Adapted from the crime novel by legendary author Jim Thompson, Pop. 1280, currently in pre-production, is set to be written and directed by highly acclaimed filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos.
Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos made his name known with his 2009 film Dogtooth. Despite having previously directed two feature length films, it was Dogtooth, his third, that brought him attention with its claiming of the Prix Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival, as well as winning the title of best foreign language film at the Academy Awards. A strange, surrealistic film, Dogtooth centres around a family sheltered from the outside world by their father, resulting in distorted and unusual perspectives on life from the children. These themes of disillusionment and confusion, coupled with strange choreography and a deep, mainly wide-angle cinematography, have continued with Lanthimos’ later films.
Lanthimos’ fifth film, The Lobster, established him as an international voice. Released in 2015 and starring a host of renowned actors including Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Olivia Coleman, Michael Smiley and John C. Reilly, the dystopian black comedy won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival as well as receiving various Academy Film nominations, and was largely hailed by critics. The film is based around a concept you might find in a novel from George Orwell or Samuel Beckett. Single people are required to attend a retreat where they have 45 days to find a partner, or else they are turned into an animal of their choosing. They also engage in hunts for escaped single people where they can earn extra days, which is where most of the films action takes place in beautiful melodrama.
The Lobster is truly one of the best films of the last decade, and was followed by another brilliant work in 2017 with The Killing Of A Sacred Deer. Again starring Colin Farrell alongside Australian superstar Nicole Kidman and Irish star Barry Keoghan, the film is based on an ancient Greek tragedy by Euripides. Keoghan holds a mystical power over Farrell’s family in the film, causing them to fall mysteriously ill and resulting in an extremely tense and horrific culmination. With Killing Of A Sacred Deer Lanthimos again showcased his ability to create high drama, high stakes films set in surreal worlds that enthral and engage audiences deeply.
Lanthimos’ most recent film, The Favourite, was released in 2018 to critical and commercial success. The film, starring Olivia Coleman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone, took the Grand Jury Prize at the 75th Venice International Film Festival and was ranked among the top ten films of 2018 by the American Film Institute. Set in early 18th century Britain in the manor of Queen Anne, the film features Lanthimos’ classic dreamy and melodramatic atmosphere but with a more darkly comedic strain.
With such a long list of accolades and enduringly successful films, the world is eager to see another film from Yorgos Lanthimos. We have been teased with nuggets of information, the most significant coming in February of 2019 when it was revealed Lanthimos’ would write and direct and adaptation of the novel by Jim Thompson, Pop.1280. The film will apparently be produced by Imperative Entertainment, Element Pictures, Lanthimos, and Discovery Productions, and like so many of Thompson’s crime novels will be based on a corrupt small-town sheriff. It will be interesting to see how Lanthimos’, associated with European settings and influence, will tackle an American environment, and what sort of strange, wonderful, surrealistic world he’ll create.
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