To Infinity And Beyond

One highly anticipated, but mysterious movie on the way is the Brad Pitt sci-fi thriller Ad Astra.

It’s having a big reveal at the Venice Film Festival and its director, James Gray (The Lost City of Z, We Own The Night) has been speaking to Deadline about his movie. Interesting is his attempt to position the movie between the broad commercial appeal of big sci-fi and the arthouse cred of the festival.

When talking about this subject, conversation turned towards what worries Gray most, the future of cinema.
He’s worried about studios becoming supremely risk averse and not creatively led, both in terms of the movies themselves and the marketing:

“Well, I’m alarmed about what I see. Because for me, the cinema – at least the mainstream commercial cinema – is in an utterly perilous state. It’s very frightening.”

He goes on to talk about the differences between a knowledgable movie-phile with access to new material, Vs. somebody who may only have access to the mainstream:

“If I’m living in Tucson, Arizona, there’s no chance I can see a movie directed by Elia Suleiman. I mean, maybe I can go five years after it comes out to some museum, you know, in Phoenix, or something, but that’s not really an option…So, you read, sometimes, very eloquent people saying, with great authority, that cinema’s not dead, that it’s as alive as ever, because you have all these new voices, and all of that is true. That’s not to deny though, the fact that most people can’t get that.”

He’s also worried about how the current generation of directors, including himself, are looking at it as a business rather than a creative enterprise and in the process:

“…lose what I’m talking about, what Spielberg had…”

He has a lot to say on this in direct relation to his new movie:

“That thing you’re talking about, where it’s just a business decision, versus a movie that’s successful, but that also endeavors to be a work of art, that’s really what we’re talking about. There’s a big difference. I think the audience needs something where there’s an attempt. Whether [‘Ad Astra’] is successful or not is for you to decide, artistically, I mean. But, certainly, something that delivers thrills in an interesting way, and we were certainly making it our business to do that. You know, zero-gravity fights, and climbing up rockets, and flying through the rings of a planet. All that’s there, and that’s great. But it’s just not immediate IP, you know? And that’s a huge risk now. That’s unfortunate.”

Festival Only Trailer

The comments come as a new festival only trailer for the film is released:

Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Liv Tyler, and Donald Sutherland also star in Ad Astra which is set to arrive in cinemas on the same day as Rambo: Last Blood – September 20th.

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