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 »
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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 »
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 »
For some time, Andy and Lana Wachowski were trying to follow up Speed Racer with a film said to be a hard-R gay love story set during the Iraq war, with leads being a US soldier and an Iraqi citizen.
That movie didn’t happen, perhaps because of the politicized nature of the script, and instead the Wachowskis teamed with Tom Tykwer to make the very intriguing Cloud Atlas. Now Cloud Atlas is wrapped, and the Wachowskis are turning towards their next film. That looks to be Jupiter Ascending, an original sci-fi story from the pair. Now the lead roles in the picture have been offered to Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum, who is looking to have a banner year in the wake of 21 Jump Street. Read More »
And this is part of why I positioned Cloud Atlas, written and directed by Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski, as my second most-anticipated film of 2012.
Let’s run through the basics again, for those who are just joining in: One film. Two parallel film units with three directors shooting six interconnected stories. Most of the cast plays multiple roles, sometimes switching genders and races in tales that range from classic adventure to detective thriller to dystopian sci-fi.
We know the cast (Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw, Susan Sarandon, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant and Bae Doona) but have only known a bit about the characters each person will play. Now Hugh Grant is talking about Cloud Atlas, and it sounds like he had the time of his life playing six “incredibly evil” characters, even if each is a relatively small role. Read More »
The technology used to make films has been changing at a rapid pace for the past twenty years. Digital video has gone from being an upstart media to a primary means for creating movies. Major companies are no longer producing new film cameras. Native 3D requires shooting on digital, but the popularity of IMAX keeps some film purists going. Companies like Kodak are experiencing tougher times than ever.
Side by Side is a documentary directed by Chris Kenneally in which Keanu Reeves (who also produced) talks about film and video with a wide variety of filmmakers, including Steven Soderbergh, James Cameron, David Lynch, Richard Linklater, Martin Scorsese, Andy & Lana Wachowski, Christopher Nolan, Walter Pfister, David Fincher and many, many more.
See a trailer below. Read More »
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Posted on Thursday, January 5th, 2012 by Angie Han
Black Swan star Natalie Portman was hotter than hot coming out of last year’s Oscar season, a freshly minted Best Actress winner with one just-released film (No Strings Attached) and two more (Your Highness and Thor) lined up for the next few months. Since then, however, she’s been laying low, with no new projects on her upcoming slate. No, it wasn’t the supposed Oscar curse at work — Portman’s hiatus came courtesy of her son Aleph, who was born in June. (Damn kids.) Portman shot her last three films before her pregnancy, and has taken on no new roles since.
But now it appears Portman’s finally getting ready to head back to work, potentially with a movie every bit as gloriously bizarre as the one that won her the Oscar. Andy and Lana Wachowski reportedly want the actress for their upcoming Jupiter Ascending, and there’s a real possibility that Portman will accept.
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