Monthly Archives: January 2013

Hugo Weaving (and Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Nicole Kidman) at the AACTAs

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.

Our Special Beijing/Sydney Correspondent Yvette has come through in a big way AGAIN… not only has she provided helpful translations of Chinese media and fan accounts of the Beijing Cloud Atlas premiere, but was on hand in Sydney for last night's AACTA Awards red carpet and was able to take many photos of the event, which featured their starriest line-up in many years. She even managed to take a few pics of Hugo on the red carpet, though it was obvious from last night's media coverage that he didn't linger there. (He did pose for pictures in the press area, and with a few fans just outside of the auditorium.)

Since I know that fans of Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush and other Australian acting greats also check out this blog periodically, I'll include all of the images of them as well. Cate Blanchett's dress seemed to be the biggest conversation topic of the evening, aside from the sweep of award wins by the film The Sapphires. Personally I don't obsess over fashion the way some fans do, and get annoyed that are often evaluated more for what they wear than for their acting work. I often wish everyone showed up for these events in jeans and T-shirts. Somehow I get the feeling Hugo would prefer that, too. ๐Ÿ˜‰ That said, Cate Blanchett can get away with wearing dresses no one else could, and justifiably turned heads last night.

I'll post the full set of Yvette's photos (which are nice and big, so allow for slow page loads), followed by a few additional pics I've found from other fans and the press:

Photos 1-28: Yvette (@LyridsMC)


Cate Blanchett wows the crowd…  I think they call that shade "Dominatrix Red" ๐Ÿ˜‰


 Hugo Weaving with past and future costar Jack Thompson


Nicole Kidman


Geoffrey Rush

Can we have a virtual round of applause for Yvette's photos? I'm speechless. Thank you so much! ๐Ÿ™‚

Here's another nice fan photo of Hugo at the AACTAs, courtesy Ali Daher's Twitter feed:

Wenn.com

Here are a pair of additional Getty Images pics:


Hugo and Essie Davis (his costar in The Custodian and The Matrix Revolutions) Both photos: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images
(There's a larger version of this photo here.)

You can read additional AACTAs coverage at The Sydney Morning Herald, AAP (via MSN.co.nz) SBS and Daily Life. I haven't yet found any video footage of Hugo either on the red carpet or from the awards telecast, but perhaps the AACTAs will make highlights available soon.

 

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Hugo Weaving AACTAs Photos, Beijing Cloud Atlas Coverage

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.

Hugo Weaving did indeed put in an appearance at the 2013 AACTA Awards (Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards), and we already have photos, so without further ado…


Hugo Weaving arrives at the 2013 AACTA Awards in Sydney   Photo: Don Arnold/WireImage via Getty Images


AACTAs Instagram via Twitter

That's all so far, but probably just the beginning; according to the AACTAs Twitter feed, Hugo co-presented the evening's first award with Rebecca Gibney, an actress best known for TV roles in Australia, including Halifax FP, which Hugo guest-starred on in the mid-1990s. (The episode was entitled "Isn't It Romantic?" And yes, I've seen it. Several years ago there was a DVD bundling episodes of the series featuring guest shots by famous leading men, who also included Guy Pearce and Hugh Jackman. Gibney currently stars on the popular Australian series Packed to the Rafters. Oddly, the awards show isn't telecast live, but edited and broadcast later in the same evening, so the Twitter feed is currently in no-spoilers mode. (We already know Hugo isn't in the running for anything, because he had no Australian films released in the past year. He did win Best Supporting Actor last year for his performance in Oranges and Sunshine, but was unable to attend the ceremony at the time.

While we're waiting for additional AACTAs news or pics, I'm going to post all of the Beijing Cloud Atlas Premiere pics from Getty Images that have appeared since the first batch. (I posted their images of the January 21 press conference–they're the last 8 images in this entry— but not of the subsequent premiere and TV interviews the following day. I do, however, recognize some of these images from various Chinese websites, so some might be "repeats"… but they're well worth another look, aren't they?


Hugo does press for Cloud Atlas in Beijing, 22 January 2013. Photo: AFP via Getty Images


The film premiere/introduction   Photo: ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images (plus next two)


The Beijing Cloud Atlas Red Carpet


Photo: TPG via Getty Images

Yvette (who has been so helpful she should probably be listed as our official Beijing/Australia Correspondent) ๐Ÿ˜‰  has completed her translation of the second of three Weibo fan reports of the Cloud Atlas premiere event; I'll include both the original (including photos) and translation below the cut. Apologies for some errors on my part in the previous entry; I posted all three reports in Chinese but only one English translation. No worries… all will eventually be posted properly. I've been under the weather for several days with laryngitis and a respiratory tract ailment, so I was probably foggy from cold meds. Nonetheless I'm sorry if I caused any confusion, and again offer profoundest thanks to Yvette for her efforts to and the fans who shared their experiences.

Original:
Credit:   @้ฉฌไปฒ่›‹(http://weibo.com/xhiro)

Translation:

"By the time I heard the news that Cloud Atlas was coming to promote in China, I did not expect Mr Hugo Weaving would show up at all, because in my memory, he is not very enthusiastic about those kind of promoting stuff as compared to other actors. Therefore, when my friends and I got confirmed that Hugo did come to Beijing accompanying the directors, we rushed to the red carpet as fast as we could. And we were told the premiere was scheduled to be held inside a shopping/entertainment mall, which means at least it wouldn't be too cold :), since Beijing was bloody freezing that day. Thus, the last excuse was clear. I knew if I couldn't make it this time, I probably never would have the chance to meet him again >__< Then I went back home trying to find out something proper for him to sign, if possible. The LOTR DVD set/poster with Cate Blanchett's and Sir Ian McKellen's signatures was not in my Beijing home, and the playbill of Uncle Vanya was also left in my New York home…At last, I dug out a booklet of the LOTR trilogy I bought years ago when travelling in Australia ๐Ÿ™‚

The red carpet was floored from an escalator in the mall, all the way along the corridor, to the front door of the cinema. Perhaps we arrived too early, there weren't many fans/journalists around the red carpet by then. Just when I was answering a call, my friend shouted: Hugo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I quickly turned my head and saw the beard, alone, walked onto the escalator…Hugo was obviously a little scared all of a sudden, looked around trying to find where's the shout came from. My friend and I waved hardly to him and finally he saw us, showed us a sincere smile and then went on. Just at that moment, my heart almost stopped for a second!!!!!!!! Apparently, some people in the mall walked passed by were frightened by our shout as well. Our apologies~sorry guys…Guess he was to get some rest before the premiere ๐Ÿ™‚

After a while, actors/actresses/director and other showbiz people started to appear on the red carpet. Zhou Xun was almost the last to come, approximately in the last 10 minutes. Truly kneel down to her fans, so excited, so many, so strong……………………………..So when they were around Zhou Xun, we tried to get Hugo come over.
To be honest, I did't expect to have any close interactions with him at all. Last time I went to see Uncle Vanya in New York, that night he escaped from the front door. So to me, it's been happy enough just looking at him in 10 meters away, never thought he could come to chat with you or anything like that…The fact that he walked at the very end of the crew and frowned a bit, made me think he maybe not in good mood today.

But, we still tried!!! and it worked!!!! Hugo saw us and did come over, I quickly handed him my LOTR booklet. My voice must sound so weird since I was too thrilled!!!!!!!! I told him I went to see your Uncle Vanya twice last summer in New York, Hugo looked so very much surprised and then smiled warmer and warmer, replied: Oh, did you? Do you like it? ๐Ÿ™‚ I told him how much I loved the play, for him was the entire reason I went to see the show. And I also told him it's a pity I didn't catch him at the stage door. Hugo seemed a bit sorry and then said: well, you caught me here ๐Ÿ™‚ Then I went completely frozen and speechless!!!!! He was so incredible sexy, with his velvet voice and deep blue eyes, my mind just went blank at all. I was sooooooooooooooo touched by, that as the directors and other actresses kept walking, he still willing to stay for more seconds, quietly listening to me talking about Uncle Vanya, seemed no rush at all. Later I felt a little regretted that I forgot to tell him I loved his funny dancing on stage, and how much I loved him in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

Hugo wrote his name very carefully when signing on my booklet, did he think otherwise I could't recognize his signature? ๐Ÿ™‚ Heard he was better at interacting with fans in NYC than at home, I felt he was even more considerate for fans in Beijing than in NYC. I then asked "May I have a photo with you?" Hugo nodded without hesitation, said "Sure!". I was over the moon!!!!!! since all these signing and photo were far beyond my expectation!!! Many thanks to my friends, who took several pics for me. Here's one I appreciated in particular, although it's been very blurring, I loved it very much! Hugo was smiling all the time and put his arm around my shoulder!!!!!!!!!! I was soooo happy that I could stand this close by him. Then I felt sorry for keeping him so long time, I thanked him sincerely again. As he moved on, I saw other fans on the other side of the red carpet screaming, Hugo was quite patient with everybody!!! And OMG, the sight of his tall and straight back was just gorgeous!!!!!!!!!

Before he walked into cinema, he was asked to wear the black 3D glasses (guess was the request of sponsers and medias) and posed by the door. Can you ever believe anyone could turn to Agent Smith right in front of you in one second????????? For a moment, you could hear nothing but the scream from everywhere…We even forgot to take photos of him posed with glasses….

It was a surreal night, at least for me ๐Ÿ™‚ I looooooove his smile, looooooove every single wrinkle around his beautiful eyes!!!!!!!!

Suddenly, Beijing was not a stranger to me as I to her. I love Beijing, love my home, too."
—————
THE END

 
Hugo Weaving fangirls… we come from many nations, cultures and backgrounds, but I think every one of us recognizes those feelings. Some things are universal. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Yes, it was challenging catching Hugo at the stage door in New York last July, because he often ducked out a secret, second door in order to dodge flocks of autograph sellers (none of whom cared about Uncle Vanya) who wanted him to sign stacks of 8 x 10 glossies of Agent Smith for them to sell on eBay. These idiots and the ever-present paparazzi created an oppressive atmosphere for both real fans and the actors. Hugo was much more open and friendly with fans in Washington DC the year before and at BAM in 2006, and I hope that if STC returns to the US, they're treated with more respect. Maybe they'll just have to avoid Manhattan– I don't know. But I feel terrible thinking people came from as far as China and missed their stage door experience because professional stalkers made it such an unpleasant place. (Cate Blanchett literally couldn't leave her hotel without photographers dogging her every step.) But I'm glad that this particular fan got a second chance. Hugo really is extraordinarily modest and generous with fans most of the time, but is uncomfortable with the trappings of "celebrity".    

The AACTAs not-so-live telecast has now officially started, so I'll be following online coverage to see if any more pics appear… Hugo did present the evening's first award. The film favored to sweep this year is The Sapphires, which is about a 1960s singing group featuring women from an Aboriginal background. 

I'll add updates as they appear, and again thank everyone who contributed to tonight's entry. 

UPDATE: Another lovely photo from tonight's AACTA Awards ceremony:


Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

 It's too bad Hugo couldn't have presented awards to Richard Roxburgh (who Best TV Actor for Rake) or Last Ride director Glendyn Ivin (who won for his recent series Puberty Blues)…


Photo: Dallas Kilponen/Sydney Morning Herald


Richard Roxburgh with his new AACTA   Photo: Don Arnold/WireImage


Photo: Craig Greenhill/Herald Sun

For additional AACTAs coverage, go to Brisbane Times (photo gallery), Big Pond News, The Herald Sun and The Australian.

For Australian Cloud Atlas coverage (including a new behind the scenes video), go to YourMovies.com.au. There's also an enthusiastic new review at Mark Battistella Films.

I'll update tomorrow with any additional photos or footage (technically, later today. Sometimes when I'm "on Australia time" updating, I forget I've technically pulled an all-nighter.) ;)… Hugo doesn't seem to have walked the red carpet, and only briefly stopped for photographers. But he's given us more than enough lately, so we can hardly complain.

More Cloud Atlas Beijing Coverage, Hugo Weaving Meets Chinese Fans, Bavarian Film Awards, AACTAs

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 have some wonderful new material to share with you courtesy Hugo fan extraordinaire Yvette (@LyridsMC), who has the decided advantage of being fluent in both English and Chinese, and thus can search Chinese social networking sites much more proficiently than I ever could. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Even on English-language social networking sites, conventional English is rarely spoken ;)… so it's no surprise that slang, idiom and abbreviation dominate such sites in any language. Rendering internet translation engines– which rarely translate between European and Asian languages well to begin with– completely break down.)

So, needless to say, I'm grateful beyond measure for these contributions and the translation assistance. I'll post the original articles in their original, Chinese form first (with accompanying photos) then follow with Yvette's translation. I always think it's important to share or link to the original material for full context. Original source links are also provided.

!. Meeting the Directors
@ๅขจๆฎŠๅฟซๆŒฏไฝœ(http://weibo.com/u/1928813853) (all 3 parts)


[Translation]

Part (1) Meeting the Directors:

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (←that pretty much concludes all the feelings of meeting them)

We were a bit late, no more seats left, so we just sat at the entrance/exit next to the bathroom, which turned out to be a spectacular position later. Due to some unknown reasons (guess was the two other important medias, sina or sohu had been interviewing for too much time), the directors arrived 20 minutes later than it was scheduled. So journalists started chatting with each other, when suddenly, we heard someone back a few steps away from us talking in English…Just at the moment we turned our head without second reaction we saw Tom rushed into the toilet…Therefore when he came out, we were the first to meet him!!! I was too thrilled to talk anything and my legs were trembling, so my friend took the poster from me and gave it to Tom, but we were both not sure if he could/willing sign or not. And then, after several seconds of awkwardness, we heard Tom simply say: May I have a pen to sign……………..we were so idiot forget to hand him the pen…

Tom was the first to sit down, followed by Lana and Andy Wachowski, all seemed in super good mood ๐Ÿ™‚ Especially Lana, she was just way too nice! With red hair and a cute dress hopped in. (after well seated, the Wachowskis tried to use Chinese to greet the audience, unfortunately their Nihao, which is Hello in Chinese, was rather unrecognizable.)

Somehow, I was too lucky that day! I was the first journalist chosen to ask questions. I wasn't quite well prepared for this kind of sudden shock and happiness (almost lost consciousness…kidding) My boss actually asked me to have 4 questions in preparation, 3 concerned with "Cloud Atlas"(editing/score/plot), 1 to the "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer". Unfortunately, under that overwhelming circumstances, the first question I quickly glanced at my notebook was the one about Perfume……………….which later, after I got back some consciousness, I realized that one was the most distant with the theme of this press conference, although, Tom Tykwer obviously looked very much surprised and interested ๐Ÿ™‚ Then, the worst thing was, I began to lost the ability to well organize my sentences, especially I had to ask them in English >__<….I don't believe anyone could stay calm when Tom Tykwer's beautiful eyes staring at you more than 3 seconds. The question was going to be: In the last few scenes, Jean-Baptiste starts to cry and remembers the girl he first met. Is it a result of the power of the perfume, or watching people on the plaza, the scene touched him? Tom silenced for a moment, then replied with the most charming smile, saying: Well, that's a question hard to tell. To me, Jean-Baptiste cried because when he saw everyone hugging and leaning close to each other, there's a huge feeling of being isolated covered him. It's like, he created something could let people see the face of God, but God closed his own door to Heaven. He was really very upset and despair. Then, after quietly hearing his answer, my logic did not exist at all…I just forgot to ask the left 3 important questions about Cloud Atlas and sat down……………………………..and until the press conference ended, I did not have any chance to ask those 3 questions T__T What's this called? Happiness comes too fast to forget everything???

Some other journalist asked several questions for the Wachowskis, one I remembered was asking "Would you two have any quarrels?", they replied: "No, not at all. Love brings us together and when we have trouble, we call Mom! ๐Ÿ™‚ " Then the mic phone returned to Tom again. So I tried to contact the other journalist, to see if she could possibly ask Tom why he constantly work with Mr Ben Whishaw, and always to let him play those kinds of bitter parts…Tom laughed and replied: Ben is a very very nice guy, born optimistic, shared nothing at all with the characters he played. He loves trying to explore those diverse and multiple roles. Just like Lana and Andy trust Hugo Weaving, they are so good in everything, I would't give him up and love to work with him when appropriate chance comes. I'm also very pleased this time we could have Ben in Cloud Atlas as well.

Then the directors-meeting came to the end, time for journalists free to get signed and things like that. My friend said loudly that she's got the Cloud Atlas novel's Chinese version, and could she have the opportunity to get signed from all three directors. Later she did be allowed to go up and all the 3 directors signed on her book, also they had a quite close face-to face chat!!! Lana and Andy Wachowski looked at my poster, smiled and said: that's pretty cool! and also happily signed on it. The last few minutes before 3 directors left was rather a little chaos. I couldn't find Tom Tykwer for a minute, and just when I was complaining to my friend where's Tom…I turned my head and saw Tom was just standing closely behind me and smiling!!!!!!!!!!!! We then took a few photos together ๐Ÿ™‚

Then we rushed to the cinema to see the movie. The 130 mins re-edited version. (40 minutes being cut off >__<)

2. About The Movie
[Translation]

1. Editing is really a deep topic that audience could talk about for the whole day. I think the main idea the directors want to present is that everyone living on earth has the ultimate same ending and fate, but the way to reach that ending point is so much different. Something about the unity and universality of human being. But it's a bit hard for the audiences to follow in the beginning, the editing is slightly sort of a mess, many scenes are cut between each other, left too short time for people to get some understanding of one character before cutting to the next. It comes much better later. Hints like doors closing/opening are done very well.

2. The plot is not complete. Felt very upset and angry about the 40 mins cutting off. People like me and my friend, we are big fans of the original novel, so that may be more easier for us to follow the plot, but for most audiences who haven't seen the novel yet, may get confused at some point due to the lack of some details. To be honest, I'm not that sensitive about Ben's gay part being cut, but I'm really disappointed that some necessary turning points got cut.

3. Music and Score are so superb that I actually may cry when hearing the main tune!!!!

4. Doona Bae is a surprise for me, and the Timothy Cavendish story is my favorite.

5. Every actor plays several parts. A bit distracting for fans. I mean they may focus on recognizing those actors instead of the movie itself.

I remember someone said the film's core theme is about connection. Kindness brings salvation, viciousness brings destruction… (I'll omit this whole paragraph)

I'm a little disappointed, because I feel more shocked and touched when reading the original novel, though I admit, the adaptation is quite good enough to some extent.
Here I'm going to say something about the part touched me most in the movie:

It actually comes the same as in the book. It's the story of Robert and Sixsmith. It's also the only one among the 6 stories that runs at a rather fast pace without special effect and some fighting scenes. All of the daughter's scenes are deleted in the adaptation, and the original antique store beginning is changed to a short dream that Sixsmith dreamt when reaching for Robert. And OMG, Ben Whishaw works so perfectly with James D'Arcy!! Although the conversation is cut off, the look they shared between the display shelves shows another wonderful world, a world where people who loves each other could happily be together. And then the embrace in the observation station and the old hotel…If in the book, they keep parting, then in the film they are always missing/passing by. (omit the following several paragraphs.)

The last time I felt so utterly shocked was when watching Tom's Perfume. Those actors sucessfully impressed audience simply by a look, without any text/lines. For about 5 seconds, everyone could understand that kind of despair, rage, struggle as well as Love.

And I can't imagine anyone else could do a better job than Tom and the Wachowskis. As Lana herself said: This is a rather challenging movie, hope you could bravely take it as we took the work, then you'll enjoy its meaning and beauty. ๐Ÿ™‚

3. About The Premiere

After a long time we finish the movie, directors and Hugo hadn't arrived yet, it is said they were trapped on the way because too many fans would like to meet them. During that waiting time, we were being interviewed as well. I was going to seriously talk about editing and actor's performance, didn't expected that journalist rushed to me and directly asked: How's Zhou Xun in it? ………………….Utterly no comments =_= …………….

Then, finally, they arrived!

Just at that moment, I surprisingly found Hugo Weaving!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (We completely had no idea he would come too, we thought it's just like the directors meeting hours ago that only directors would come)

Hugo is simply toooooooooo handsome to look at!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Toooooooooooo handsome from head to toe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And later when he greeting everybody, he lowered his voice, said one of his lines in the movie, which just light up/fire up the whole atmosphere in half a second!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Also the Wachowskis!!!!!!!!!!!!! So naughty!!!!!!!!!!!!! So cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There's the long translating time, which everyone felt just a little bored. I faced Lana and made a "YOU ROCK" gesture. Lana saw it and then turned at us, laughing soooooooooooo happily and waved her fist said "WE ROCK!"
I'm DEAD…………………

This time the Media Conference was not well organized as the directors' meeting hours ago. Not sure if partly due to the translating work. Hugo's answers were always miles away from the questions…………..But he and the directors did seriously answered the question concerns the theme. They said it's all about cycles and connection, courage and love, etc.
After the conference they all walked out. I really kneel down to the fans of Zhou Xun…….they are toooooooo strong………but I have to admit, she was truly beautiful that day. ๐Ÿ™‚

Because too many fans just flood into Zhou Xun, my friend and I, together with some other fans started to scream Hugo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then Hugo turned back with the most breath-taking sweet smile and came over to sign for us. He is soooooooooo tall!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and with the most beautiful blue eyes I've ever seen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I said one of his lines from the Hobbit, but seems he didn't notice…Perhaps Hugo stayed for minutes long, a LARGE amount fans who were then around Zhou Xun ran over here all of a sudden………………………………Hugo was very patient with all the fans and kept the perfect smile all the time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Many people said love him in various movies, from V for Vendentta to The LOTR, to Queen of the Desert, to of course, Agent Smith…..even one girl said she loved him in Proof and Last Ride. I didn't know Hugo would be such popular and has such a wide audience ๐Ÿ™‚

That was absolutely the highlight of my life, it's been a magic feeling to get so close to someone you loved for a long time…(omit the rest of the last paragraph, similar sighing…)

 

Again, my eternal thanks to Yvette– and to the fans who shared their accounts. In some cases, the translations have been edited for off-topic content or slang/enthusiasm which has no precise translation. As anyone in the field of translation knows, each language is unique, and can often contain unique words and concepts which have no exact equivalent… but many things are universal as well. (Including the penchant for Hugo and Benedict Cumberbatch fans to pun around with their favorite actors' names.) ๐Ÿ˜‰ I've always found it intriguing to look into all these words or concepts with no exact equivalent between languages because often I find myself realizing "Yes, there does need to be a word for that, and I've finally found it." Anyhow, I'm indebted to Hugo's international fans for their assistance… The American educational system will continue to lag behind most of the world if we don't teach kids to learn other languages and to have a less myopic cultural outlook– but that's a subject for another blog. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The enthusiasm of Hugo Weaving fans is refreshingly universal across the world. I hope Cloud Atlas is appreciated in China, even in truncated form… the censorship controversy over the film's 40 minutes of edits continues to be covered in the online press… I wish more of the people who seem to be up in arms over this had gone to see the film when it was in release over here. That the Chinese fans (and many journalists there too) are angry at government interference in the arts is a good sign. American films were censored and clumsily edited for decades before the MPAA ratings system was implemented in the late 1960s– and that system still has some glaring flaws. These days fans know how to see films online if censorship or inadequate international distribution prevent them from seeing the films they want to see in theaters– but it shouldn't have to be that way. People should be able to see American films uncut in China, and Chinese (or Australian, French, Korean, German, etc) films in the US in a proper theatrical setting– the tyranny of the marketplace (which reserves most cinema screens for only commercial, Hollywood films) can be as much of an obstacle as censorship for Hugo's fans. Last Ride is as beautiful and visually cinematic as Cloud Atlas, but very few fans outside of Australia got to see that film in a cinema, and that's a shame. (The fact that far too many Americans CHOSE not to see Cloud Atlas in theaters is equally a shame… ) Anyhow, I don't mean to go on, but the fact that Hugo has so many fans willing to deal with all of these barriers is a beautiful thing. I do think Chinese audiences might have a greater appreciation for some aspects of the film than Westerners did… it's hard for many Americans and Europeans to see identity as a fluid concept, for example.

Cloud Atlas has also recently been awarded the Producer's Award by the Bavarian Film Guild. My friend Nyctalus sent along this brief item, with translation:

"Award for Cloud Atlas: The most expensive German film ever, Cloud Atlas, has been awarded with the Producer's Award by the jury of the Bavarian Film Award. The 100 million Euro production is 'a breath-taking travel in time'."

Online Hugo Weaving Articles:

There are detailed articles about the Cloud Atlas censorship controversy, including the response of Chinese fans, at E Online UK and The Daily Star. There's a preview for Cloud Atlas's Australian release at The Australian, and new reviews at China Daily, Engin Effect and RealDealHK.

Finally, the AACTA's confirmed via their Twitter feed that Hugo will not only attend this Wednesday's ceremony (January 30) but will be presenting, so he's bound to make whatever highlight reels and press photos are released online. If anyone in Australia manages to tape or watch the show, we'd love detailed info on his appearance. Or, y'know, video footage… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Next update will probably include Hugo's AACTA Awards appearance… the ceremony begins at 9.30PM on Australia's Network 10. If you're following news internationally, that's 5.30 AM EST and 10.30 AM GMT.

Finally, this brief interview clip featuring Hugo Weaving promoting Cloud Atlas at the Toronto International Film Festival this past September 8, which could previously only be streamed via Toronto media sites, is now up on YouTube:

Originally appeared at Toronto Globe & Mail; image quality even on the original (obviously recorded with a cellphone) is shaky
   

More Hugo Weaving Pics & Video Links: Cloud Atlas Beijing Premiere; Hugo to attend AACTA Awards

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.

Images from the Cloud Atlas premiere and press junket in Beijing, China keep pouring in… I have at least fifty new ones to share, and there might be more before I'm finished. Unfortunately, I missed Hugo's Singapore (Kiss 92) radio interview last night due to a combination of fatigue and mistaken information I really should have double-checked: the reporter who conducted the interview is featured on TWO Singapore radio stations, and only linked to one of them from his personal blog… turns out that was the WRONG one. I found this out a mere 20 minutes too late, having spend several hours listening to the wrong station stream American pop music so bad it could be labeled a form of "extraordinary rendition." ๐Ÿ˜‰  I hope some of you fact-checked this one better than I did, and I'm very sorry to everyone I gave the wrong link. I feel terrible about this, and hope I'm granted a reprieve in the form of the station re-airing or posting the recording of the interview.

Embeddable video of the Beijing premiere remains in short supply; this version of the red carpet photo call appeared on YouTube, but Hugo's interview was inexplicably exised; you can see the complete version, with comments from Hugo, Zhou Xun, the Wachowskis, Tom Tykwer and Zhu Zhu at Sina.com; they also have a 30 minute interview with the directors. (I shared the link to their Hugo Weaving interview yesterday, but here it is again– more than worth a second look, as is Phoenix Entertainment's (ifeng.com). Hugo's revealed some snippets about his background and interests that I'd never heard before in these interviews, in addition to promoting Cloud Atlas and sharing tales from the set.

I'd better start posting those photos, because there are a lot of 'em. Thanks particularly to my friend Yvette for her assistance in searching Chinese microblogging sites and social networks for some great fan photos. Trying to read Chinese press articles via translator sites can induce apoplexy in short order, making me extraordinarily grateful for all my bilingual and multilingual friends in the Hugo fandom.  


Hugo Weaving with Lana and Andy Wachowski and Chinese TV presenter Charles Zhang;  Photo: Tieba.Baidu.com


News.163.com


The 22 January premiere screening; Photo: Zhang Mo/China Daily


CN.IBTimes.com


Xinhua.net


Cloud Atlas Chinese promo poster; Photo: masdygmyc.com (plus next three images)


Sina.com


news.MTime,com (plus next photo)


21CN (plus next four)


CNTV


CNTV
 

ent.qq.com (plus next four)

Thanks to Lyrids MC for sharing the next ten photos of Hugo interacting with fans, from Chinese social networking sites (additional credits on photos):



ent.ifeng.com


China Daily/Zhang Mo


Hinews.cn (plus next photo)


Sina.cn (plus next two)


Was Andy Wachowski a ballet dancer in a previous life? ๐Ÿ˜‰


If anyone has video of the film introduction interviews, I'd love to see it!


M1905.cn (plus next two photos; they also have a brief red carpet video review)


Straits Times/AFP (plus next photo)


CFP/China.org.cn


Image China via xin,msn.com (plus next photo)


Hugo behind the scenes at an ent 163 TV interview; Photo: Ent 163 (plus next seven)


No, I haven't found video for this interview yet, but I'm looking. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Also not sure what's up with the stuffed animals. (Yesterday Hugo posed with a fox… is that an octopus?) I assume they're mascots of some sort, possibly of the various TV stations, but can only guess.)

Apologies for any duplications; in some cases I'm trying to provide larger versions of images previously shared, but I now have over 150 images from those two days in my archives, many with minute differences. That's why the fan photos are so special.

There's an additional, minute and a half long, edited red carpet video at Taiba Baidu. You can read articles (English-language) about the film's censorship controversy at The Herald Sun and South China Morning Post.  I'd love to hear from a fan who's seen both cuts and can describe exactly what was edited out; there aren't 40 full minutes of graphic sex or violence in the director's cut. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Popcorn Addict joins the ranks of those condemning the film's American awards snubs.    

In other Hugo Weaving News, Hugo is scheduled to appear at next week's AACTA Awards in Sydney (January 30), though he isn't scheduled to present and isn't nominated this year. (He won Best Supporting Actor at last year's AACTAs, which he was unable to attend.) I hope clips or photos of the event are eventually posted, because there's never an international telecast of the full show, and only in recent years have excerpts/highlight reels been posted. I have been able to obtain (fan-made) DVDs of past AFI and IF ceremonies, but my sources for those have lately dried up… fortunately I do have footage of the 2005 events when Hugo won for Little Fish. (See my YouTube account). At any rate, you can read more at The Daily Telegraph and ArtsHub. Russell Crowe is scheduled to host, and Geoffrey Rush and Cate Blanchett are listed as presenters.

There's a nice review by jimmygils of Hugo's film Last Ride here— it can now be streamed via Netflix in addition to rented (or you can just buy a few copies like I did.) "…Everyone remembers Hugo Weaving as cool shades Agent Smith from the Matrix Trilogy, however I will remember him from this performance.  If you want to fill 90 minutes of your life with a drama adventure, check this movie out." My kinda guy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I'm running on my third day in a row of very little sleep, so I'm going to grab a little down-time before psychosis sets in… I hope we haven't seen the end of Beijing photos and videos yet, because this has been quite a rush. 

More Cloud Atlas Beijing Pics, Video Links, New Hugo Weaving Interview

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 Iโ€™ll attempt to find a copy in my personal archives.

New photos and videos keep coming in from the Cloud Atlas Beijing press conference (January 21) and premiere (January 22). I’ll keep adding more links and items as they arrive (and I can find time), but fans will want to check the videos first: Sina.com.cn has posted video of the 13 minute solo interview with Hugo Weaving I provided a rough text translation of yesterday… needless to say, the video is better. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Unfortunately I can’t embed (LJ remains very fussy about which sites they’ll accept embeds from) but the video should stream directly in all locations. And massive thanks to Yvette for her download of the hourlong interview with Hugo, Zhou Xun and the directors and producers from v.qq.com. If you didn’t catch her link in the comments from yesterday’s entry, here it is again. ย And yes, my wild guess that Hugo meant Tony Leung when asked what Chinese entertainers he’d like to work with was in fact correct and not just my wishful thinking. (The text version just said “Tony”). ๐Ÿ˜‰

Lana Wachowski addressed the censorship/editing issue Cloud Atlas has faced in its Chinese release in an English-language China.org.cn interview (some 40 minutes of the film were removed, sex and violence being reasons most commonly cited.) She allowed that it’s fair that fans who might want to see the version of the film its makers intended might seek it out online, but lamented that censorship and the sort of staggered international releases of films that have driven us all crazy only fuel internet piracy and shortchange international film fans.

Here are the latest photos… some are very similar to or are enlargements of images posted last night… I hope no one minds. ๐Ÿ˜‰


Hugo sits for a TV interview with TV Sohu

Photobucket
Cloud Atlas Beijing Press Conference; L to R: Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski, Andy Wachowski, Hugo Weaving, Zhu Zhu ย Photo: Xinhua.net


Photo: Associated Press


Photo (plus next 3): AP/Ng Han Guan/SIPA


L to R: Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, Zhou Xun, Hugo Weaving


XinMSN (plus next one )


Thumbnails from Rex Features (anyone have an account there…) ๐Ÿ˜‰


Thanks to LyridsMC ๐Ÿ˜‰


China.org.cn (plus next two)


Hugo Weaving and Zhu Zhu


The formal Cloud Atlas premiere January 22 in Beijing; Photo: Xinmin/Wang Shen via Bulgarian News Agency (!)


Still from Hugo’s video interview with Sina.com.cn


CRI Online (plus next 2)


Douban.com


ent.ifeng.com (plus next one)


(I predict these’ll be a Tumblr animated GIF in about…oh…five minutes). ๐Ÿ˜‰


Elle China (plus next 4 : there’s a large gallery of images at the sites, but several are duplicates I’ve already posted.)


Yule.sohu.com (plus next 17 )

Additional Chinese media coverage of Cloud Atlas: Ent.lnd.com.cn, People.com.cn, Douban.com, and news.eastday.com. A lot of these stories have similar material and quotes from the press conference and other interviews previously cited here. I’ve only found the one photo of the actual premiere so far, so this probably isn’t remotely everything there is to find… back soon with more. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks to Elisa at RS and Yvette for their assistance and enthusiasm.

There’s a slideshow of large images of Hugo doing interviews for Beijing TV show YuleSohu.com and a transcript of the interview here… I’ll keep looking for video, because I don’t have time to post a translation at the moment and am not happy with what Google’s giving me for one. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But Hugo makes additional interesting comments about farming and not being particularly interested in a career as a Hollywood villain. ๐Ÿ˜‰ UPDATE: I’ve managed to separate the interview photos from the gallery format and embed them above… no video…yet.) ANOTHER UPDATE: We have video! Click here. Alas, no embedding again. And it’s maddeningly dubbed-over, so if anyone has a copy with original audio, please let me know. If only so we may finally figure out what that little fox toy is all about. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Additional Hugo Quotes:

Jin Qian Entertainment: Hugo Weaving:”Obviously [despite working for]ย ย three different directors, acting in several completely different types of movies, I feel [Cloud Atlas] is [tonally] so consistent. [Each film set was aย distinctย entity as we worked, but],ย the effect
of the final presentation is amazingly consistent, [implying] there is a tacit understanding [amongst the directors].”

On Lana Wachowski: “”Lana’s appearance [obviously] has changed, but at heart she hasn’t essentially changed, as usual, she likes to ask questions, and her curiosity is still very strong.”

This article at 022.net suggests that it was Hugo who initiated the Rockette/high kick dance by the cast in all those press conference photos, but a precise translation of what exactly happened eludes me. ๐Ÿ˜‰


022.net

This positive review (Yule Sohu) review hints that the film will face the same challenges in China that it did in the US: “Both as ย a metaphysical construct, and a physical experience, this is my favorite [kind of] movie. Market prospects? It’s difficult to say. Chinese audiences like shallow films like “Titanic”… but also [go to see more challenging films]. Box office prediction has become increasingly similar to a gambling lottery…. All I can say is it’s a good movie. ”

There’s another new solo interview featuring Hugo at v.ifeng.com… it’s over 17 minutes long and covers some of the same ground as the previous two, but has some interesting additional details, including an account of his previous visit to China 20 years ago (I’m still trying to figure out what “filming” he might be referring to, but it sounds like he was mostly there to travel.) He also hints that his next film project (almost certainly Craig Monahan’s Healing) begins shooting in February, as well as referencing the STC production of Waiting For Godot later this year. Kudos to Ifeng and Sina for sharing their interviews WITHOUT overdubs! Whether or not I share a common language with an artist, I want to hear him or her speaking. (And yes, I have returned some Chinese films– mostly of the Hong Kong action variety– to Netflix without viewing them when I discovered there was no subtitles option, only overdubs. And yes, I’m fairly certain one involved Tony Leung.) ๐Ÿ˜‰ ย Here are some stills:


Photo: ent.ifeng.com (plus next one)

I’ve also found some new photos of the official Beijing premiere of Cloud Atlas (which was January 22, the night after the press conference.)


Li Xueshi photo/China News.com


L to R: Hugo Weaving, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, Zhou Xun, Tom Tykwer, Zhu Zhu
Photo: Sina via iqilu.com


Xinmin.msn.com (plus following photo)


TungStar via Sina.com (plus following photo)


In case you wanted to see this photo. Again. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (People.com.cn)

I’ll close this entry, as we’re getting into the wee hours again. I wish Singapore Radio station Kiss 92 had told me ahead of time that they wouldn’t actually be AIRING their interview with Hugo until 6pm local time (5am EST)… could’ve saved myself these past two hours of miserable American pop music. I hope Singapore’s home-grown artists are better than the stuff they import from us. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I will try to embed or link to that interview once it’s available.

Here’s the Youtube embed of the (overdubbed) Yule Sohu interview: