More Cloud Atlas TIFF Coverage, Press Conference Photos

Note: This is an archived entry. Some links might not still work, but I have tried to ensure scan and video embeds are still in place. If any linked material is unavailable, please let me know and I’ll attempt to find a copy in my personal archives.

I realize I made some copying errors in earlier posts… will try to fix those. I'm still experiencing major computer issues which prevent me from doing anything efficiently. But we're still getting great photos and video, and an evocative cross-section of responses to the film.

Here's The Toronto Star's Red Carpet video (mostly the actors talk about the festival, not the film)

More Review Excerpts:

Matt Goldberg, : "There is no half-measure in a film of this size, and the filmmakers’ wholehearted commitment is why Cloud Atlas manages to transcend new-age notions that would be worthy of derision.  Furthermore, such a reading is far too literal and misses the point shared by each story; a point perfectly summed up by one of the characters: “our lives are not our own.”  It is not simply a matter of the individual repeating throughout time.  It is how he or she treats others….Distilled into their basic element, each actor’s major characters share a single defining trait.  Hugo Weaving’s characters are sadistic, Berry’s characters are inquisitive, Sturgess’ characters help the enslaved, etc.  But not everyone is locked into a single trait throughout lifetimes.  Before Cavendish, Broadbent’s characters are selfish.  It isn’t until his experiences in Ghastly Ordeal that he is finally able to change.  This isn’t a matter of karma.  It’s a matter of giving to others rather than taking for one’s own survival.  Broadbent’s overarching character makes this change in one story, but it’s what Hanks’ characters wrestle with over the course of the entire film.  His characters move though thieves, liars, cowards, and finally to someone who must resist a devil that’s followed him throughout time.  Hanks’ characters are not the center of the universe nor are anyone else’s.  None of these characters are giants of history.  They simply continue to criss-cross across not only time and space, but also race and gender."

Chris Lee, The Daily Beast: "The film is a visual feast, a work of colossal ambition and massive scope that explodes boundaries even if it can, at times, try audience members’ patience with sensory overload. Chalk that up, in part, to Cloud Atlas’s whiplash crosscuttings between six intermingled plotlines and the deployment of nearly a dozen lead actors (Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant, Keith David, Hugo Weaving, and South Korean newcomer Doona Bae among them) playing a bunch of different roles in a variety of outlandish prosthetic get-ups. Black people go white; Caucasians go Korean; Hanks wears a series of incredibly bad wigs. Adapted from David Mitchell’s bestselling 2004 novel, it all combines for a viscerally overwhelming experience, a grand meditation on human interconnectivity, that—love it or hate it—is quite unlike anything else in cinema."

Mitch Salem, Showbuzz Daily @ TIFF : "Cloud Atlas is imperfect, but it has to be seen–it has a kind of go-for-broke audaciousness and intense artistic commitment on a grand scale that’s almost never seen in the current movie era.   The last section of the picturealone, in which all 6 stories come to simultaneous, rousing climax, is such an achievement that the film’s shortcomings seem minor in comparison.  Filmmakers who aim this high–Griffith was another–often come up short, and yet even their imperfections can be wonders to behold.  Cloud Atlas reaches for the stars."

There's an article about yesterday's press conference at IndieWire, which quotes some of what Hugo said:
"It's a fantastic source material, and a great adaptation of that,” Hugo Weaving said. The Australian actors said the entire cast had to take a massive leap of faith and jump off a cliff together because they were never sure if the material would cohere into one unified vision, but taking this risky adventure bonded everyone on set. “That leap galvanized everyone, and it actually made it fun, something risky and different,” he said. “There was always that sense of nervous excitement about going into the next day and the next character.” The Hollywood Reporter, Vanity Fair, and Agence France-Presse also covered the event. Some mixed-to-negative reviews at The Guardian and Boston Globe amuse because you can sense the critic's strain being professional cynics who don't want to admit the film got to them on some level. 😉

Chris Bumbray, JoBlo: " I can't quite proclaim it as masterpiece, as anything so layered demands multiple viewings to truly decipher. But I did think CLOUD ATLAS was damn good, although I had issues with it. Given that it tells half a dozen stories, and feels like not only six movies in one, but six movies going on AT THE SAME TIME, CLOUD ATLAS is remarkably easy to follow. Of the stories, there were some I liked more than others, with the Wachowskis and Tykwer tackling multiple genres- from comedy, to action, to sci-fi, to drama. Everything is covered here….Of all the actors, to me Tom Hanks is the one who deserves the most praise, as the guy goes full-on in each of his roles. …Like Hanks, Halle Berry is probably the second most featured player, with her co-starring part in the tribal section, and her lead role as a mid-seventies investigative journalist being the most prominent. Of them all though, Jim Sturgess probably has the most challenging part. In addition to playing a slave-trader and tribesman, he also has to play a futuristic Korean warrior- and handle the huge, futuristic action setpieces. While I really hated his Korean makeup (it looked goofy), he does very well in each role. Hugo Weaving probably has the most fun, with him showing up in each story as a force of evil- ranging from a hit-man, an evil (female) nurse, and possibly even the devil himself. Jim Broadbent provides most of the laughs, with his primary section of the film, where he's a doddering old publisher committed to an old-folks home by his unscrupulous brother (Hugh Grant, in one of his half-dozen small parts)… So whatever you think of CLOUD ATLAS, one can't argue that it truly does have something for everyone- whether you like futuristic action, brutal warfare, zany comedy/slapstick, romance, drama or any other conceivable genre. While it's probably a little overwhelming upon it's first viewing ( I hope to re-review this once I get to see it a second time), my first impression of CLOUD ATLAS is a strongly positive one, even if I can't call it an all-out masterpiece. But- it may evolve into one without the Wachowskis or Tykwer having to change a frame. Or it could be a disaster. Only time will tell."

There are more videos on YouTube; this one highlights the chaos outside the Princess of Wales Theater while this one briefly mentions the Red Carpet before moving on to vapid fashion coverage; neither has any real Hugo footage.

We might have our most frivoulous video Q&A with Hugo right here in the Globe & Mail): (Sorry, can't embed… but click on the link; ideally someone will put this on YouTube soon.) You can see the expression of "You're asking me this?!" flash across his face, but he answers every question with his usual charm. For the record, ain't nothin' wrong with that beard, nor is it "scruffy" as the website sneers. 😉

Cloud Atlas Photo Call Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Toronto Star

Rob Lazar

Josh Jensen

Three photos by James Ogilvie of the premiere cast introduction

Jason Merritt/Getty via Just Jared

Jason Merritt/Getty (next 5) (two)

There's a full transcript (not word for word, but worth a look if you don't have an hour for the video) of the press conference on TIFF's web page; here's part of what Hugo said:

"Despite all the extraordinary preparation, there was a time where we had to say, we're doing this, we don't know how this is all going to work. This leap of faith galvanized everyone. There was always this sense of nervous excitement."

This is my transcript of Hugo's bit based on the video:

[The emcee asks a question about makeup]

Hugo: [You want my thoughts] on putting makeup on? Well I… one of the funniest memories I have was when we were… before we started the shoot, and wandering around doing all the makeup tests, and not recognizing your fellow actors, and bumping into people and just not knowing who they were, and kind of having a lot of laughs about that. And… yeah, look, it was a fantastic source material, and a great adaptation of that, and when we got together for that first read-through, most of us were there, and it was a really extraordinary day, andI think it was the day that we all realized we were going to have to take a kind of jump off a cliff, you know, into whatever this film was going to be, and despite all the.. um… extraordinary preparation that had gone into the film at that point, there was a time when we were all gonna have to kind of go, 'Okay, we're doing this, and there are things.. we're not going to be sure of what all these connections necessarily are, and we're not gonne be sure sure how this is gonna work. But that very leap of faith was something that kind of galvanized everyone, and it was… that actually made it fun. It felt like doing something that was risky, and different, and maybe.. you know, maybe you jump off a cliff and that would be, you know, a long drop [smiles].. so.. yeah, it was always that sense of.. kind of nervous excitement about going into the next day, the next character. "

With 12 actors present, no one except Hanks and the directors got a lot of time, but it was very entertaining.

If you prefer the press conference in smaller, 3 or 4 minute segments, Trailer Addict will hook you up.

More soon, including some screencaps from the press conference. My computer is still a mess, but I'm trying to pull evrything together… 😉

Finally someone thought to ask Hugo about THE FILM. 😉 Amazing!


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