One of my all-time favorite Comic-Con memories was walking the floor, glimpsing over to a small booth in the 4000s and seeing Larry and Andy Wachowski. The writers and directors of Bound and The Matrix were just sitting there. No line, no nothing. That’s what happens when you make one of the most influential and revered films of a generation but refuse to do interviews about it. You gain a certainly level of anonymity and mystique. The kind that allows you walk around unnoticed Comic-Con, which is exactly how the Wachowskis wanted it.
Since my Comic-Con encounter, where the brothers couldn’t have been nicer, Larry has become Lana and the pair have teamed up with Tom Tykwer to make Cloud Atlas, Warner Bros.’ 2012 Oscar hopeful starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and others, scheduled for release October 26. The film had a long, difficult road to the big screen and is a huge risk, both personally and professionally, for the siblings. To combat that, they’ve finally begun to shed some of their press armor and open up about not only this film, but everything else as well.
We saw a brief video introduction to the film, another clip discussing technique and now The New Yorker has published a stunning profile on Andy and Lana. In it, we learn all about how they became filmmakers, their influences, background, Lana’s gender transformation, the difficulties of financing and adapting Cloud Atlas, the success of The Matrix and even some revealing details on film they partially shot called Cobalt Neural 9. It’s a must read for all film fans. Get the link after the jump. Read More »
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Posted on Monday, August 13th, 2012 by Angie Han
The same breathtaking ambition that makes Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer‘s David Mitchell adaptation Cloud Atlas so intriguing also gives it the potential to flop, hard. Weaving together six interlocking stories that cut across time, space, and genre is difficult enough to do within the confines of a novel, to say nothing of a three-hour film. Then there’s that insane casting: stars like Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, and Jim Sturgess are each playing multiple characters, in some cases switching genders or races to do so.
Thankfully, buzz from test screenings suggests that much more of it works than not. Keep in mind that quite a few things may have changed in the few months since testing began (for one thing, some of these folks saw a cut that was four hours long), and that these reactions are coming from people whose tastes we don’t know. Even so, a flood of positive reactions seems like a very promising sign. Hit the jump to read the comments.
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There are some great outtake clips online this week from Keanu Reeves‘ documentary Side by Side, which looks at the division between shooting film and digital. The outtakes go a little further afield from that topic, however, and one of the best is an interview with Andy and Lana Wachowski — and primarily with Lana — talking about how “performance” is created in the editing room.
This is a good little primer on one aspect of filmmaking that may people easily overlook, and worth watching for that reason alone. Wachowski fans will also be interested to see this as it is one of the very few video interviews with the directors. They seem to be more willing to talk to the camera lately; we’ve had two videos with them in the past month, which is more than in the previous decade. By the time their new film Cloud Atlas hits (co-written and co-directed with Tom Tykwer) they’ll be hosting their own reality show. I’d watch that. Read More »
The biggest conversation piece online yesterday was the long trailer for Cloud Atlas, the adaptation of David Mitchell‘s novel co-written and co-directed by an unlikely trio: Tom Tykwer, and Andy and Lana Wachowski.
Along with the trailer came something we linked yesterday, but which is worth highlighting in its own right: a video introduction from the three writer/directors, in which they explain their attraction to the material and the difficulty they had in getting it made.
For those who’ve paid attention to the career of the Wachowskis, this is a pretty notable thing, as the siblings are notoriously camera-shy. There are very few video interviews with them; and this is the first video featuring them to be released in many years. (The last one I remember hit around the time of the debut of The Matrix, in ’99.) That makes it worth a look right there. Read More »
We’ve finally got a chance to see footage from Tom Tykwer and Andy and Lana Wachowski‘s genre-hopping and centuries-spanning epic Cloud Atlas. If you just want to watch the footage, hit the jump now. But once you’ve seen that, I expect those who haven’t read the book might be wondering just what the hell is going on.
Because some people don’t start paying attention to a movie until the trailer is out (which makes total sense) let’s recap quickly: the film is based on David Mitchell‘s novel that is structured as a series of six vaguely interrelated stories, presented in an unusual structure. In the novel, you get half the first story, which jumps to the first half of the second, and so on until the entire sixth story plays out at the center of the novel, and then things work back out to the opening, so the end of the book is the second half of the first tale.
The trailer suggests that the film plays up the interconnectedness between stories perhaps even more than the book does. In part that’s because some of the key characters in various tales are played by the same actors. So, as the trailer shows, Tom Hanks and Halle Berry play characters in at least two or three chapters. (And does the trailer reveal too much for one of Berry’s characters? Maybe, but it’s not the worst choice.)
That’s just the beginning. What’s with the shots that look like they’re right out of Amistad? What’s all the futuristic stuff about? Below we’ll use some shots from the film to illustrate what’s going on with the film, in as spoiler-free a manner as possible. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, June 20th, 2012 by Angie Han
Andy and Lana Wachowski suffered a big stumble in 2008 with their candy-colored misfire Speed Racer, but the Matrix directors are back with a new project that could be their most intriguing yet. Co-directed by the siblings and Tom Tykwer and based on the acclaimed book by David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas features a star-studded cast — including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw, Susan Sarandon, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant, and Bae Doona, each in multiple roles — in six interlinked stories that unfold across different times, places, and genres.
It’s been high on our list of films we’re eager to see, and our anticipation was only heightened by the strong early buzz from test screenings. Now the great news is that we’ll get the chance to check it out sooner than we thought. Warner Bros. has just set a U.S. release date of October 26 for the film, bumping it up several weeks from its previously announced December 6 release date. Read more after the jump.
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Andy and Lana Wachowski have shot Cloud Atlas and are in post on that film, but they’re already prepping a movie that is being called in some corners a return to form for the siblings. (By which I expect people mean a movie that seems more like The Matrix than anything else they’ve done.)
We know that Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum are the likely leads, but so far that’s just about all we’ve known, other than the title: Jupiter Ascending.
Now some story and character details are finally starting to emerge, though there’s always the possibility with the secretive siblings that these points are either subject to change or deliberately misleading. But the film reportedly centers on an unlikely heroine, played by Kunis, who unwittingly poses a threat to one of the power players in the universe. Read More »
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There’s a lot going on at Cannes right now, but one of the most exciting activities is the deal-making for Cloud Atlas. The ambitious film from Tom Tykwer and Andy and Lana Wachowski adapts David Mitchell‘s novel, which is comprised of six nested stories that span genres and centuries.
I’ve been madly curious about the film. I like the source material, and the cast is impressive: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw, Susan Sarandon, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant and Bae Doona. That those people are all playing multiple roles, with Hugh Grant calling some of his “incredibly evil,” is more intriguing.
Now reports out of Cannes suggest that the film actually works. We’re hearing that the movie is almost three hours long, and that it is being set for a US release date of December 6, right in awards-season territory. Read More »