Board index General Celluløid Output

The Third Day

Film/Celeb/TV/DVD news, reviews & discussion.

The Third Day

Postby TC on 23/09/20, 08:29:46

The Third Day is an HBO show, with jude law. at least, that's what i thought until this morning...

last night, i watched the first two episodes of this new show i saw a brief thing about and decided i'd check out. waited until there were two of them to watch back to back. i literally knew nothing about it other than it looked creepy and had jude law. boy was i right on both counts. it's really great, very "wicker man"-esque, which is something i didn't know was going to happen. it's wicker man but crossed with... i don't even know. no good comparisons come to mind. as i don't know yet where it's going, maybe midsommar, if it gets super dark. but it's wicker man on steroids.

so this morning i start some searching, wanting to see how many episodes it is, etc. i find out it's not really a show, it's a six-part miniseries. well, actually seven-part. but in the US we don't get to watch the middle part (legally). let me explain.

RadioTimes wrote:How will The Third Day’s live episode work? Sky drama’s ambitious concept explained
Everything you need to know about the one-off immersive live episode, which will offer a window into the world of Osea Island.

The Third Day is no ordinary TV show. Starring Jude Law and Naomie Harris, this Sky drama is structured in a very unusual way – with a special “live theatrical event” set to air at the halfway point of the series.

The first three episodes of The Third Day are titled “Summer”, and are led by Jude Law (Sam). The final three episodes are titled “Winter”, and are led by Naomie Harris (Helen).

In episode one, Sam makes an unplanned visit to Osea Island, a small and isolated island connected only to the mainland by a tidal causeway. There, he witnesses the strange customs of the local residents which include rituals that bring his past traumas back to the surface.

The story picks up again in winter, this time following Helen’s journey – as Helen arrives on the island seeking answers.

And in-between those chapters of the story, the show’s creators are planning to broadcast a live episode – “Autumn” – in which we’ll watch The Third Day’s characters and follow the events of a single day in real time.

The Third Day will air weekly from Tuesday 15th September, with “Summer” airing on 15th, 22nd and 29th September and “Winter” kicking in on 6th, 13th and 20th October.

Separately from this schedule, the live episode will air across Sunday 3rd October on Sky and online.

As Sky puts it, “Capturing events live and in one continuous take, this cinematic broadcast will invite viewers deeper into the mysterious and suspenseful world of The Third Day, and will blur and distort the lines between what’s real and what’s not.”

The live episode is created by theatrical innovators Punchdrunk, and will be directed by Punchdrunk boss (and The Third Day co-creator) Felix Barrett. In Punchdrunk shows, “audiences roam freely across epic and sensory theatrical worlds” – and now they’ll be trying to translate that theatre concept into something that works for TV.

But, like so many things, this ambitious project has been complicated by coronavirus.

Emily Watson, who plays Mrs Martin, explained: “It’s been very uncertain as to how it’s going to proceed obviously. It was originally envisaged as a music festival, and then there were going to be tickets and people would be able to come to a music event.

“Clearly that can’t happen now, so they’ve rewritten it as a sort of festival, with the islanders staging a kind of passion play.”

Naomie Harris added: “It’s a shame that due to circumstances it’s going to be radically different to what Felix envisioned. But I’m sure he will come up with something extraordinary because he has an amazing mind.”

The live episode will feature actors including Jude Law, Katherine Waterston, Paddy Considine and Emily Watson – whose characters we will have met in the first three episodes.

However, it will not include Naomie Harris, whose character Helen is only introduced at the beginning of the next episode.

Waterston, who stars as American visitor Jess, told RadioTimes.com and other press: “We did get to work with the Punchdrunk performers a great deal in the in the episodes, so we know them, we’ve rehearsed with them, we’ve improvised with them all within the show, within Summer and Winter. And so it will feel like a reunion to get back to working with them.

“If anyone’s ever been to one of their shows, I think the actors from the from the series are going to get to kind of have this sort of heightened version of what it’s like to be an audience member in one of their immersive shows.”

Will the live episode fit into the story? Yes and no.

We’re told you won’t need to watch the live episode in order to continue with the drama, because the actual plot is contained within the pre-recorded episodes (Summer and Winter); Autumn is all about the characters and the atmosphere.

Emily Watson explained: “You don’t need the live episode to make sense of the story. The second story happens after this event has happened, but you don’t have to have seen it to make sense of the second part. It’s just like a window into their world.”

the phrase "live on sky and online" made me insane. can you be more specific? "and online" is a pretty broad statement. after much searching to verify, turns out Sky Network has an online website where customers can view their programming, similar to a DirecTV Now, YouTubeTV or whatever other streaming service. further, Now TV will air it as well (some sites say "immediately following the live broadcast", so it's not clear). the theater company responsible for it, Punchdrunk, is a new york company. HBO is an american company. however, this live episode is only viewable legally if you are in the UK. fucking infuriating. not that i was planning on sitting in front of a screen for 12 continuous hours, but i would love to watch it eventually, piece it together. it sounds incredibly interesting and i want to see it done, from a technical perspective. however, no luck. i'm sure someone will record it and put it online somewhere, hopefully very soon after it airs. another show forcing fans to be criminals. it's ridiculous. HBO could at least make it available after it airs, but everything i found said they are not.

here's an interview with the creators. sounds like they themselves are pretty nervous with how this will go.
Collider wrote:‘The Third Day’ Creators on Landing Jude Law and Filming a Live Episode During a Pandemic

Created by Felix Barrett and Dennis Kelly, the six-episode limited HBO series The Third Day is a psychological thriller set on the mysterious British island of Osea and is told in two parts. In “Summer” (Episodes 1-3), directed by Marc Munden, Sam (Jude Law) finds himself on the island and isolated from the mainland while being surrounded by a group of inhabitants that will go to any lengths to preserve their traditions. And then, in “Winter” (Episodes 4-6), directed by Philippa Lowthorpe, single mother Helen (Naomie Harris) comes to the island with her daughters — in search of answers but faces more questions.

During the virtual press junket for The Third Day, Collider got the opportunity to chat with executive producers Barrett and Kelly about this unique project, the key to unpacking what it would be, what would have happened if they hadn’t found Osea Island as a shooting location, getting Jude Law on board, shooting a live episode in between the two parts of the TV series, and continuing to search for innovative new storytelling techniques.

Collider: How did this unique project come about?

FELIX BARRETT: We were approached by a broadcaster who said, “Can we come and do a backstage film of your show?” And I was like, “Well that would destroy the whole magic of what we do, and also, it would be a bit boring programming.” But it got us thinking, “Is there some way that you could televise theater and that danger of the live? Is there a middle ground?” So, I went back to them with that idea, in terms of this world in which artists cross-fertilize, and wondered if we could do something that passes the story baton from TV to live to back again, making it greater than the sum of its parts. They said, “Great but you’re gonna need an absolutely brilliant writer who can do both screen and stage.” Immediately, it was all to the genius Dennis Kelly, and then it came quite quickly. For the past however many years, we’ve been trying to unpack this.

What was the key to unpacking it then?

DENNIS KELLY: There were a few things, actually. When Felix and Punchdrunk approached me, at that time, we didn’t really know what it was. They had some really interesting research resources about folklore and that all felt really useful. He had already talked to Jude Law, so we knew there was an actor. What I had to do was come along and create the character, and create other characters for that character to interact, and create a place for that to happen, and create a mythology for that to exist and to give it a reason. Ultimately, things need a reason. Initially, we didn’t know where we were gonna set it. We were talking about setting it in a little town but there’s no town in England that feels as cut off as we needed. And then, Felix found Osea Island. He said, “Come over, you need to see this island.” When I went there, it was just really clear that it was a perfect place because there’s something strange about the island. You cross that causeway and even though you’re in Essex, you don’t feel like you are. You feel like you’re in another separate world. That was the biggest single event that made us realize what this would be.

BARRETT: This was gonna be a different project but that other project completely evaporated. I thought, “I have to get Dennis here,” because it was ripe with atmosphere. It’s an amazingly strange place that’s equal parts beautiful and haunted. There’s a strange absence. So much of the world and narrative came from Osea. Osea is a real character in it.

What would have happened, if you hadn’t come across that?

KELLY: I don’t know. We were talking about setting it in a town and finding as remote a town as we could find but I don’t think it would have been what it is. The island gives allows for the idea of a community that has grown in isolation, which is what’s happened. It’s not like they never go to the mainland. They’re connected to the mainland and they move amongst the mainland but they get to grow and evolve themselves. I think that would be hard to make happen, if we had created a town or a village.

BARRETT: There’s a claustrophobia on Osea. As soon as the causeway floods, you really do feel trapped, even though you can see the mainland. The fact it’s visible and tantalizingly close means you feel even more cut off. If we had set it in Berwick-upon-Tweed, up in Northumberland, Sam would have just gotten the first train out of there and the story would have ended, after about 15 minutes.

How did you get an actor like Jude Law to sign on without a character and without a script? How did you sell him on this before there was something to sell this project with?

BARRETT: What’s brilliant about Jude is that he’s really ambitious and he’s hungry to try to do things that haven’t been done before, which is a real driver for me too. We talk about breaking new ground. If the audience is too relaxed and too familiar and knows what’s gonna happen, then they become passive and they switch off their synapses and aren’t firing. But if we’re creating something that’s both television and live, and the audience is trying to work out how to navigate this and hold the storyline throughout, they’re actually having to lean in and really become part of it. He loved the idea of that. He also loved the idea, as an actor, that screen acting and theatrical acting are very different techniques. He’s so brilliant at both that it’s quite unusual to be able to use both of those sides of your craft with the same character, so that was a huge attraction. Even though he said, “Let me know when you’ve got something,” it took about five years.

KELLY: In fairness, there were conversations going on with Jude but it wasn’t until we actually had some scripts that we were fairly confident we were gonna shoot, that we officially approached him. We even got Marc [Munden] to agree to direct the first block. We were in a much more solid state, by the time we actually spoke to him seriously.

Did having Jude Law on board make it easier to put the rest of this great cast together?

KELLY: It is a great cast. It can help a little bit to have an actor where, if you like and respect him, you might be more likely to do it yourself. But also, a lot of the time for actors, it’s about directors. The Third Day is in three parts – “Summer,” “Autumn” and “Winter.” You can watch the TV series without watching the live and the story will still work but if you watch it all together, you’ll get a much bigger experience. We designed it in that way. So, we knew early on that the live would be its own thing, and if we wanted “Summer” and “Winter” to also be their own thing, we would need to talk to some really good filmmakers about making it. We got Marc Munden and Philippa Lowthorpe, and we were really lucky that they both were very engaged and interested in doing it. That meant that they would both bring their own filmmaking to it, so both blocks feel very different. And then, Naomie [Harris] liked the scripts and was very interested in working with Philippa. So, for actors, it’s often a lot about the directors, a lot about the script, and also who else is doing it. Putting all that together worked.

What are the unique challenges to doing something like the “Autumn” piece that you have to do in between “Summer” and “Winter”?

BARRETT: Originally, it was planned to be a music festival with 10,000 people, pre-COVID. And then, during COVID, we thought we might lose it completely and there would be a hole in the middle of our show, all of these years in the making. So now, we’ve pivoted to rather than 10,000 in the audience to one audience, which is the single continuous take of the camera, charting the action of the day. The challenges are vast because we’re back on the island and it really is limited by the causeway and want it to be live theater. It’s a very different format to the TV. It’s got a different rhythm. Marc Munden says it’s more of a slow cinema. It means that it’s almost opposite to the fast pacing of conventional television. It’s replaced by this slow-creeping dread of real time, watching the community get ready, prepare, and stage their own local festival. So, the main challenge, over 12 hours in real time, is changing batteries and changing memory cards and, for the cast themselves, staying in character without a backstage or a green room. If they need a bathroom break, that’s all happening within the camera. We’re there in the middle of it. The ultimate method performance is needed. They’ve gotta act like the characters, the whole time.

KELLY: There are also challenges as far as the stories concerned, as well. Initially, we were creating a 10,000 person music festival, so we knew that not everyone who was gonna watch the TV could go to the festival. Not by a long shot. We knew that we had to make something where you could watch the TV series without the live but at the same time, the live needed to feel like it was the same thing. It doesn’t just wanna feel like an add on. It needs to carry a story but if you don’t know that story, you still have to be able to enjoy the main thing. It was really important for me that, when approaching this, we made a TV series that was really high quality, in its own right. Each one of these pieces needs to be very high quality, in its own right. You can’t just go, “Well, we’re doing something innovative. We’re doing this thing with the theater and that’s innovative. That’s my innovation.” You need to be innovative, across the entire thing, and you need to make sure that you’re the level that you’re making this stuff at is quite high level, and that was a challenge. It’s always hard to just keep going to make it as tight and taught as you can.

After having an experience like this, would you be interested in trying something like this again? Are you continuing to look for other new possible innovative approaches to storytelling?

BARRETT: It’s such an amazing time. Over lockdown, events are happening where there are mediums within mediums. We’re in this incredible place for storytelling and it’s about the purity of that. If the bare bones of it are strong and confident, and if it could exist in a simple form, then you can start to unpack it. We’re got such an exciting decade ahead of us. There are so many more experiments to be had. To be honest, we’re gonna learn so much by doing this. What’s interesting is that even though the TV series is made and we’re hugely proud of it, the live isn’t and that’s now coming. That’s already two different rhythms working. We’ll know far more on October the 4th.

KELLY: It’s a strange thing. You put so much energy into getting it done because it’s such an unusual thing to do. With all of that, we’ve got no idea, if it’s ever gonna work. You’ve never really got an idea whether something’s good or bad. You might have something to judge it by but with this, we’ve got so little. We really will know on October the 4th whether it’s the stupidest idea that anyone ever had, and we’ll find out quite brutally. We’ve learned a lot and it would be nice to put that knowledge into practice. I think audiences now are getting ridiculously sophisticated and storytelling is matching that, particularly in TV, as we all know, in a really interesting way. In theater it has been, as well. It keeps going. You need to keep pushing things.

BARRETT: In the future, we’re working with Niantic, the creators of Pokémon Go, who use their software and game play to play games around the world or on the streets that you live in, and we’re looking at how to tell stories with that. We’re looking at how Dennis and I could tell a story through a mobile phone, across the streets of Chicago. I think there are so many different ways that narrative is exploding and it’s all there for the taking. Equally, we need to get past October the 4th first.

KELLY: We may never speak to each other again.

anyway, while my approach of not knowing anything about a show or movie once i'm sure i want to watch it usually works in my favor, this time i wish i'd known it would be broken up into two three-part segments. i would have waited for all three parts. also, hopefully one of you can help find "Autumn" after it airs.
User avatar
TC
Muad'Dib
Muad'Dib
 
Posts: 15015
Joined: 02/01/02, 23:08:48
Location: Sweetknuckle Junction

Re: The Third Day

Postby TC on 30/09/20, 09:13:21

third episode was great. quite a unique show.
User avatar
TC
Muad'Dib
Muad'Dib
 
Posts: 15015
Joined: 02/01/02, 23:08:48
Location: Sweetknuckle Junction

Re: The Third Day

Postby TC on 06/10/20, 10:41:43

looks like HBO posted the full Autumn stream on their FB page. i haven't watched yet, but do plan on checking it out. here you go:
Part 1
Part 2

and here's a recap:
TheGuardian wrote:Jude Law live for 12 hours – The Third Day: Autumn pushed boundaries, but was it good?
Punchdrunk and Dennis Kelly, the creator of Utopia, brought a real-time theatre experience to our TV screens – and proved innovation in the arts lives on

The Third Day is perhaps the strangest show on television. Written by Utopia’s creator, Dennis Kelly, its three initial episodes – aired under the title Summer – have seen a grieving dad, Sam (Jude Law), absconding to the windswept British rural idyll of Osea island, initially under the guise of bringing a suicidal young woman home, before he finds himself trapped in what seems to be a setup from The Wicker Man, hallucinating locust infestations, seeing visions of his departed son and partaking in bloody pagan rituals. On Osea, the sun-dappled landscape is a hell of bereavement.

If that all sounds too confusing to follow, it is because plot is more of a secondary concern to the makers of The Third Day. Instead, the hour-long shows serve as a conduit for “atmosphere”, like throat-tickling dry ice clouding a sticky dancefloor. And, in the interests of whipping up maximum atmosphere, on Saturday – the third day of October – a 12-hour, live, multihyphenate experience served as the middle point of the series, before its final dose of episodes continues the following week.

The Third Day: Autumn is one-take, one-camera, livestreamed immersive theatre. An “event”, not a show, “where the line between what is real and what is not will be increasingly blurred”, apparently. With award-winning theatre producers Punchdrunk at the helm, though, and featuring the cast of Law, Katherine Waterston – and a special appearance from singer Florence Welch – the results could be promising. This may be the maximum atmosphere we need to awaken us from the midst of another lockdown Saturday spent staring at the walls and scrolling through the news feed.

The live stream begins at 9.30am, where I am sitting with a bowl of Weetabix, joining the 1,700 other people on Sky’s Facebook page waiting for it to begin. “Debbie” asks: “What’s this then?” A meandering, meditatively slow, tracking shot across the Osea causeway marks the backdrop for onscreen text explaining that this time of year is the island’s Esus and the Sea festival, where children undergo pagan rites to adulthood, as well as the occasional selection of a new adult leader who must undergo a challenging ordeal to prove themselves. I hope Jude’s had his Weetabix, too.

So far so slow TV – for the first two hours we follow the camera as it trundles through overcast, rain-spattered steady-cam shots along the island, making for a moody screensaver backdrop, while the sound design perfectly sets a disconcerting tone of suspense with its continuous ambient drone and smatterings of dialogue kept barely audible.

What begins as an exercise in patience morphs into truly beautiful television, though – a moving still life that questions our very need for plot and easily digestible entertainment. Characters slowly enter the frame, and we meander with them as they go about setting up the island for the festival, stuffing scarecrows with hay and building fires. A sense of unease slowly grows.

A change of pace once you have sunk into this mood is shocking. That comes when we see Sam dragged from the house we found him retreating to in the last section’s finale, and now looking bearded and worse for wear. The biblical allusions start as we witness the beginning of his day’s gruelling ordeals, first mumbling an oath over a dead fish before wading into the water and partaking in a last supper with 12 other suited and stern men. The shot pauses for a few minutes here, but soon he is bundled again into more jeopardy, being made to dig a hole from the sodden ground.

Strangely, it is in moments such as this when the live stream becomes most profound. For an hour, we watch Law relentlessly dig his hole, battling with the elements and himself in the process. As he becomes more and more like the mud he is sinking into – exhausted, battered and leathery – the scene questions the very nature of acting. How far can we push realism until it is just reality itself?

That theme continues as we variously witness Law asleep for 10 minutes and then dragging the shell of a boat laden with wooden branches for an interminable half-hour before being made to stand in the freezing wind on a plinth at sea. Watching these acts of David Blaine-esque stamina questions our own capacity for empathy as we oscillate from boredom to reciprocal exhaustion to incredulity. Do we care? And, if not, why can’t we look away?

Whatever you make of the concept, this is undoubtedly a remarkable feat of immersive intensity from the leading man, his face loaded with a gripping engagement.

Meanwhile, we see Welch in the guise of a Madonna, leading Law to a short-lived moment of respite, while islanders dunk themselves into vats of blood as EDM blares in the background and funeral pyres are set ablaze in the distance. The symbolism is heavy-handed with its references to Christ’s journey to crucifixion, yet it serves the unmanageable length of the stream well – reminding viewers of the loosely progressing narrative, no matter when you decide to tune in.

As night falls, the post-watershed dread with which Summer was laden begins to creep in, ultimately leading to a heart-pounding, fire-fuelled conclusion that is seemingly celebratory and deeply layered – at one point even incorporating the shouts of the director into the drama.

Ultimately, The Third Day: Autumn is a remarkable feat of live theatre and television, creating something that feels truly experimental, yet engaging; a mesmeric spectacle comprising surprisingly little, yet one that feels impossible to turn away from – largely due to a fierce performance from Law and beautifully consistent camera and sound work. With the future of the arts in Britain laden with increasing doubt, here is a much-needed reminder of the fantastic creative potential that still lies in abundance.
User avatar
TC
Muad'Dib
Muad'Dib
 
Posts: 15015
Joined: 02/01/02, 23:08:48
Location: Sweetknuckle Junction

Re: The Third Day

Postby TC on 10/10/20, 07:17:54

ok, i watched the entirety of autumn. i was glad i had the capability to ff through parts of it. parts of it, i didn't want to do so. the above recap is accurate - you start on the mainland, then traverse the entirety of the causeway and the road to the main "village" on the island in real time. if my calculations are correct, you're moving at about 6mph. it's 1h20m in before you see a recognizable character, and over 2h before you see jude law. as for what's happening, don't expect much in the way of explanation - as the author above mentioned, almost all of the dialog is kept inaudible, purposefully. occasionally, you can make out what someone is saying, and when you can, it's for a reason. the creepy, constant soundtrack is great. and yes, you do see jude law dig a hole for an hour and sleep for 10 min. you also see at one point the camera set down on a table while we watch people dance at a rave from the waist down for about 10-15 min. we watch an entire banquet for an hour, where some of the conversations turn ominous, but we can't hear them to know why. there's nearly an hour or so of someone "baptizing" people in a vat of mud and/or chocolate pudding (that the author above insists is meant to be blood, but i didn't get that at all). the soundtrack really helps maintain the ominous vibe throughout. the entire thing is essentially an analog for the journey of christ / crucifix. there's a mention at the beginning that the island's ritual of child to adult, and man to "father", is similar to the christian stages of the cross, and yes we see all of it. the thing is really quite incredible in all. and yes, it is actually a single-camera, single-take effort. there was one spot at around 6h30m where there was a slight jump, but that's it. and really, there were some slight technical issues before that - related to service and streaming, some pixelation and slight lag here and there - which subsided after, so i'm not quite sure what was very quickly done. it is raining most of the time, and no effort is made to wipe the lens, so you have to look through water droplets some of the time. it's not until later when the lens gets covered with mud...er, blood... that they actually wipe it. there are half-second inserts periodically of jude law in some "other place" - not sure what we're supposed to make of these - but it's very clearly not a cut. jude law does not fuck around - he's very clearly actually doing everything. he went all in on this one. the actor who plays the girl's father has a great section where he starts crying - no drops or salts here - that's very moving.

obviously i haven't seen the winter section, as they are still airing, but if i had to guess, i'd say that there might be one thing of consequence that happens during autumn. maybe two or three (i don't really know what was burning at the end or what it means). but for the majority of people who won't see it, autumn is further informing the happenings of osea, and the people there. you can still happily watch the other six episodes without issue (i assume). a lot of it feels like, "hey, did you ever wonder what NPCs do in the game world when you turn off the game?" but there are quite a few captivating sections. like i said, i was glad to be able to skip forward, especially during the real-time walking around the island's roads, etc. i probably finished the whole thing in 4-5h while doing other things. from a technical perspective, it's pretty amazing. i don't really understand how they were able to keep power going, swap memory cards, etc., all of that. seems like the entire thing uses only natural light and audio picked up by the camera. and frankly, i don't really understand how they were able to get service out there around the entire island to stream this live. very impressive. from a content perspective, it truly does blur the line between TV and theater, and life. like i said, the things the characters do, from jude law to the teen boy to everyone being baptized, are very real and very much them doing it. had to be quite an ordeal. i hope it was rewarding for them. i ultimately found it fascinating, at times rewarding, and i'm glad i watched it. i think history will look back on what the third day is doing very kindly, and anyone not watching is missing something special.
User avatar
TC
Muad'Dib
Muad'Dib
 
Posts: 15015
Joined: 02/01/02, 23:08:48
Location: Sweetknuckle Junction

Re: The Third Day

Postby TC on 22/10/20, 07:54:26

so i finished watching the final three episodes. i think while there were some issues with the back half - mainly that it follows what is one of the worst mothers (in every scene, she's trying to get away from her kids) - it was a pretty powerful show. i quite appreciate what they were going for here, and highly recommend you watch it. wish more shows just went for it like this.
User avatar
TC
Muad'Dib
Muad'Dib
 
Posts: 15015
Joined: 02/01/02, 23:08:48
Location: Sweetknuckle Junction

Post a reply

 

Board index General Celluløid Output


Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

cron