Cloud Atlas Hanks future

Some of the Cloud Atlas team is coming back together for another literary adaptation. Tom Hanks and Tom Tykwer are teaming up to adapt A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers. Hanks and his company Playtone will produce, and Hanks will star, while Tykwer will produce and direct. (Presumably he could do the film’s music, as well.)

The book, which the New York Times called “a globalized Death of a Salesman,”  follows a struggling American businessman who attempts to mount a plan for personal and financial salvation in a Saudi Arabian city. Read More »

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The Alamo Drafthouse Picks the Top 10 Films of 2012

The Alamo Drafthouse brand is beloved among moviegoers for their plush theaters, but it’s revered for their impeccable taste in movies. Whether programming a film festival or picking up indies for distribution, they’ve demonstrated an eye for films that aren’t just good, but unique.

With 2012 on its way out, the company has just released its list of their ten favorite movies from the year. Some of the titles were as successful at the box office as they were with critics, while others are more off the beaten track, but all are well worth checking out. Read their picks after the jump.

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Here’s my full interview with the writers and directors of Cloud AtlasAndy Wachowski, Lana Wachowksi and Tom Tykwer.

Last week, we broke up this long interview into four parts to make it both more digestible and to keep in spirit with the film, which comprises six radically different, but related, stories. The film jumps from story to story to story, with the last scene informing and enlightening the first, even though they’re set in totally different time periods and genres. Actors portray upwards of six roles each giving the viewer an hint of how these beings relate to each other, only to effect the others – and human history – in radical and exciting ways.

While the Wachowskis have done little to no press since the release of The Matrix, it was my honor (and horror) to be able to sit down with them, and Tykwer, for thirty minutes to discuss the movie. I was frightened, nervous, intimidated  but in the end all three filmmakers not only enhanced my (immense) enjoyment of the movie, but were themselves fascinating and brilliant subjects. I wish I could have talked for an hour more.

I can’t recommend Cloud Atlas highly enough. You may not emotionally connect to it as much as I did, but it’s such a different, expertly crafted experience, you’d be doing a disservice to yourself, and big budget, risky films in the future, by not seeing it.

After the jump, read a full transcript of my interview with Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowki and Lana Wachowski, the writers and directors of Cloud AtlasRead More »

With six stories spanning nearly three hours, told by an ensemble cast and three directors, the sheer amount of information presented by and discussions one can have about Cloud Atlas is staggering. Co-writers and directors Tom Tykwer, Andy and Lana Wachowski took David Mitchell‘s novel, which nests six stories within each other, and broke it down into one forward-flowing mosaic. Set in several time periods from the 1800s through the 2300s, the film blends genres and tones to show the human soul moving from century to century, and explore how our actions in one life might affect the next.

And that’s just a very superficial interpretation. There’s much, much more to the movie, which is why it’s one of the year’s best.

As one might expect on a production so massive, there are tons of bits of behind the scenes trivia and on-screen secrets. Were there additional stories meant for the film or novel? Were the directors ever on set together? How did characters get cast? Which actress thought she’d be fired? And what exactly happens at the end of the film? We’ve complied 15 things you probably didn’t know, or notice about Cloud Atlas. After the jump, read all about them. Read More »

Editor’s Note: This is the third 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 and part two here.

When Cloud Atlas opens this Friday, it’s going to be very divisive. Some, like myself, will be transfixed by the way the film takes you on a journey across time, enlightening the audience to the evolution and connections of the human soul via multiple genres, tones and more. Others might find it confusing, overly long and distracting. Directors Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer are aware of this and, in the third part of my interview with the co-writers and directors of this incredible film, they discuss those difficulties and how they were an obstacle from the very beginning of the process.

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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.

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Editor’s Note: This is the first of a four part series in /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. 

Film fans would be hard-pressed to find two more perfect late nineties movies than The Matrix and Run Lola Run. Both were groundbreaking, visually stunning and instantly memorable. Each officially announced its director(s) as a force to be reckoned with. Those directors, of course, are Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer. Since then, each director has made several solid films (Heaven and Perfume for Tykwer, Speed Racer and the Matrix sequels for the Wachowskis) but none have quite lived up to the insurmountable heights of those signature films.

That changes with Cloud Atlas, a sweeping, epic film that challenges the way stories are told all together. Based on a novel by David Mitchell, Tykwer and the Wachowskis took six radically different but related stories and rearraged them to be digested as one fluid story. The film jumps from one timeline to another, with each scene informing and enlightening the previous one, even though they’re set in totally different periods and genres. Actors portray upwards of six roles, each giving the viewer a hint of how these beings relate to each other, and how they affect the others – and human history – in radical and exciting ways.

How is a film of that magnitude possible? Here, in the first part of our interview, the directors talk about the difficulties of shooting a three-hour movie with six separate stories simultaneously in different parts of the world and then putting it all together into one cohesive story. Check back later this week for the rest of the interview.

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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.  Read More »

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