Yesterday a Cinematical reader sent in a link to a website that appeared to be related to Shane Carruth's next film, A Topiary. There wasn't much to see, except for the words "Over and over you have been promised Adventure but have not found it." A closer inspection of the site revealed that it was indeed registered to Carruth, who squatted on that particular domain over a year ago. Since there wasn't much to go on, I thought it might be best to shoot Shane an email to see whether he meant for this website -- which first opened up over 12 months ago -- to start going viral now. Was this an announcement of sorts? Was Shane trying to tell us that he had begun work on his next film, and that we'd be seeing it shortly?
First, let's back up: Who the hell is Shane Carruth? Back in 2004, Shane wrote, directed and starred in a tiny little film called Primer that was ultimately accepted to the Sundance Film Festival where it won the top prize. Regarded as one of the greatest, most-difficult-to-understand science fiction films of our generation, Primer -- which followed a group of friends who accidentally create a device that allows a person to travel backwards in time -- was hailed in some circles as a masterpiece, but criticized by many for being a little too smart for its own good.
Needless to say, the film has since found a giant fanbase, and that fanbase has been eagerly anticipating Carruth's follow-up, revealed to be called A Topiary a little over a year ago when the script was floating around. When Cinematical spoke with Carruth earlier today, he gave us a status update on the film, as well as more info on the mysterious website that just recently started making waves online.
According to Shane, the website was just a place holder that he set up over a year ago once he began looking for financing for the film. He thought it'd be a good idea to have a website in place so that it would be secured when (and if) the film was made. Shane also told us that he can't wait to use the website to house all of the artwork that's accumulated over time once things finally get going. And what about that -- when will things finally get going? Well, the good news is that there are some "powerful allies" attached to the project now, and that should help speed the process along. I take it Shane is still trying to fill in some financing pieces before production can begin, and so it's just a matter of time now before things really begin to take shape.
Plot details surrounding A Topiary have been pretty scarce, however The Playlist managed to dig up a draft of the script and they provided this roundabout plot synopsis: "The main story, at first ambiguous in its relation to the prologue, revolves around ten boys aged seven to eleven living in a small rural town (Carruth is ambiguous in both location and time here) and takes up the remaining two hours of the film. The boys are in possession of a mysterious black box called a "Maker," which in turn creates mysterious white discs called "funnels." The group of kids are at once puzzled and fascinated by the nature of the box, and eventually manipulate the discs into other peculiarly named artifacts (petals, arcs, fronds, etc.). Their creations and constructions lead up to their manufacturing of seemingly sentient quasi-mechanical beings dubbed "Choruses." Almost as if 'Topiary' were an abstract arthouse take on Pokémon, you can imagine the competition and troubles the beings create amongst the children."
Here's hoping things start coming together for Shane and A Topiary, because I know I'm not the only one who can't wait to see what his brilliant mind spits out next.