Kino Lorber has quite the challenge ahead of them next month as they roll out Miguel Gomes’ critically acclaimed and ambitious “Arabian Nights” trilogy over three consecutive weekends. The distributor is clearly banking on the film’s success at film festivals — from Cannes in May all the way to the New York Film Festival in October — to stir up enough excitement for audiences to want to buy a ticket for a six-hour exploration of contemporary Portugal with its base in a range of classic fables. It’s quite the gamble, and luckily the new official trailer above is breathtakingly convincing.
The official synopsis reads: “In Portugal — one European country in crisis — a film director proposes to build fictional stories from the miserable reality he is immersed in. However, failing to find meaning in his work, he cowardly runs away and leaves the beautiful Scheherazade to stand in his shoes. She will require enthusiasm and courage so as not to bore the King with sad stories of this country. As nights go past, restlessness leads to desolation and in turn to enchantment. Therefore, Scheherazade organizes the stories she tells the King in three volumes.”
The Film Society of Lincoln Center will be the theatrical destination for each part of the epic trilogy. The release date is as follows: “Arabian Nights: Volume 1, The Restless One” opens on December 4; “Arabian Nights: Volume 2, The Desolate One” opens on December 11; “Arabian Nights: Volume 3, The Enchanted One” opens on December 18. Watch the trailer above.