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Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2017: #30. Lech Majewski’s Valley of the Gods

Valley of the Gods

Director: Lech Majewski
Writer: Lech Majewski

Polish writer/director Lech Majewski, who received story credit on Julian Schnabel’s 1996 Basquiat, has garnered acclaim for his own directorial efforts, such as 2004’s The Garden of Earthly Delights, and more recently, the international co-production The Mill and the Cross (2011), a beautiful production aiming to flesh out the lives of a dozen characters of figures depicted in Bruegel’s famed painting, which starred Rutger Hauer and Charlotte Rampling. Majewski reteams with Rampling for his latest, Valley of the Gods, an ambitious sci-fi fantasy which uses Navajo folklore to enhance this story of a reclusive trillionaire (Josh Hartnett) who has the ability to alter reality as he’s shadowed by a biographer.

Cast: Josh Hartnett, Charlotte Rampling, John Rhys Davies, John Malkovich, Berenice Marlohe, Keir Dullea

Production Co./Producer(s): Royal Road Entertainment, Angelus Silesius, CG Home Video

U.S. Distributor: Rights available.

Release Date: Filming took place in Poland last May, and plans had originally hoped for the title to be ready for theatrical release by late 2016. However, based on the amount of CGI special effects needed for the five million dollar plus budget, we’re assuming this will snag a decent festival entry somewhere. While The Mill on the Cross received a premiere at Sundance, his 2014 Field of Dogs received a more demure festival circuit run. With Hartnett and Rampling, we’d expect Valley of Gods to either premiere somewhere in Berlin, or perhaps in an international program in a Spring festival in the US, maybe SXSW.

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Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is IONCINEMA.com's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), FIPRESCI, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2023: The Beast (Bonello) Poor Things (Lanthimos), Master Gardener (Schrader). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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