The possibilities of cinema are endlessly expansive.
For every serious, Oscar-worthy film, there are equally well-made films that are full of quirk and wonder and a glimpse of the human condition told through wholly different and welcomingly offbeat eyes.
These three films, all coming to a cinema or streaming service near you this year, are exemplars of cinema’s ability to tell a great story in a left-of-centre way, one full of imagination and difference that offers a chance to see the world, real or imagined, in a wholly other kind of way.
Watch the trailers and think about where these films, and other gems like them, can take you this year.
THE GREEN KNIGHT
A fantasy adventure based on the Arthurian legend, The Green Knight tells the story of Sir Gawain (Dev Patel), King Arthur’s reckless and headstrong nephew, who embarks on a quest to confront the eponymous Green Knight, a gigantic green-skinned stranger. The Green Knight is both written & directed by acclaimed American filmmaker / writer David Lowery, director of the films Deadroom, St. Nick, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Pete’s Dragon, A Ghost Story, and The Old Man & The Gun previously. (synopsis via First Showing)
The Green Knight opens in USA and UK on 29 May; no Australian release date available at this time.
THE IRON MASK
The English traveler Jonathan Green receives from Peter the Great an order to map the Russian Far East. Once again he sets out for a long journey full of incredible adventures that eventually lead him to the land of China. The cartographer will unexpectedly face a deal of breathtaking discoveries, encounter bizarre creatures, meet with Chinese princesses, and confront deadly martial arts masters and even the king of all dragons – the Dragon King. What could be more dangerous than meeting eye to eye with Viy, except doing it again? What would be stronger this time – a staunch skepticism of the scientist or the old black magic that has seized power of Eastern lands? Viy 2: Journey to China, aka The Iron Mask or The Dragon Seal or The Mystery of Iron Mask, is directed by Russian filmmaker Oleg Stepchenko, of the first Viy film (aka Forbidden Empire), Law of Corruption, and Jacked$ previously. (synopsis via First Showing)
The Iron Mask opens in UK on 10 April; no release date for Australia, where it will be known as Viy 2, is known at this time.
THE FRENCH DISPATCH
A love letter to journalists set at an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional 20th-century French city, centering on three storylines. It brings to life a collection of tales published in the eponymous The French Dispatch. Inspired by Anderson’s love of The New Yorker, and some characters and events in the film are based on real-life happenings with the magazine. The French Dispatch is both written and directed by beloved American filmmaker Wes Anderson, director of the films Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Moonrise Kingdom, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Isle of Dogs previously. (synopsis via First Showing)
The French Dispatch opens in USA on 24 July, Australia on 13 August and UK on 28 August.