In case you haven’t noticed, we are rather popular with Hollywood lately. And by “we”, I clearly don’t mean the sometimes cheap alcohol fueled ravings of Darryn, Nick, James and I on this site, but rather our country of South Africa being used as a prime shooting location for American movies.
One of the reasons is that we have such diverse environments to offer. Want a business district for the Hulk to PK? Go to Joburg. Want giant buildings to double as a futuristic city-dome? Come to Cape Town. And as you can see from these two trailers for Young Ones, if you want a post-apocalyptic desert environment where life is hard and water is scarce, go to Namaqualand*.
Written and directed by Jake “brother of Gwyneth” Paltrow, this low-fi sci-fi tale boasts a stellar cast of established and rapidly up and coming actors in Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire, Man of Steel), Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: First Class, About a Boy), Elle Fanning (Super 8, Maleficent) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road, Let Me In). And it looks like they are given quite a bit to work with in a script that not only shows off a rather stark vision of the future, but also touches on the desperation of men, and how families can be torn apart by the promise of something better.
Also, lots and lots of sand.
YOUNG ONES is set in a near future when water has become the most precious and dwindling resource on the planet, one that dictates everything from the macro of political policy to the detailed micro of interpersonal family and romantic relationships. The land has withered into something wretched. The dust has settled on a lonely, barren planet. The hardened survivors of the loss of Earth’s precious resources scrape and struggle. Ernest Holm (Michael Shannon) lives on this harsh frontier with his children, Jerome (Kodi Smit McPhee) and Mary (Elle Fanning). He defends his farm from bandits, works the supply routes, and hopes to rejuvenate the soil. But Mary’s boyfriend, Flem Lever (Nicholas Hoult), has grander designs. He wants Ernest’s land for himself, and will go to any length to get it.
Young Ones also stars Aimee Mullins, Alex McGregor and Robert Hobbs. It made it’s debut at the Sundance Festival earlier in the year, but is not yet scheduled for mainstream release, with a very limited European release set for 13 August, 2014.
*As somebody with a massive family in Namaqualand that I visit regularly, I would just like to point out that water is not scarce, life is good and there definitely haven’t been any apocalypses over there that I have noticed.
Last Updated: July 9, 2014