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'm not even going to bother rebutting any of the malicious and/or misleading press continues to receive over a few sentences in that Collider piece… I'd posted another lengthy response at TG Daily which got mangled in the delivery (I had it neatly divided into paragraphs, but the posting process mostly squashed it all together…) I will continue to refute this nonsense at individual sites if I have to. And I'm thankful that plenty of others are speaking up for Hugo, or just using the excuse to vent at Michael Bay… either is acceptable. But I don't want to mix that up with breaking news and positive developments. Unlike some bloggers, I do have better things to talk about.
The most interesting is this new Hugo Weaving/Susan Sarandon joint interview for Black Tree Media (which has posted several particularly entertaining interviews with other cast members too.) Here Hugo finally gets a little more time to go over his character progression.
In some ways the more I think about Hugo's characters, the more key differences stand out– it's hardly fair to call Kesselring as much of a monster as Haskell Moore, for example. By that logic, one could call anyone who stayed and worked in a given country under a regime or government they disagreed with a monster. Yes, he's compromised his own morals and feelings in obvious ways– he's deeply flawed. But he's better than the rest of Hugo's characters, and it's obvious that Kesselring and Jocasta still have feelings for one another. She's also compromised herself in a trophy marriage to an impotent but famous old man. In some ways, that entire story, including the Frobisher/Sixsmith love story, is about people suppressing their true natures and abandoning loved ones to seek prestige or recklessly chase muses (literal and figurative.) It's in some ways more interesting that other stories because everyone is flawed– there are no Holy Innocents or selfless martyrs. I like how Hugo slips some of Bill Smoke's dialogue/thoughts from the novel in… most of that is gone in the film version, though he's a limited character in both. In the novel, the heroes are such cardboard cliches that Smoke is fun and refreshing. I think the filmmakers unfortunately figured this out and had to "fix" it by removing most of his lines and making his final scenes cartoonishly awful. Pity. 😉
Also, Old Georgie isn't an outside controlling agent so much as he's a part of Zachry's psyche– and to some extent, everyone's psyche. We all have our dark sides; they just manifest in different ways. Old Georgie lends himself to too many interpretations for me to get into here, but he's also more interesting than most of Hugo's other characters, who are written as obstacles in the heroes' paths and not given much personality. And it's very interesting that Georgie doesn't appear to motivate Zachry's one critical act of violence and disobedience against the Abbess's prophecy.
I mentioned the Cloud Atlas website's new poster/music feature; it's so ravishing I'm going to go ahead and embed it here, too:
There's a new Tom Hanks interview at The Belfast Telegraph, an article by David Mitchell on the delicate art of adaptation at The Wall St Journal, and a thoroughly befuddled review at The Virtual Nihilist. There are a few new character-themed posters (for Hugh Grant's lloyd Hooks and Jim Sturgess's Adam Ewing) at The Daily Blam. Halle Berry notes how some themes of the film echo Hindu mythology at the Times of India. Many of the lead actors are quoted in this Atlantic City Weekly preview,including Hugo; I recognize his comments from September 9th's TIFF press conference:
“One of the things I remember was when we were doing the make-up tests and bumping into people and not recognizing them. When we got together for that first read-through it was an extraordinary day when we all realized we would have to take a jump off a cliff. That leap of faith galvanized everyone.”
The Swedish-language film site Moviezine translated and reposted Hugo's Collider comments about The Hobbit and added this lovely behind the scenes still:
Hugo Weaving with Peter Jackson, Ian McKellen
They also have my undying thanks for not jumping on the "How dare you not waste the rest of your career playing franchise villains!" bandwagon. 😉
And here's the full 16 minutes of Cloud Atlas B-Roll footage conveniently bundled together:
I think they should have ended the movie with Haskell Moore, Tilda and Adam all doing a big waltz rather than all the drippy water metaphors. 😉 Note: This includes the full runtime of the second B-roll video for the first time.
As ever– More to come! 😉