Now, at some point, we’re going to have to stop referring to Matthew McConaughey’s amazing comeback, and start acknowledging the fact that this guy just does amazing work, right? How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days and Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past are a dim and distant memory. We need never again endure his Failure To Launch. For several years now, McConaughey has been answering casting calls from the likes of Soderbergh, Linklater (again, thankfully), Scorsese and Nolan, and that is a trend that continues with The Sea Of Trees – a collaboration with the legendary and Academy Award nominated director, Gus Van Sant. As the picture above suggests – it seems to be something haunting and beautiful.
Written by Chris Sparling – who wrote the brilliant and devastating Buried – The Sea Of Trees centres on Arthur (McConaughey), who treks into the dense forest at the base of Mount Fuji, known as the ‘suicide forest,’ on what could be characterised as a vision quest. Having lost his way in life, he purposefully loses himself in the landscape while looking for the existential motivation to choose either life or death. On his journey, he meets a Japanese man (Ken Watanabe), and the two men must bond and work together to survive. Naomi Watts also stars as Joan, Arthur’s wife.
McConaughey is currently filming The Sea Of Trees in Massachusetts, before the whole production heads off to Japan. He spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the project, however, and made several comments that hint at this being another brilliantly executed piece of artistry:
“I say another title for this film is ‘You’ve got to go through annihilation to get to salvation.’ It’s one hell of a survival story…Gus is a wonderful voyeur and a really gentle soul of a man. He’s got the right sensibility for a film like this. He listens and considers any ideas that I throw at him and I undeniably trust the direction he gives me. He’s a lot of fun to create with.
“Everyone is going to leave the theatre and have their own walk and talk through the parking lot to muse about its meanings, what it was about and what it wasn’t, what was real and what was a dream.”
The combination of writer Chris Sparling and director Gus Van Sant is exciting in its own right. They have previously both created intensely focused, tight, philosophical drama with minimal characters – Sparling with Buried, and Van Sant with Gerry. For them to bring that experience to bear on one project performed by McConaughey and Watanabe – who are both at the top of their game – means that we are undoubtedly looking at a film that will, at the very least, feature on the 2015 festival circuit, if not the following awards season. So, pay close attention – you will want to wade deep into The Sea Of Trees when it eventually flows into a theatre near you.
Source: The Playlist