Ev Says: Spring has sprung and so has the film industry

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By Evelyn Heis, Film & Television Co-Deputy Editor

According to T.S. Eliot, April was the cruellest month; for Geoffrey Chaucer, however, April was a time filled with sweet showers that pierced the drought of March. Today, some view April as a time that celebrates new beginnings, life, and brings about change, whether they are religious, or not.

Life is getting busier, deadlines are approaching, the bustle of the city is returning as the days are getting longer, warmer, and far more pleasant. These vibrant changes in our lives are, no doubt, being reflected in the media we are consuming, with this April and overall year welcoming many upcoming film projects with open arms and high-spirited anticipation.

Nicolas Cage & Tiffany Haddish in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

Following the great success of Matt Reeves’ The Batman (2022), released just last month, it’s safe to say that the standards for the rest of the year have been set pretty high. That being said, April has some pretty good projects following in its footsteps: the highly anticipated third instalment of the Harry Potter prequel series, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (April 15th), Marvel’s horror-based villain’s origin, Morbius (April 1st), or, for Nicolas Cage fans, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (April 22nd), where Nicholas Cage plays a fictional version of himself in a crime-comedy setting.

Though I’m not a huge fan of historical epics, The Northman, starring Alexander and Bill Skarsgård, Anya Taylor-Joy, Willem Dafoe, and more big names, including Björk, has certainly caught my eye. Released on the 15th of April, The Northman tells a tale of Icelandic Vikings, frenzy, and revenge, interestingly said to have been inspired by the same legend Shakespeare’s Hamlet was based on.

Anya Taylor-Joy & Alexander Skarsgård in The Northman

This month is also welcoming Rosalind Ross’ feature directorial debut, Father Stu, a drama-biopic detailing the life of the boxer Stuart Long who turned to priesthood (15th April). Written and directed by Ross, the film was produced with the help of Mark Wahlberg, who plays Stu, and stars Mel Gibson, American Horror Story’s (2011-) Cody Fern and Jacqui Weaver.

If action and fiction films aren’t your thing, you’ll be pleased to know that Academy Award-winning Andrea Arnold has brought a fascinating documentary to the big screen. Director of BBC’s Fish Tank (2009), American Honey (2016), and the second season of HBO’s Big Little Lies (2017-), Arnold’s first-ever documentary, Cow (2021), chronicles the day-to-day life of a cow called Luma, in attempts to move humans closer to animals.

Arnold's Cow (2021)

As bizarre as that sounds, this short documentary premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, was selected in the ‘Icon’ section of the BIFF, and was shot over the course of four years; Arnold’s dedication to this farm animal, and film, which came out on the 8th, is extremely moving and makes for an intriguing watch.

As Easter and the Spring period bring about a series of changes, it’s interesting to observe the parallels between these seasonal changes and the industry itself. 2022 is a year that is significantly marked by its distinct presence; in contrast to other years and following a two-year pandemic that delayed many film projects and influenced a series of social changes, 2022 is a year to celebrate the vibrancy and life that awoke in many during lockdown.

No doubt, this dynamic air and inspiration will lead to great projects in the next few years, but for now, let’s take the time to slow down and appreciate life returning back to normal this April.

Featured Image: Evelyn Heis/Epigram


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AUTHOR

Evelyn Heis

Columnist for the Film&Tv section of the Epigram.