Editor’s Note: This is the second of a four part series breaking down /Film’s interview with Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer, the writers and directors of Cloud Atlas. Look for a new part each day leading up to the film’s release October 26. Read part one here.

With six stories, three directors and actors playing multiple parts across totally different stories, there’s a lot going on in Cloud Atlas. One of the film’s pleasures is how art, and a love of art, is always part of the story. Whether it’s one character reading a book, listening to a piece of music, or watching a movie, art is always at the center of Cloud Atlas helping to sew all of its seemingly random threads together. This is a fact that’s not lost on the film’s directors, all art lovers themselves.

In the second part of our interview with the writers and directors of Cloud AtlasAndy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer, we discuss this particular reading of the film and how art is truly a way to link us all.

/Film: One of the other things I love about the movie is how the stories connect in all these ways, but they also are connected through media, film, books, letters, art over all. Is it fair to say that CLOUD ATLAS, especially your version, is a love letter to the arts?

Tom Tykwer: Nice. That’s the first time that somebody asked that.

Lana Wachowski: Yeah, very fine.

Andy Wachowski: “Notch in the belt.”

Lana Wachowski: Yeah, the importance of art to our humanity, to the storytelling that we love, that the movie is bookended with storytelling and this in a way, if you’re talking about a love letter, you would start a love letter talking about “Why do we make art?” There was just great… God, I could digress so bad on this. Did you see Werner Herzog’s CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS?

Yes.

Lana Wachowski: There’s a beautiful moment in there where he’s discussing the two tribes: the Homo sapiens, who are in there in the painting of those smaller groups of people, and then the Neanderthals, which were the more dominant species at the time. And they are all living at the same time, but they are able to differentiate the Neanderthal camps from the Homo sapiens camps, because in the Homo sapiens camp you will always find the presence of art. They paint, they make jewelry, they make sculptures, and then in the Neanderthal camps there are only tools and weapons.

That species then ends up being our most significant ancestor in terms of the development of humans. I think that’s not insignificant. Story telling is art. Making art is a way that we understand our humanity. It’s a way that I think we transcend our differences and are able to imagine… it’s transcendence of boundaries and borders and differences and we imagine better worlds. The imagination is crucial to our humanity and art is one of the ways we give that imagination voice.

Check back Wednesday for the third part of our interview in which we discuss the commercial difficulties of Cloud Atlas.

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