As divulged by a press release today, the project is a real production called 100 Years that was filmed only to be sealed up in a time-locked safe — presumably with a little note on the front that says “Do not open until Xmas 2115.” Well, November 18, technically: the device has a specially automated lock that is designed to open 100 years from its close date, which was yesterday.
So why create a film that (presumably) no one alive today will ever see? Contrary to fans of Malkovich’s eccentric career, this isn’t some artsy move cooked up by the actor in the vein of John Cage or Andy Warhol. No, the gag here has a much simpler motivation at its roots: it’s a publicity stunt.
The project was commissioned by Louis XIII Cognac, a high-end specialty cocktail the company calls “one of the most luxurious spirits in the world” that is aged (as you might have guessed) for 100 years. The company claims that 1,000 guests from across the globe will get an exclusive invitation for their descendants to check out the premiere of the movie in 2115. And you thought the Star Wars: The Force Awakens chatter was a long build-up!
“Louis XIII is a true testament to the mastery of time, and we sought to create a proactive piece of art that explores the dynamic relationship of the past, the present, and the future,” said Ludovic du Plessis, Global Executive Director for Louis XIII Cognac. “Four generations of Louis XIII cellar masters put a lifetime of passion into a bottle of Louis XIII, yet they will never taste the resulting masterpiece. We are thrilled that this talented actor and creative filmmaker were inspired to join us on this artistic endeavor.”
While there’s plenty of marketing at play here, Malkovich is a pretty spot-on choice to helm such a strange project. After all, the actor once played himself in an alternate universe in which a love triangle of weirdos invade his consciousness and control him like a puppet; the point being, he’s up for some experimentation.
“When I was first approached I really loved the idea,” Malkovich said. “I mean, in a way I wish all the films I made wouldn’t have been seen for a hundred years. I don’t know how much that would change the way they are regarded.”
Rodriguez, a groundbreaking filmmaker in his own right who shoots, edits, and even writes the soundtrack for major blockbuster films largely out of his home, is another inspired choice for the project.
Of course, there are plenty of unanswered questions about 100 Years, the primary one being: If the human race still exists in 100 years, just how the hell will they watch a film with whatever crazy, Matrix-style technology exists by that point? Another that comes to mind in the current climate: Who will have time to watch movies when they’re barreling at top speed across a Mad Max-style desert hellscape?
Still, it’s a pretty intriguing idea, and we have to tip our hats to Louis XIII for bringing up such existential questions in the first place.
While none of us will ever see 100 Years, we can get a glimpse of what it will look like in three official teasers the company released yesterday. Each of the three clips presents a different view of what the future will be: one imagines the world has been “overtaken by nature,” another portrays a future where aliens have landed and brought us even deeper into technology, and yet another imagines that “humanoid robots” have taken control of the earth.
You can check out all three trailers above and see Malkovich doing his thing in the imagined future. And one day, just maybe, your children’s children will gaze upon this 100-year-old cognac-commissioned opus and say, “Why is the resolution so crappy?!”
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