A new movie by Shane Carruth? Didn’t he retire? Well, sorta. The Upstream Color and Primer director is only listed as a producer on The Wanting Mare, but his surreal sensibilities are definitely being employed in the digital world created by filmmaker Nicholas Ashe Bateman.
I’m not even going to try and explain what The Wanting Mare is about. Bateman shot it, basically out of a storage unit, over the course of five years and almost entirely in digital to create the wild fantasy world seen in the newly-released trailer. But the result is something that looks completely real, and not like a digital cartoon or comic book as we’ve seen in some other films.
Here’s the synopsis: In the world of Anmaere, north of the city of Whithren, wild horses run through the moorlands and up the coast. These horses are the city’s most valuable export, and as a result are hunted, trapped, sold and shipped across the sea once a year. For those in Whithren, this trade passage creates lucrative and exciting possibilities: the chance to escape their constantly sweltering city to head to the Western continent of Levithen, or just to begin again.
Meanwhile in a small house just north of the city, a young woman dies in childbirth. Her last words are an attempt to tell her daughter of the life she’ll have and her inheritance of a recurring dream that must be kept secret; for it contains the memories of another age long before us, one where magic and myth were alive in the world.
That daughter now left behind is Moira. She grows alone in Whithren, without anyone to explain her dream, her unique difference, or her place in the world. As a result, she resolves to leave Whithren at all costs, and employs the help of Lawrence, a wounded young man engaged in the criminal enterprise of stealing tickets.
This begins a series of events that echo over the enxt thirty-five years of their life, the life of a child found screaming on the rocks, and through the alleys and coasts of Whithren; a city hidden in the fog, wanting in hear, now beginning again.
Carruth is listed as an exec-producer, with a cast that includes Jordan Monaghan, Yasmin Keshtkar, Edmond Cofie, Nicholas Ashe Bateman, Josh Clark, and Christine Kellogg-Darrin.
The Wanting Mare will make its world premiere at this weekend’s virtual Chattanooga Film Festival. I think we’re going to be seeing a lot more of this one.