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A star-studded cast and crew, including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Sturgess, Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer made their way down a black carpet leading to the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre Wednesday night at the Los Angeles premiere of Warner Bros. sci-fi-drama-mystery, Cloud Atlas.
Based on the novel by David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas tells a series of stories that transcend time. The film looks at how every action has a reaction, affecting the past, present and future of any given individual. It demonstrates how an act of kindness inspires revolution centuries later, and how a killer becomes a hero over the years.
Andy Wachowski – writer, producer and director alongside his sister Lana Wachowski and Tykwer – says the film became somewhat of a passion project. When financing fell through, the creative team insisted on moving forward with the movie because of how much it meant to them: “At some point four days before the shoot some of our financing fell out because the company went bankrupt and we had to put our homes up for mortgage to fill in the financing gap — it was just worth it to us.”
He attributes this passion to his connection with the book.
“The book is staggering,” Wachowski said. “It speaks to us on so many different levels. It speaks to us in terms of our love of genre.”
The movie spans eras and centuries, and features a motley crew of characters, providing the viewer with a lot to absorb. “This film definitely warrants multiple viewings,” said composer Reinhold Heil. However, he feels that everything comes together, in large part because of the binding music which helps maintain continuity, fluidity and cohesiveness. This was created by multiple variations of the “Cloud Atlas Sextet” that were adjusted to fit any given genre, story and time period. “The music helps keep us aware that there are several narratives going on simultaneously,” Heil explained.
Looking at the final product, actor Jim Broadbent joked about the ultimate message that the film conveys.
“I’m not so good on the messages,” Broadbent laughed, “but the message I enjoy and sympathize with is that every action has an effect down the generations. We’re not in isolation, living our own little lives.”
Wachowski seemed a little more confident with his take of the film’s meaning.
“We don’t like to reduce the film to a sound bite,” Wachowski said. “The movie is about humanity. The main character in the movie is humanity and so it’s about everything (laughs). That’s it. It’s about everything.”
Cloud Atlas hits theaters Oct. 26.
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