
NEW FLICKS: THE OUTFIT
NEW FLICKS: THIRTEEN LIVES
NEW FLICKS: WATERMAN (2021)
NINE PERFECT STRANGERS (2021)
PIG
THE ADAM PROJECT
THE BATMAN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM (2019)
THE MAP OF TINY PERFECT THINGS
THE MENU
THE PAPER TIGERS
THE SUNLIT NIGHT
THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT
THE WOMAN KING
THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF LONGING
TILL
TRIANGLE OF SADNESS
TV REVIEW: BATES MOTEL
TV REVIEW: DEFENDING JACOB
TV REVIEW: HOMECOMING
TV REVIEW: HOW TO WITH JOHN WILSON
TV REVIEW: LENOX HILL
TV REVIEW: LITTLE AMERICA
TV REVIEW: MRS. AMERICA
TV REVIEW: ONE MISSISSIPPI
TV REVIEW: PAINTING WITH JOHN (2021)
TV REVIEW: RAMY
TV REVIEW: RUN
TV REVIEW: SPACE FORCE
TV REVIEW: TED LASSO (2020-present)
TV REVIEW: THE BOYS
TV REVIEW: THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD
TV REVIEW: THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT
TV REVIEW: THE LAST KINGDOM
TV REVIEW: THE MIDNIGHT GOSPEL
TV REVIEW: THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
TV REVIEW: UNDONE
TV REVIEW: WARRIOR
TV REVIEW: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
TV REVIEW: ZEROZEROZERO
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS (2005)
UNDERRATED: CLEAN (2021)

‘Three Thousand Years of Longing’ is a surreal spectacle

THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF LONGING

PHOTO BY , COURTESY OF KENNEDY MILLER PRODUCTIONS, AND METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER

THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF LONGING


Where is it playing?: Regal Edwards RPX Santa Maria, Regal Edwards Arroyo Grande, Fair Oaks Theatre

What's it rated?: R

What's it worth?: $Matinee (Caleb Wiseblood)

What's it worth?: $Matinee (Bulbul Rajagopal)

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

Editor’s note: Arts Editor Caleb Wiseblood and New Times Staff Writer Bulbul Rajagopal wrote Sun Screen this week while Glen and Anna Starkey were out of town.

Director George Miller (Mad Max, The Witches of Eastwick, Happy Feet) helms this film adaptation of A.S. Byatt’s short story collection The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye about Alithea (Tilda Swinton), a lonely scholar who on an Istanbul visit releases a Djinn (Idris Elba) who agrees to grant her three wishes in exchange for his freedom. (108 min.)

Caleb: Dancing penguins and dystopian drag racers are among the cinematic subjects George Miller has brought to life over the years. He’s no stranger to shifting between R-rated thrillers and G-rated family fare, like Babe: Pig in the City. His latest film, Three Thousand Years of Longing, could have been titled Genie in the City. There’s nothing family-friendly about it, and it definitely earns its R-rating, but its baseline premise—a modern-day love story between a genie and a human—sounds more like Splash than Mad Max. After being released from a glass bottle that entrapped him centuries ago, an unnamed Djinn (Idris Elba) tries to convince the bottle’s new owner, Alithea Binnie (Tilda Swinton), to make three wishes, which would secure the genie’s freedom. But Binnie is hesitant, as she fears the potential consequences of even the smallest of wishes. As a professional narratologist, she’s well versed in cautionary tales of “be careful what you wish for.” To assure Binnie that he’s not malicious or setting out to trick her, the Djinn retells stories of his past masters over the centuries, each of whom failed in one way or another to make their third and final wish, condemning the genie back to his bottle over and over again. These visually majestic flashback segments are the film’s strongest scenes. As much as I love both Elba and Swinton, I was far more intrigued with glimpses into the Djinn’s past than the duo’s uneasy romance.

Bulbul: Three Thousand Years flexes Miller’s zany storytelling prowess. The Djinn’s past is expanded on over three mini stories. The accounts are linked by a thread that weaves the audience, Binnie, and the Djinn through the passage of time—the first starting from as early as the days of the Queen of Sheba. Those accounts are a lesson in narratives that enthrall the narratologist herself. I caught myself absolutely thrown into the striking imagery and writing, and it’s no wonder too because Miller and his co-writer Augusta Gore adapted the film from The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye, a short story collection written by English novelist A.S. Byatt that’s heavily inspired by One Thousand and One Nights. The screenplay and imagery draw from Orientalism but we’re rudely snapped back to reality when the plot switches back to present-day Turkey with Binnie. I found her character’s implausibly quick romance with the Djinn shoehorned, and I don’t think Elba and Swinton have onscreen romantic chemistry. The film could have taken its time to explore an otherwise intriguing idea: What more can a supposedly content person wish for?

Caleb: I definitely want to rewatch this someday for the visuals alone. There’s so much going on in almost every frame of the film, so I’m sure there are a lot of hidden gems I missed. There were more than a few moments of surreal terror that made me wish this film took more of a horror/fairy tale route. Even before Binnie meets the Djinn, there are hints that she is somehow in tune with an undefined spiritual realm. There’s a really eerie scene where she’s leading a lecture on storytelling and she becomes distracted by a ghostly apparition. The Djinn has a similar moment with a contorting, demonic presence later in the film. I wanted more moments like that, but the film’s overall atmosphere (perfectly paired with a haunting, ethereal score by Tom Holkenborg) felt wonderfully otherworldly enough to keep my spooky cravings at bay for the most part.

Bulbul: The film left me with a lot of unanswered questions, so after the high of the past world narrations wore off, I was dissatisfied with the final third. Maybe, Miller isn’t giving us a highly packaged conclusion. Most of my questions center on Binnie and the Djinn’s relationship, but my main question is why was she even the chosen one? The movie opens with a stunning shot that marks Binnie apart from a crowd thanks to her flaming red hair and bright pink coat amid a sea of dreary gray and brown coats. But what makes her special? Also, there is a very random shot of her in the train with a face mask on. So, this universe probably acknowledges that COVID-19 is real? Am I thinking too hard? Probably. Will I be rewatching? Definitely, once it streams somewhere.

Arts Editor Caleb Wiseblood and New Times Staff Writer Bulbul Rajagopal and wrote Sun Screen this week. Send comments to gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.










Weekly Poll
What do you think about a farmworker resource center in Santa Barbara County?

It's a great way to create a network of collaboration and reach people in need.
It's been needed in the county for a long time and should have been made earlier.
We don't have the funding now, but we should come up with ideas in the meantime.
We don't need it. There are plenty of resources readily available.

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