Given the often contentious relationship between creators and the work they make, unions such as the Directors Guild of America serve a useful purpose. But sometimes rules just get in the way, which seemed for a moment like it would present a problem for Cloud Atlas, written by Tom Tykwer and Andy and Lana Wachowski (which is not a big deal for the WGA) and directed by all three as well. That last part is kind of a big deal for the DGA, which is old enough to remember when movies just had, like, ONE director.

Any credits issues for the film have been worked out, and so unlike the festival cut of the film, general audiences will see a version that explicitly states who “directed” which parts. After asking around, it seems like there won’t be any changes to the actual film, but after the break you can read Lana Wachowski’s comments about the credits, and check out a new TV spot for the film. 

At a Q&A following a recent New Yorker Festival screening of the film, Lana Wachowski (via the Film Stage) explained the process of dealing with the DGA:

We had to call a tribunal [with the DGA], with the judges and the wigs and everything… the DGA just couldn’t comprehend that three directors could direct one movie.

All three filmmakers have talked about their collaborative process, and while Tykwer is credited with three segments (‘Letters From Zedelghem;’ ‘Half Lives: The First Luisa Rey Mystery;’ and ‘The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish’) and the Wachowskis the other three segments, the truth of the film is that it is a full collaboration between all three.

The Film Stage paraphrases Tykwer saying “the three filmmakers were together from pre-production through post-production, making each and every decision in every segment of the film together,” and that he emphasized the preparation and post-production of the film (or any film) as the most important, relative to the actual time spent on set with actors and cameras.

I’m eager to see what wide audiences think of Cloud Atlas when it opens on October 26. I expect a mixture of dismissal and rapturous praise. No matter what you think of the film (personally, I admire all of it, and very much like the final third) it is an ambitous, utterly unique movie that deserves to be seen on the screen.

Here’s a new TV spot for the film:

 

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