In order to take a break from writing about movies I don’t actually want to see, I thought I’d share the scant new details about a little flick that could turn out to be a 2008 highlight. I’ve covered Mammoth briefly before, and the brevity has been due only to creator Lukas Moodysson’s reticent nature.

Until last week, we basically knew that Moodysson’s new film starred Gael Garcia Bernal and Michelle Williams and that it was shooting in Thailand and New York with an English language script. Moodysson has gutted me in Russian (Lilya 4-Ever) and Swedish (A Hole In My Heart) so I’m almost afraid to know what he’ll do in the one language I (mostly) understand. I still haven’t seen his most recent, the very experimental Container.

Moodysson spoke a few words to Variety about Mammoth, but he’s keeping almost everything close. "For those who have seen my previous films, there are links to them all.
In many ways, it is close to Together, even though this is more
serious and not as funny. One theme is about children in jeopardy. That
is common for all my films.
" He does acknowledge that he’s making a slightly more commercial film this time. "This one has a very clear storyline, it’s more accessible. It’s a very
big step, even though I don’t know if it is a step forward or backward.

So you’re not a Moodysson fan and the cast doesn’t do anything for you. Why be interested in the flick? How about that it made the 2007 Black List — that collection of the most popular unproduced screenplays floating around town. Sure, it only got two votes, the minimum for inclusion on the list, but I’ll take it*.

While the writer/director isn’t saying much about the film, here’s the Black List synopsis:

Tom, as successful New York businessman, leaves his wife and daughter
in the care of a Filipino nanny to go on a business trip to Thailand.
As he delves into a new cultural experience, Tom soon realizes he wants
to change his life, setting off a chain of dramatic events.

Mammoth has some Swedish studio and NYC location shooting days left, and should start rolling out to the fall festivals. It’ll be at the top of my must-see list for Fall ’08.

*And that’s two fewer votes than the four for Score, by CHUD contributor Jeremy Slater!