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Cloud Atlas (2012)
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Directed by: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Script by: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Status: Premiere Sept. 8, 2012 (TIFF Canada)
Runtime: 172 min
Production Studio: Cloud Atlas Productions, X-Filme Creative Pool, Anarchos Pictures
Country: Germany, USA, Hong Kong, Singapore
Co-Stars: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, Hugo Weaving, Donna Bae, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant
Role: Young Rufus Sixsmith, Old Rufus Sixsmith, Nurse James, Archivist
Young Sixsmith: The talented young lover of Robert Frobisher in 1936 Scotland (Frobisher's story)
Old Sixsmith: Nuclear Physicist in 1973 San Francisco (Luisa Rey's story)
Archivist: Corpocracy's Archivist who records the final testimony of Sonmi-451 in 2144 Neo Seoul (Sonmi's story)
Nurse James: The male nurse in a nursing-home in 2012 England (Cavendish's story)
James about his characters: If all my roles were to have a theme, it would be about working within institutions they don’t like and wish they could change,” states James D’Arcy, whose characters include those employed by a corrupt power company, a horrible nursing home and a repressive government. “But my last incarnation is the Archivist, and even though he’s technically part of the oppression he finally takes a stand, so there’s hope for that soul.
I did invent an amazing backstory for the male nurse though. I had a lot of time sitting around doing not a lot, so I thought about that character more than any of the others and decided he was an Elvis impersonator at the weekends who was not very successful and was now considering going on a binge-eating bender to get fat so that he might get a few more bookings as Fat Elvis!
Plot: Based on bestselling novel The Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Six stories set in a different time and place become intricately related to each other – a 19th century notary on a Pacific expedion, a bisexual musician in the 1930’s, a female journalist in a thrillers in 1970’s California, an aging publisher in London in the present, a clone in a futuristic dystopia, and a Pacific survivor in a post-apocalyptic world- wall of which fold in on themselves. An epic narrative in which the actions of the protagonists in the past, present and future are intertwined. A killer turns out to be the savior of mankind, and the consequences of a single good deed solve centuries later, a revolution. The novel is a complex web of six stories, which are linked together thematically, but spans centuries in time. It begins with the story of a man on a voyage across the Pacific in the late 19th century, and ends in the dystopian future, imagining a day when the English language has become so reduced that people barely use vowel
Trivia & Facts:
- Budget: $100 million making it "the first attempt at a German blockbuster" and the most expensive German-produced film to date.
- 2 units filmed simultaneously: Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski directed the 1849, 2144, and 2321 segments of the film. Tom Tykwer directed the 1936, 1973, and 2012 segments.
- Natalie Portman gave a copy of Cloud Atlas to Lana Wachowski on the set of V for Vendetta, thereby introducing him to the subject matter.
- Music was recorded in July 2011 before the film was shot.
- Production was halted when Halle Berry broke a metatarsal when she slipped at Soller.
- All cast members have several roles in the final film, spanning different times, races and even sexes. This was achieved through prosthetics, wardrobe and tight production times to switch actors between units.
- Despite Sixsmith and Frobisher's close relationship in the film, they are never actually shown speaking to one another.
- James D'Arcy is the only actor to play the same character (Rufus Sixsmith) in two different segments.
Film Location: Port Soller, Formentor, Puig Major (Mallorca, Spain); Glasgow, Falkirk, Dumbarton, Edinburgh - Scott Monument (Scotland); Studio Babelsberg, Potsdam (Germany); Dreischeibenhaus, Düsseldorf (Germany)
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films (USA 2013) - Best Editing: Alexander Berner; Best Make-Up: Heike Merker, Daniel Parker, Jeremy Woodhead
Austin Film Critics Association (2012) - Best Score: Reinhold Heil, Johnny Klimek, Tom Tykwer
Bavarian Film Awards (2013) - Best Production: Stefan Arndt
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards (2013) - Best Makeup: Heike Merker, Daniel Parker, Jeremy Woodhead
Lola Awards (Berlin 2013) - Best Cinematography: John Toll, Frank Griebe; Production Design: Uli Hanisch, Hugh Bateup; Make Up: Daniel Parker, Jeremy Woodhead; Costumes: Kym Barrett, Pierre-Yves Gayraud; Editing: Alexander Berner
Quotes from the film:
Archivist: On behalf of my Ministry and the future of Unanimity, I want to thank you for the final interview. Remember, this isn't an interrogation or trial. Your version of the truth is all that matters.
Sonmi-451: Truth is singular. Its "versions" are mistruths.
Archivist: What if no one believes you?
Sonmi-451: Someone already does.
Robert Frobisher: I believe there is a another world waiting for us, Sixsmith. A better world. And I'll be waiting for you there.
James D'Arcy: The film is "overwhelming in every area. It's so unlike anything that you've ever seen or experienced, that honestly the only thing that one could do in the filming of it – and I feel probably in terms of watching it as well – is just to kind of throw your arms in the air, relax, enjoy it.
The ride will take you where it's supposed to take you and it will all work out in the end.
Ben Whishaw: To be completely honest to you, that is one of the real surprises to the film to me. I had no idea that story would feel that way in the end result. That was a total surprise. James and I didn't get to rehearse at all, but James is the most wonderful guy. He's so much fun. He's such a generous actor, such a beautiful actor. He made it very easy to immediately go into this relationship without having any time at all to discuss or rehearse. Sometimes you can jump into things and you tap into your intuition, which can be better than weeks of preparation. Sometimes you're just blessed with that.
Tom Twyker: When reached for comment on the hiring, co-director Tom Tykwer explained that he’s always wanted to work with someone who had an apostrophe in their name.
I was also hugely impressed by the performance(s) of D'Arcy, whom until this point I hadn't given much thought. Here he brings enormous gravity to each of his characters, particularly the smitten Sixsmith, and he performs the film's most emotional scene beautifully --- AfterElton Oct. 25, 2012, Brian Jeurgens
Though the story of the composer Frobisher (Whishaw) and his lover Sixsmith (D’Arcy) isn’t as gratifying as the others, their final scene together is soul-crushing and is a piece of killer acting from D’Arcy. Worth noting --- Cinesnark
Easily my two favorite actors in the film were James D’arcy and Doona Bae, virtual unknowns, at least in the U.S. Not only was I able to follow them from segment to segment, I fell into their stories. That last interview scene with the two of them is one of the strongest bits of acting in the film." --- carriev.wordpress.com, Carrie Vaughn, novelist