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.
Had to take a break yesterday and most of today to attend to certain constitutional obligations 😉 and the usual work and chores… you may have heard the northeast was hit with another storm today (siiiiiigh). Fortunately we never lost power this time, though driving might be a bit hairy…. I did manage to sneak off yesterday evening for a Cloud Atlas IMAX screening after casting my ballot. I’m happy to report the film still holds much fascination, and grows more compelling as a piece of art rather than a thing to be broken down and analyzed. I’d heard mixed reports on the IMAX version (all from people who generally loved the film) but I thought it was, indeed, an enhancement, allowing the viewer to notice even more incidental detail. The surround-sound heightens the visceral impact of both the film’s musical theme (which is intricately intertwined with the editing and storytelling) as well as the action sequences. I felt like Jim Sturgess might have winged me a time of two with that laser gun. 😉 As was unfortunately the case at the midnight screening I attended on Oct 26, the crowd was sparse, but with a lot of “repeat offenders” like myself. (As one fellow patron walked in, he saw I was the only person there at that point, and said “Thought you were gonna have a private screening, didn’t you? You’re gonna love this movie!” Hated to break it to him that I’d already seen it twice.) 😉
Every element of the production design is deliberate and witty/insightful. I also finally spotted Ben Whishaw in the hut scene. 😉 (He’s the “fusion engines” guy.) Other minutiae people have asked about: Susan Saradon’s dog appears very fleetingly in the scene where Cavendish stops by Ursula (his old flame)’s house. She’s NOT the dog that pisses off Bill Smoke at the worst possible time. (For the record, I still can’t understand 90% of what Bae Doona says in that scene when she’s supposed to be speaking in English. Apart from the lame comeback line. Also, what sweatshop lets workers keep pets? and if she’s running the sweatshop, why should I feel any sympathy for her? Isn’t she just exploiting her own people? Yes, I know I’m biased, but the film’s treatment of Hugo’s characters remains a major sticking point with me.)
Other details: the Nurse James character that the James D’Arcy fans keep trying to spot is only in one scene, the scene where Cavendish first approaches Mrs Judd (the woman who admitted him to Aurora House) insisting he be given his keys back. He’s wearing aqua-colored scrubs and leaning over a table where some of the residents are seated. It’s a momentary reaction shot as Cavendish sputters the line about criminal abuse that will later become immortal. 😉 David Mitchell (the author) appears twice in the Sonmi sequence, playing a Unanimity spy/infiltrator of the Union Army. He’s seen passing Sonmi and Hae-Joo on a flight of stairs when they’re going to see Ankor Apis for the first time. Later, he’s standing to Boardman Mephi’s right when Sonmi is executed. Apparently it’s Mitchell’s little in-joke about being his character’s creator and destroyer. There are multiple references to Carlos Castaneda… the first and most obvious is in the scene where Luisa Rey interviews Isaac Sachs, but we later see one of his books on Georgette Cavendish’s bedside table (Denholme, meanwhile, has Margaret Thatcher’s memoirs as his bedtime reading.) 😉 There’s also a reference during Sonmi’s education period while she’s in hiding with Hae-Joo. The film is literally chock full of these little bonus details… I’m sure even after three viewings I’ve missed some. I’m equally sure that a lot of these things will be lost or minimized on a TV screen unless you’re wealthy enough to have an 80″ plasma HD set-up. So again, if you’re curious about this film, please see it in a cinema at least once! Cloud Atlas is still playing in many US cities and quietly continuing to open on new screens despite the quiet first weekend boxoffice.
Also, wanted to apologize for the disorganized state of and errors in some previous posts. I often have only a few hours free and have to throw as much up here as I can. In some cases I can’t access HTML because my computer freezes or slows, so I’m forced to post imperfect entries and try to correct or organize them later if my computer/local cable provider decide to cooperate. I have tried to eliminate obvious typos, mistakes, etc and put some of the previous entry’s photos behind a cut.
But on to the new material! First, we have several new red carpet videos from Berlin:
Brief clip with extremely shaky hand-held footage of group photos:
Much more professional footage of the red carpet/autographs:
The only English-language version of a clip that was featured on many German entertainment sites. Not much interview footage, but Hugo is glimpsed in the group shot:
Also minimal Hugo content in this clip from Film Insider (written coverage here), but it’s a good overview of the event
This one’s my favorite non-interview clip so far; great use of music. These poor actors must have carpal tunnel by this point, though. 😉
Hugo discusses working in Berlin in this interview from Julie the Movie Girl (and gets props from his costar Gotz Otto, who played Withers to his Nurse Noakes). Also: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry
Hugo is also interviewed by MoviePilot in this clip; he discusses how he’s successfully avoided working in Hollywood, and which of the Cloud Atlas time periods he’d most want to live in. (Also interviewed: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Tom Tykwer and Gotz Otto)
The Polish entertainment website WP.PL Movie has an interview with Hugo (and footage of costar James D’Arcy being a smartass… to be fair, D’Arcy’s tried to inject humor into all of his interviews to avoid a sameness… you can tell how tired a lot of the actors are by this point.) For fans who don’t know much about Hugo beyond a few villain roles, though… he would never behave that way on set. (Just ask Gotz Otto. Maybe Hugo should’ve sicced him on James) 😉 You can watch more ZDF footage of the premiere here (minimal Hugo content.) AFP has a similar overview, with overdubbed comments from Hanks and Berry.
There are two more German making-of videos (technically I posted #2 in the previous entry, these are #1 and #3. Hugo is interviewed briefly, and there’s lots of great behind the scenes footage not seen in all of the American BTS clips:
Here are some new photos of the Berlin premiere:
Hugo Weaving, solo and with costar Martin Wuttke. Both: WireImage
John Detinger via Twitter
L to R: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski, Bae Doona. Ben Whishaw, Hugo Weaving, Martin Wuttke
Same, full-length view
Michael Sohn/Associated Press
Filmkritiker.com: the cast, director, producers
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images (larger version)
Above two photos: Kurt Krieger/X-Rental
L to R: Andy Wachowski, Gotz Otto, James D’Arcy, Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Tom Tyker, Lana Wachowski, Bae Doona, Ben Whishaw, Hugo Weaving, Martin Wuttke
Note: Apologies for the watermarks on these; I found them impossible to remove, but thought the images still worth sharing because several are unique. (I might have a go at some of the less-saturated ones with a cloning pencil when I have more free time..)
First three photos: Petra Preuss/Rex Features via Sipa.com
Tom Tykwer, Marie Steinmann, Hugo Weaving
The next 25 photos(!) are from Zuma via Tipsimages.it. The first ten are by Dave Bedrosian, the next nine by Tom Jaeger, the next two by Klaus Werner and and the final by Frederic:
If anyone out there has an account with these photo sites… we’d love to see these as they were meant to be seen. 😉
Some great photos of red carpet autograph signing from Am Ende Des Tages/Star Press:
Andy Wachowski gets creative signing autographs 😉
Next three photos: WENN via Spokeo:
Assorted other Cloud Atlas articles: there’s some beautiful concept art by Adam Kuczek at ak.art.net. There’s an intriguing look at the film’s innovative take on gender politics at Woman and Hollywood/IndieWire, and Han Cinema assures us that the real Seoul is not likely to go the way of Neo Seoul in the film. Der Tasspiegel quotes several of the film’s stars about working in Berlin. Here’s what Hugo had to say: “Hugo Weaving (The Matrix, Lord of the Rings), who lived in Berlin during the shoot, [said] that the city was ‘incredibly civilized, non-aggressive, tolerant and rich in culture, history and good food’.”
There are so many positive reviews I’ve lost count, but here’s a sampling: Cinema Coma, Luckshotpromovies, Press Pass LA, University News, Singularity Weblog, Empower Network, The Movie Watch, The Spartan Chronicle, Isolated Press, Cut The Crap Movie Reviews, Hard In The City, Shiny Potato, Heritage.com, 15th St News, Salman Latif, 031 Cinephile, Daily Gawk, and The Knights.