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Images of Hugo Weaving at the Moscow premiere of Cloud Atlas have just started rolling in, mostly on Twitter (via fans in attendance) thusfar; I’ll add news and updates as soon as they’re available. But the news that Hugo would skip the LA premiere of Cloud Atlas but go to Moscow sounds… well, just like him, to be honest. 😉 I hope he turns up in Berlin on the 5th as well. He’s expressed a fondness for that city (in which he filmed Cloud Atlas and V for Vendetta) on many occasions, so I’m optimistic. And, to be fair, Hugo did probably a thousand interviews in LA on October 12-14 during the official American press junket… so he’s more than done his part for the film. First off, some new pics from the Moscow Premiere:
Korosoba, via Twitter
Hugo (left) and Halle Berry enter the theater in MoscowPhoto: Nik Lisak, via Twitter
Bae Doona, Hugo Weaving, Halle Berry in Moscow Photo: Anna Brain, via Twitter
Hugo walks the red carpet Photo: Geek Vault, via Twitter
Hugo and Katrina in Moscow Photo: S Chumikov, via Twitter
He’s looking quite dashing, isn’t he? 😉 Moscow internet sites came through with hundreds of great photos after the Wolfman premiere in February 2010… since this is a somewhat more… erm… substantial film ;), this is surely the tip of the iceberg, and a lovely surprise.
Cloud Atlas continues to draw mixed reviews but very passionate support. Though a lot of cynical, bean-counting entertainment websites are keen to write this film off, it actually had the highest per-screen average of any new film this week; we have to remember that Warner’s didn’t open it in as many theaters as are showing derivative fare like Argo and Silent Hill. There are some already-controversial articles at The Hollywood Reporter and IndieWire in which one of the film’s distributors suggest American audiences might not be smart enough for this kind of movie. While this is unfair to the film’s ardent fans here, I have to admit the guy’s got a point… the notion people would pay $10-15 (or more for 3D/IMAX features) to sit through something like Taken 2 or Paranormal Activity 4 in droves, but avoid Cloud Atlas because they “don’t want to think too hard”, or “can’t sit still for 3 hours”… actual reasons I’ve seen more than once on Twitter, by the way… yeah, there are too many stupid people out there. To be fair, audiences worldwide tend to eat up our Hollywood drivel too. So it might be a Global Stupidity issue. Yes, there’s also negativity from culture snobs and misguided identity politics reactionaries, but I don’t think they have an impact on a film’s box office. They mostly only read one another’s columns anyhow. 😉
There are two new Cloud Atlas making-of/overview videos, neither of which has any substantial new Hugo content, though both feature footage of his characters. The first is from Warner Bros YouTube feed, the second from Entertainment Weekly; unfortunately, there’s no embed option for the latter. I’ll see if anyone’s posted a copy to YouTube ASAP.
Cloud Atlas ‘Lives’ Featurette
There’s an interesting podcast discussion about Cloud Atlas and another complicated, nonlinear film (Leos Carax’s Holy Motors, which has been compared to CA by several fans) on Geek Nation’s The Lunch. The presenter and his guest (CA fan Film Crit Hulk) discuss the film’s challenges in finding an audience, and why it’s worthwhile to get over your resistance to its flaws or overstatements.
Warmer Bros has also posted TV Ads 8, 9 and 10:
(Hugo Weaving’s characters are most seen in #9). These aired on TV in the day or two before the film opened, but since then I’ve seen no TV advertising at all. While this is standard procedure in many cases, it is unfair to a film like this which really needs time and long-term support to build word of mouth. I’m not sure the wide-release strategy was the best option for this film, though it’s heartening they at least tried it. It’s frustrating that big-budget films need to be unambitious or proven commodities to succeed, and that arthouse releases must be modest in scale and budget, but at least can take time to recoup their investment through a gradual release. I don’t think audiences are as either/or as distributors tend to think.
There’s a fascinating, in-depth article about the special effects teams who worked on Cloud Atlas at FX Guide. Among other things, there’s a detailed description of the Nurse Noakes makeup and prosthetics, and the CG used both for obvious reasons (the futuristic Neo Seoul cityscapes and battle sequences) and subtle (to smooth over the rougher aspects of cross-gender and cross-racial makeup effects.)
Trixter composite sequence allowing Old Georgie to more effectively mess with Zachry’s head 😉
Finished scene in the film
There are positive or leaning-positive new reviews at This is Madness!, Noho Arts District, FirstPost.com, and Buzzymag. I’ll post another compilation of review excerpts later in the week. There’s also an interesting “karma chart” of various characters at Cinema Blend, but it contains factual inaccuracies and some opinions I don’t agree with… obviously with a film like Cloud Atlas, many elements are left open to interpretation, so I tend to resist analyses which try to make everything too tidy. Viewers who need everything to be tidy and easily explained… are not my favorite people in the world. 😉
There are new articles about The Turning at Cinema Blend, Deadline, IndieWire, Twitch Film and Dark Horizons. While there’s still very little precise information about casting or filming plans, we now know that all 17 stories in Tim Winton’s anthology will be filmed by a collection of directors, but only “10 to 12” segments will make the theatrical cut, with the rest appearing on a longer DVD edit. I wish the Wachowskis were so flexible about director’s cuts. (They’re still stubborn about pretending deleted scenes and longer edits don’t exist. ) According to The Brisbane Times, The Turning will debut at the 2013 Melbourne International Film Festival, which will run next July 25- August 11. According to Twitch Film, “[The Turning] is currently in extended production in Australia with each short film shooting separately. Some have been completed while others are shooting or yet to be done. ” I would assume that Hugo’s section(s) haven’t been filmed yet, but I guess it’s possible that he already shot his role before the casting announcement was made. Either way, it’s exciting to have another Hugo Weaving project to look forward to in 2013 in addition to Mystery Road and The Hobbit. (Healing will film next spring, but probably won’t be released until 2014.) As always… these are Australian releases we’re talking about. International distribution is still unannounced. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Now, back to the Photo Search. Stay tuned! 😉
Hey, that was quick! here’s a great new one:
Photo: Olga Turovtsev, via Twitter