The pitch that Idris Elba Made over three Thousand Years of Longing that Helped improve His storytelling with Tilda Swinton


Get ready for a story about the fulfillment of a wish with a happy ending!

Telling a story is harder than it sounds, especially if you want to achieve a certain effect. The release of the new film “Three Thousand Years of Longing” is a concrete case when all the bells and whistles were involved so that the plot sessions of Idris Elba with Tilda Swinton obeyed the will of George Miller’s visual feast. And yet, Elba himself made a pitch that was so simple and so old-school that it reinforced the main part of the picture in which our main couple got into the magic of the narrative.

During the “Three Thousand Years of Longing” press day, I was given the opportunity to talk with Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba in connection with the film, which can now be rented on PVOD. Noting the electrifying chemistry between the actors in the latest vision of a man who is currently hard at work creating his surprisingly long-awaited Mad Max prequel, Furiosa, I was curious whether the bulk of the anthology was shot in long takes or the hotel room portion’s dialogues were limited to what was needed at the moment.

The answer to this question made George Miller’s cinematic proposal even more impressive. Tilda Swinton confirmed that the film “Three Thousand Years of Longing” really used long shots in which Idris Elba told her stories about the exploits of his genie, which in itself is impressive. However, as she told CinemaBlend, Elba told Miller a key idea that further improved these scenes:

”In fact, it was Idris who came up with the brilliant idea at the very beginning of a conversation with George about filming 3,000 years of history even before we got to the hotel room. So when the genie tells Alithea all these stories, Idris reports that he shot before Christmas.”

As a film, “Three Thousand Years of Longing” revolves around a central anthology of how the 3,000 years preceding the genie taught him everything there is to know about desire. Sharing this wisdom with Dr. Alithea Binnie (Tilda Swinton), a scientist specializing in storytelling and myths, he tells three different stories during their stay in an Istanbul hotel room.

Despite the fact that the film is a wonderful feast of spectacles, the whole concept revolves around a conversation between two people in dressing gowns. After watching the trailer for “Three Thousand Years of Longing”, you can understand that viewers can expect something more dynamic and fantastic. Instead, there is a balance between extensive instructive stories and more intimate moments between Elba and Swinton.

It absolutely works thanks to the stories that Idris Elba tells so skillfully. Knowing that the “Suicide Squad” actor proposed this shooting strategy shows how well he coped with the role of the genie, as well as how much George Miller trusts his actors. This trust worked in a special way for both Elba and Tilda Swinton, which they explained in our interview:

”Tilda Swinton: It was really brilliant work, but yes, we shot as if we were working on a play. We shot long takes, and it was useful because we had a rhythm and we were able to establish it.”

Idris Elba: It was conceived as a narrative with fragments of a room; but we filmed the whole room. The narration is actually my performance in the room, even though you don’t see it. It was important to us, and it just brings a certain continuity of emotion to the whole movie. Which I think would be different if you switched to storytelling.

The genie could be one of the best roles in Idris Elba’s career, and Tilda Swinton’s performance is also highly appreciated among her works. This is all thanks to a collaborative environment in which some simple suggestions were transformed into strategies that maximized the star power that anchored the “Three Thousand Years of Longing” here and now. Sometimes a more traditional approach really makes a really “out there” romance and fantasy story even more fantastic.

As mentioned earlier, “Three Thousand Years of Longing” is currently available to rent a PVOD, although you can still watch it at a nearby movie theater. Meanwhile, you can also pre-order Three Thousand Years of Longing before its release on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD on November 15th.

Or, if you’re an eccentric millionaire who agrees with Tilda Swinton’s movie theater plan, you could probably manage the movie yourself for as long as you want. There are many options here, and none of them require access to the genie.


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