Before seeing The Eternals, one of the next Marvel films in theaters, (re) discover the paw of its director Chloé Zhao with her second film The Rider, available on Disney +.
What is it about ?
The young cowboy Brady, rising star of the rodeo, learns that after his tragic horse accident, competitions are now forbidden to him. Back home, Brady must find a new reason to live, now that he can no longer indulge in the horseback riding and competition that made his life so meaningful. In his effort to regain control of his destiny, Brady sets out in search of a new identity and attempts to define what it means to be a man in the heart of America.
The Chloé Zhao revelation
For her second feature film, Grand Prix at the Deauville Festival, Chloé Zhao once again places her camera on an Indian reservation in the American West and takes an interest in the journey of a rodeo champion. The Rider tells how a horse injury will call into question the fate of Brady Jandreau, a true rancher and non-professional actor who is directed by the Chinese-American director.
Filmed at human height close to nature, Chloé Zhao’s feature film is a true uncluttered dive punctuated by sunsets in the middle of the rodeo. The poetic and raw staging makes this realistic drama a sublime work on an everyday hero.
It was with The Rider that the Chinese-American director confirmed her talent and was spotted by Marvel to oversee The Eternals before being consecrated by the profession with Nomadland, which earned her the Oscar for best director. If you want to (re) discover Chloé Zhao’s work before seeing The Eternals in theaters, The Rider is now available on Disney +.
What to expect from The Eternals
Although she joined the Marvel universe, the Chinese-American director has not abandoned her style. Chloe Zhao combined her twilight paw with the cosmic world of the Eternals, beings created by the Celestials to protect the Earth from Deviants.
The arrival of Chloé Zhao within the MCU is a desire of boss Kevin Feige to call on more directors and directors from auteur cinema who have a true artistic vision. The Chinese-American director confirmed this to Variety : “It was such an amazing experience working with the Marvel team. I want to be careful saying ‘my vision’ even though I want people to know that they supported what I wanted to do.”
If Chloe Zhao brought her vision to the Eternals, her work remains very respectful of the comics and the MCU of which she is a fan, as Kevin Feige indicated: “They’re the kind of filmmakers we want to work with, no matter how big of a movie they’ve made before. Unique voices, with unique things to say. And in his case, what isn’t. no case a prerequisite, she was a huge fan of the MCU, the comics and the genre. Which you wouldn’t necessarily guess from watching her movies. So it was good that she let it be known. “
We must therefore expect a perfect balance between the visual paw of Chloe Zhao and the Marvel plot according to Kevin Feige: “She fought for practical elements and locations for a kind of film full of visual effects usually. When we cut out a small sample reel to show them to our superiors at Disney, I remember I had to explain that it came straight out of the camera, that there was no retouching and visual effects work, and that it was just beautiful the way it was.
It was a beautiful sunset, with perfect waves and mist coming from the shore on this giant cliff. It was impressive. And then seeing Nomadland, after the filming of The Eternals, we understand that she did not just want to bring this style to Marvel and come out of a virtual vision on green screen, it is her real signature, as well as that by cinematographers Ben Davis and James Richards. “
The Eternals trailer, in theaters November 3: