Fantasy is often thought of as a genre full of magic, supernatural beasts, fey folk and kings. The stories often take place in mystical lands that barely resemble our own. On film, we most often encounter the epic strain of fantasy storytelling—all heroes and villains and portent. For his debut film, The Wanting Mare , director Nicholas Ashe Bateman chooses a different tack, shrinking genre conventions to tell a smaller, quieter, yet still portentous story of a mysterious dream and the women who are destined to share it. Set in Anmaere, a complex creation by Bateman himself, the events of The Wanting Mare unfold around Whitheren, a sweltering city that exists in contrast to Levithen, which is eternally cold. There are limited tickets available to human passengers which are a hot commodity worth killing over.
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With little pride, and less hope, we begin the new year. Her despondency is somewhat mitigated when new neighbors move in—a similarly childless couple that also tend stock for a living—and Abigail immediately feels drawn to the charismatic Tallie. Much has already been said about how lesbian period dramas overwhelmingly skew towards portraying white, cis, femme women, and The World to Come is certainly no exception. Tragedy has long been at the core of depicting queer stories on screen, perhaps because as a marginalized group, intolerance and homophobia have undeniably affected LGBTQ people on both a sprawling individual and a collective level.