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CLOUD ATLAS
July 26, 2012 10:44 AM   Subscribe

A six minute trailer has been released for the film adaptation of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, directed by Tom Tykwer and The Wachowskis. [previously]
posted by brundlefly (106 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Lovely book. Can't wait to see the movie. Wish I didn't have to download Quicktime to watch the trailer.
posted by entropone at 10:52 AM on July 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Why is 14-year old Zachary being played by Tom Hanks?!

I am the Internet, pay attention to my discontent!
posted by Tevin at 10:52 AM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


NO (No (no (no (No (NO) No) no) no) No) NO).
posted by mochapickle at 10:53 AM on July 26, 2012 [55 favorites]


Looks lovely! But I suppose I shall have to read the book first. I hadn't even heard of this book until there was buzz about this movie brewing. I am not entirely sure why it didn't make it on my radar as it sounds up my alley.
posted by Kitteh at 10:55 AM on July 26, 2012


YES (Yes (yes (yes (Yes (YES) Yes) yes) yes) Yes) YES).
posted by furtive at 10:55 AM on July 26, 2012 [18 favorites]


I have high hopes for "Cloud Atlas".

But "Cloud Atlas Reloaded" is gonna suck.
posted by steambadger at 10:55 AM on July 26, 2012 [17 favorites]


grumblegrumblegrumblegrumbleAppleQuicktimegrumblegrumblegrumble

I'll wait until they release it on YouTube. How annoying.
posted by xingcat at 10:55 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Woah! Tom Tykwer AND The Wachowskis? That's a lot of obsessiveness for any one film to bear. That could be weirdly magical or just a horrible clusterfuck.
posted by yoink at 10:56 AM on July 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


There was something I really didn't like about Cloud Atlas but I can't remember what it is now.

This looks reasonable. I may go see it.
posted by solarion at 10:58 AM on July 26, 2012


Oh my goodness I am way more excited after seeing that than I thought I was gonna be
posted by Greg Nog at 10:58 AM on July 26, 2012


I told my friend when I first heard about the travesty [paraphrase], "this movie will be the ultimate disaster of a film, there's no way that they can contain this book in a film. It will it be a brilliant and majestic failure. I can't wait to see it."

That prediction still stands.
posted by Tevin at 10:59 AM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


The relationship between Frobisher and Sixsmith, as well as Frobisher himself, never fails to bring me to tears.
posted by entropone at 11:01 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


That prediction still stands.

Can the film-going world stand two Prometheii?
posted by fatbird at 11:01 AM on July 26, 2012


Oh my goodness I am way more excited after seeing that than I thought I was gonna be

Same here. My brow furrowed pretty deeply when I heard that it was on deck for filming, but I have to say this looks pretty good.
posted by jquinby at 11:04 AM on July 26, 2012


grumblegrumblegrumble

grumblegrumbleAppleQuicktimegrumblegrumblegrumbleyeahIknowwhatyoumeangrumblegrumblegrumble
posted by lampshade at 11:04 AM on July 26, 2012


Well at least the scripted spontaneous spiel by the filmmakers wasn't completely infuriating.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 11:04 AM on July 26, 2012


I am not entirely sure why it didn't make it on my radar as it sounds up my alley.

Same; I had heard of the book, but somewhere along the line I confused it with The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet, another Mitchell book which I have not read. Looks really neat, book & movie-wise!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:04 AM on July 26, 2012


I loved this book and can't wait to see how they do the movie. There are a lot of actors I consider rather smarter than average and the directors have done other things I enjoy, so it seems more promising than I had expected.

I will definitely go see it, mostly out of curiosity to see if any of the greatness of the book makes it to the screen.
posted by chatongriffes at 11:05 AM on July 26, 2012


A wildly ambitious undertaking, and I'm glad they made an adaptation of this novel even though it wasn't quite as popular in the US as in the UK. The trailer looks a little too melodramatic, but that's studio marketing for you. And like the novel, I would recommend to my friends that they watch the whole trailer, as the "end" is very different from the beginning...
posted by sharkitect at 11:06 AM on July 26, 2012


Seriously though, are there any good reasons to make Zachary a growed-ass man instead of a teenage boy? His story is a coming-of-age tale and his age is actually pretty important to his character.
posted by Tevin at 11:06 AM on July 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


I may see it despite Tom Hanks.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:07 AM on July 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


Boy, there's sure a lot of mumbling portentously about interconnectedness in that trailer. I guess, when you adapt a movie these days, all the subtext has to be text, eh?
posted by gurple at 11:12 AM on July 26, 2012 [6 favorites]



Same; I had heard of the book, but somewhere along the line I confused it with The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet, another Mitchell book which I have not read. Looks really neat, book & movie-wise!


I found Cloud Atlas way, way more compelling than The Thousand Autumns. Read it first!
posted by liketitanic at 11:14 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


gurple: "I guess, when you adapt a movie these days, all the subtext has to be text, eh?"

Also, Wachowskis.
posted by brundlefly at 11:14 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I may see it despite Tom Hanks.

You know, it's kind of hard for an actor when they hit the mega-fame level of a Tom Hanks not to end up in some pretty ghastly, glurgy films. But Hanks is a genuinely skilled actor, nonetheless. Don't blame him for having been in some drecky vehicles.
posted by yoink at 11:17 AM on July 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think this is the impetus I needed to push the book to the top of my reading list. Thanks!
posted by likeatoaster at 11:20 AM on July 26, 2012


I found Cloud Atlas way, way more compelling than The Thousand Autumns. Read it first!

Yeah, I couldn't even finish Thousand Autumns. I didn't even think the writing was that good, which is strange because he can write something like Black Swan Green, which just hummed along.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 11:22 AM on July 26, 2012


The image is squished, but Indiewire has a way to watch the trailer without Quicktime.
posted by alzi at 11:26 AM on July 26, 2012


re: Thousand Autumns, Black Swan Green, etc.
I've recommended David Mitchell to lots of people. Most people love at least one book of his. But some people inexplicably hate Black Swan Green, or Thousand Autumns, or god forbid, Cloud Atlas - but like the others.

It's weird, I don't get it, but I love David Mitchell and some of my friends hating some of his work is a price I'm willing to pay for his creativity and talent.
posted by entropone at 11:33 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's also a low-quality but non-squished Flash trailer at the AV Club for you grumblers.
posted by whir at 11:35 AM on July 26, 2012


Thanks whir... I was about to get crabappled, so thanks for the link. The number of take downs on youtube of this trailer by Warner, makes me wonder if Apple buys exclusive rights to trailers.
posted by matimer at 11:39 AM on July 26, 2012


To jump in on the "like this not that" discussion... Cloud Atlas is one of my favorite books of all-time. I really enjoyed Thousand Autumns, but found Black Swan Green a snore. *shrug*
posted by papercake at 11:46 AM on July 26, 2012


Oh, and, also — this trailer got me excited for the movie, although deep down I know it's going to be a failure (brilliant or otherwise). Although Mitchell did approve the script... no! NO! I refuse to get my hopes up! It's going to be a failure.

Please don't be a failure.
posted by papercake at 11:47 AM on July 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


So, does this ignore that the Luisa Rey mystery is a work of fiction to force the theme of interconnectedness?

Or am I remembering the book incorrectly?
posted by neuromodulator at 11:49 AM on July 26, 2012


Looks lovely! But I suppose I shall have to read the book first. I hadn't even heard of this book until there was buzz about this movie brewing. I am not entirely sure why it didn't make it on my radar as it sounds up my alley.

It's fucking amazing.
posted by Summer at 11:49 AM on July 26, 2012


Haven't read the book, but this is one of the most exciting trailers I've seen in a long time.
posted by mediated self at 11:50 AM on July 26, 2012


I loved Cloud Atlas, and I kind of groaned when I heard there was a movie coming out because just...this book. But now the trailer has made me feel like it potentially won't be a trainwreck? I don't know, I'm so conflicted.

(Also how has no one mentioned Number9dream yet? It's my favorite David Mitchell book after Cloud Atlas.)
posted by clavier at 11:59 AM on July 26, 2012


"Ghostwritten" is one of two books I routinely give to people when I want to give a book as a gift. (The other is "The Music of Chance" by Paul Auster, FWIW.) I've resisted reading Cloud Atlas up until now, despite it being on my shelf for years, because I so loved the experience of reading "Ghostwritten" for the first time and wanted to hold off this particular pleasure for as long as I could. I think it's time for me to read it.
posted by jbickers at 12:00 PM on July 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


Umm - looks like too much book for just 1-movie... but, now I have something new to read - and the trailer does look exciting... Personally, I love these kind of interconnected historical/present stories (*cough* Cryptonomicon anyone?)
posted by jkaczor at 12:01 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't remember there being that much kissing in the book.
posted by Jon_Evil at 12:10 PM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I hate to be the curmudgeon, but I don't know why we need to turn every fantastic book into an okay movie. Why can't we just let some things be. Why we can't just leave these great novels alone in our imaginations. I mean, I'm sure they offered Mitchell a check he couldn't refuse...but...sigh.
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:14 PM on July 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Your Summer Reading Guide: 16 Great Books About To Become Movies

The Hobbit
Cloud Atlas
Life of Pi
etc..

great times ahead
posted by stbalbach at 12:15 PM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


top movies made into books: 2012, 2013
posted by stbalbach at 12:18 PM on July 26, 2012


I dunno, I think making Cloud Atlas into a movie is ... cheating, kinda. I mean, the book is basically a set of pastiches over a skein of intertwined themes. This works as a book because you can appreciate Mitchell's storytelling and admire the way he absolutely nails each genre and creates a coherent whole from disparate parts. However, as a movie, they could just rely on a bunch of lazy tropes, resulting in something that looks like a whole bunch of movies I've seen before.

Also, I'm concerned that the Sonmi, Zachary, and Frobisher chapters will lose much of their impact without the first-person perspective, and I typically hate voice-over narration.

Having said that, yeah, of course I'm going to see this.

(also, they're making Anna Karenina into a movie? Lol, I wonder what they're going to do with Levin's long, proto-socialist ramblings about farming)
posted by Afroblanco at 12:20 PM on July 26, 2012


Sadly, not the David Mitchell I was hoping for.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:22 PM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't know why we need to turn every fantastic book into an okay movie.

This is known informally as Miramaxing.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:23 PM on July 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


Good God that looks beautiful. But I have absolutely no idea how it's going to be possible to translate the mind-bending beauty of that book into a film. I am hopefully dubious. (Or would that be dubiously hopeful?)
posted by donovan at 12:28 PM on July 26, 2012


Anyone manage to spot any colours that weren't teal or orange?
posted by sleepcrime at 12:28 PM on July 26, 2012


Thank you, whir. Another grumbler at AppleQT trailers, here.
posted by doctornemo at 12:33 PM on July 26, 2012


You should read it, jbickers. Impressive how many layers and voices the book pulls off.
posted by doctornemo at 12:34 PM on July 26, 2012


I thought the book was mediocre and precious and the movie looks to be more or less the same.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 12:38 PM on July 26, 2012


I adored this book. I barely recognize this movie. Wow, but I think this is one of the few times I'll wait to see the film before rereading, just to give it a fair shake. Am hoping the VO sledgehammering home the theme of connectedness is just in the trailer to capture viewers who haven't read it, and not in the actual film. Its power was in its subtlety.
posted by Mchelly at 12:38 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I adored this book. I barely recognize this movie.

Exactly
posted by donovan at 12:47 PM on July 26, 2012


also, they're making Anna Karenina into a movie? Lol, I wonder what they're going to do with Levin's long, proto-socialist ramblings about farming

The trailer did contain at least one farming scene. I was watching closely for it.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:49 PM on July 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


So, does this ignore that the Luisa Rey mystery is a work of fiction to force the theme of interconnectedness?

Or am I remembering the book incorrectly?


One of the best things about this book is the different voice Mitchell is able to conjure up for each section. Louisa Rey's story has a potboiler mystery tang to it, but I think Cavendish's interpretation of her tale—he being a book editor, after all—is the reason you might have thought that. I think her story "happened" no more nor less than everyone else's.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 12:53 PM on July 26, 2012


Terrible. You look at the list of actors, the producer/screenplay writers/directors and you just know that this thing will be vigorously massaged and focused grouped such that all beauty and wisdom and humor there might have been in the original book will be sacrificed to the altar of commercial success and artistic mediocrity. I loved the book (but prefered Thousand Autumns), was intrigued when I heard that it was to be made into a movie, and was dismayed when I heard the details.

On the other hand, now I have super low expectations, so maybe...
posted by bumpkin at 12:53 PM on July 26, 2012


I'm glad that this will get more people to read the book. So, you know, fine. But I think Sloosha's Crossing in particular is going to be very, very, very difficult to film without it becoming Boring Exposition Fest 2012.
posted by davidjmcgee at 12:54 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh man. This summer, I read Cloud Atlas...then The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, then Black Swan Green. Back to back. So captivating. They have little flaws-- especially The Thousand Autumns-- but Mitchell's clearly a wunderkind when it comes to being entertaining and believable in different voices and settings.

As for the movie...why? Why does everything have to be a fucking movie? I think there's something kind of psychologically cannibalistic about a movie adaptation put out by Hollywood. It's like buying headspace. That is, if someone puts out a little indie film based on Cloud Atlas, it's just another thing in this huge cultural corpus that I can choose to interact with or not. But when a work has so much financial and distributory brunt behind it, it's for all intents and purposes a replacement.
posted by threeants at 12:55 PM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


It looks like they are going to pull an English Patient on it - extract and dramatize the love stories and shunt the rest into the background. In this case with a Run Lola Run / Groundhog Day thing to provide continuity that was only hinted at in the book.

I didn't go see the English Patient movie, there's no way I was going to let them pollute the version in my head.
posted by nixt at 1:00 PM on July 26, 2012


That doesn't look much like the book I read and loved. I'll just hope that the film is an interesting and related piece that is good in its own right. I would enjoy that. I don't need it to be the book. Hell, I don't want it to be the book.
posted by etc. at 1:01 PM on July 26, 2012


I adored this book. I barely recognize this movie.

I agree, but that's not necessarily bad. P.D. James' Children of Men is a pretty darn good book. By contrast, Alfonso Cuaron's Children of Men is a fantastic—and much different—movie.

That said, this trailer leaves me with a...tepid hope for a good movie.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 1:02 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sadly, not the David Mitchell I was hoping for.

Ha, my husband said the same thing!
posted by Kitteh at 1:04 PM on July 26, 2012


OK, I have no prior knowledge of this book, and just based on how excited everyone was over the idea of a trailer, took a look.
I, for one, am confused.
Unless you know the source i have a feeling its gonna be a hard sell.

and to all those who are worried that someone is making a movie version of something you hold sacred....all I have to do is sadly point to Watchmen sorry
posted by ShawnString at 1:04 PM on July 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


I 'love' how the movie tagline is "Everything is Connected".

This September, in theaters near you... To Kill A Mockingbird: "It's About Racism, Y'all!!! (The Black Guy Gets Unfairly Convicted Btw)"

Coming next summer... The Satanic Verses: "FYI The People Turning Into Animals Represent The Experience of People of Color in Contemporary Britain"
posted by threeants at 1:09 PM on July 26, 2012 [17 favorites]


Narnia: "Certain Characters May Represent Jesus LOL!!!"
posted by threeants at 1:10 PM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


As for the movie...why? Why does everything have to be a fucking movie?

Well, what do you expect Hollywood to do, think up stories on their own?
posted by whir at 1:12 PM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's kind of too bad they don't seem to make mini-series anymore. There is so much going on in Cloud Atlas, that I can't imagine a movie doing it justice in two hours. Especially if they're going to devote a lot of screen time to the eye-candy of slo-mo dish crashing and chase scenes through futuristic cities on sky-mopeds.

I'll probably watch it anyway, though. The Tom Tykwer connection seems more promising than the Wachowskis.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 1:17 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Another trailer at Wired.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 1:17 PM on July 26, 2012


NO (No (no (no (No (NO) No) no) no) No) NO).

I think it should be N (N (n (n (NO) o) o) o) O
posted by subtle-t at 1:17 PM on July 26, 2012 [14 favorites]


If only there was a way we could minimize this film's impact on our lives.

-

Call me plebeian, but I just watched the trailer eight times in a row and I can't wait to see the film. And when I do, I'm going to enjoy it.

And after that, I'm going to buy the book and read the fuck out of it. And I'll probably like that, too. Good thing I don't have to choose!
posted by Chutzler at 1:49 PM on July 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I couldn't even finish Thousand Autumns. I didn't even think the writing was that good, which is strange because he can write something like Black Swan Green, which just hummed along.

Oh, I loved Mitchell's Black Swan Green so, so much. It's a stunner.
posted by liketitanic at 1:57 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


N (N (n (n (NO) o) o) o) O

Spoiler Alert, please!
posted by Greg Nog at 2:00 PM on July 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


I 'love' how the movie tagline is "Everything is Connected".

When I read that I puked a little.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:06 PM on July 26, 2012


that is when I read that was the tagline, not your comment.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:06 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


although Mitchell did approve the script...

INT. NIGHT
In pool of light in a darkened room, THE WRITER is sitting, staring at a cheque, held just above his head by a HAND that protrudes into the light from the darkness.

WRITER
No.

There is a pause.

WRITER (slowly, quietly, as if in pain)
No-o-o-o-o.

The HAND twitches the cheque. THE WRITER finally cracks.

WRITER
Oh, all right. I approve! I approve!

He snatches the cheque from the HAND, which disappears back into the darkness. THE WRITER collapses into sobbing, staring at the cheque in his hands.

DISEMBODIED VOICE
That wasn't so difficult, now, was it?

WRITER (whispering)
I hate you.

DISEMBODIED VOICE
As much as you hate yourself?

A pause.

WRITER
No.
posted by Grangousier at 2:07 PM on July 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


I found myself frustrated with the book, especially the sections more towards the middle. I did enjoy the subtextual stuff when it was more subtextual. I don't know if this movie is going to pull that off or not, but yeah, that tagline does not give me a ton of hope.

That said, yeah, why not!
posted by jonbro at 2:07 PM on July 26, 2012


I'm worried that it will neither be true to the book nor particularly stellar as it's own story but it looks completely beautiful and compelling in it's own way.

Even as deeply flawed as the Wachowski's previous projects have been there has been a sort of intensity and earnestness that is quite endearing.
posted by vuron at 2:12 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I finished Cloud Atlas about two weeks ago. It's a lovely book, though I wouldn't call it flawless. Personally I felt the Sonmi bits were a little tedious, but on the whole I really enjoyed it. I agree that the Frobisher-Sixsmith relationship (and Frobisher's story) was the most interesting and most human aspect of the whole novel.

Also I think I'll just go ahead and make the choice right now to pretend that the Wachowkis aren't making a movie out of this. Doesn't seem right, or good.
posted by Doleful Creature at 2:12 PM on July 26, 2012


I think the use of M83's Outro was pretty interesting in building a degree of epic majesty in this trailer. I love that piece anyway but it just seems to fit really well into the visuals for that trailer in a way that should really get the average viewer who hasn't read the book pumped for the movie.

Plus Tom Hanks can apparently get asses in the seats for total garbage so this seems likely to have at least decent financial success.
posted by vuron at 2:19 PM on July 26, 2012


I've been shouting "The book is always so much better than the movie" from rooftops for decades now, but damn if this movie doesn't look epic. Off of the top of my head, the few movies I can think of that were better than the book are two of my absolute favorites, City of God and Blade Runner.

That being said, I haven't read the book. Maybe I should.
posted by Sphinx at 2:36 PM on July 26, 2012


I really liked the book, but I thought it was pretty unfilmable. This looks good, really good. Or at least, it's a really good trailer.
posted by zardoz at 2:37 PM on July 26, 2012


One of the best things about this book is the different voice Mitchell is able to conjure up for each section.

Yeah, that's one thing that gives me big pause (big paws?) about the movie adaptation. It's the Austen-Nabokov problem, where a book lives so much in its style(s) and narrative voice(s) that what ends up onscreen even in the best case scenario is a beautiful husk. That's not to say it's "unfilmable," but if it's a great movie, it's going to be great for very different reasons.

The trailer made me want to re-read the book; I hadn't realized how much of it I've forgotten.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:58 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


"outro" made the trailer for me. the film will either be epic or an epic clusterfuck of confusing fuckery for sure. how fun!!
posted by changeling at 3:05 PM on July 26, 2012


Love the book, but I'm a little concerned by the trailer - lots of cheesy cod-philosophical lines delivered in an over dramatic way. Although I find they always put the worst bits of films into the trailers!
posted by shiny shoes at 3:25 PM on July 26, 2012


I read the novel recently, and I was surprised about how much I loved some sections and how incredibly tedious I found other sections. (And none of my friends had read it, so there was no one to discuss my frustration with, which only served to grow the frustration.)

I think there's promise in this trailer.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 3:51 PM on July 26, 2012


Doesn't look like it's going to break my believe that Tom Hanks ruins everything.
posted by dobbs at 4:56 PM on July 26, 2012


Wasn't Tykwer planning to do a film of The Master and Margarita some (many) years ago? Whatever happened to that?
posted by acb at 5:10 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just finished reading Cloud Atlas for the first time, and when I started I wasn't aware a film adaptation was in the works. Seeing this trailer was a very strange experience for me, because it was eerie how closely some scenes coincided with the images I had formed in my mind: especially the bridge in "Luisa Rey" and the wrought iron fence in "Cavendish", all while Mitchell isn't all too description-heavy in his scenes.

The comment about PD James rings true to me: how faithful an adaptation is to the original really tends to mean quite little to those who haven't read the book, which by and large is the target audience for most films. It's bad news for hardcore fans of the book, maybe, but if it leads to more films like Children of Men it will be a small sacrifice.

For what it's worth, I am not a hardcore fan of the book. The concept was unique (to me) and expertly executed, every one of the plots was thoroughly interesting and enjoyable in its own right, and it had the exact right amounts of humour and intrigue for this reader. But I found the thematic linkage between the stories ultimately left me rather unsatisfied: there was some talk about birthmarks, reincarnation, and a work of classical music, and you could just barely discern an overarching theme of sorts of "people separated in time making the same mistakes" if you squinted real hard. But Mitchell appears to keep it under the surface, whereas as a matter of personal preference I do like a story with a Point to it, a revealing "why did I give these many hours of my precious life to you, Book!" moment.

Not that I want it spoon-fed to me in a "He was dead all along and living in the present day! Aha!" sort of way, which I'm sure the film will do. The extended trailer already hints heavily at pseudo-philosophical "everything is, like, totally connected, man" mumbo-jumbo, and with the bitter swill of Prometheus still fresh on the palate one can only dread the extent to which this film threatens to take my wish to its logical extreme.

But maybe it has to be that way. Any adaptation of Cloud Atlas, even at just shy of three hours, will no doubt be very confusing to viewers. Perhaps this is precisely the sort of spiritual glue you'd need to make a film like this, to weave the stories together and keep the audience's attention. As long as it remains a mere device, like the frogs in Magnolia, and stops just short of taking itself entirely too seriously, I'm cool with it. It's wishful thinking, maybe, but then what else have we got.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:22 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


oh I hope this is good. I love the book (it was one of those books I stayed up all night to finish, it's beautiful). I don't love it as much as number9dream, but I love it.
posted by biscotti at 5:30 PM on July 26, 2012


"DISEMBODIED VOICE: As much as you hate yourself? / WRITER: No."

Eh. I suspect a good deal more of -

DISEMBODIED VOICE: We're going to destroy your book!

WRITER: You MONSTER! HOW? Are you going to buy all the copies and burn them?

DISEMBODIED VOICE: Um, no ... We're going to pay you a lot of money to make it into a movie.

WRITER: OK ... And?

DISEMBODIED VOICE: And?

WRITER: That's it?

DISEMBODIED VOICE: Don't you get it? The movie WON'T BE AS GOOD AS THE BOOK!

WRITER: But the book, I mean, it's still going to exist, right?

DISEMBODIED VOICE: Well, yes. In fact, if the movie does at all well, the book will probably sell a lot more copies.

WRITER: Sweet.

DISEMBODIED VOICE: No, come on, listen. We're going to cast Tom Hanks as the 14 year old! We're going to make all the subtle subtext really obvious and stuff.

WRITER: Uh-huh. Ooo, with the amount you're paying, I can totally take the next three years off to write my next book!

DISEMBODIED VOICE: Stop it! Don't you get it? You're selling out!

WRITER: Yep, sure, selling out, whatever you say. My next book, let me think now ...

DISEMBODIED VOICE: We're going to ruin it! Just ruin it!

WRITER: Maybe I'll set the next book in Japan ... I've been toying with some ideas for a long time ... Hmm.

DISEMBODIED VOICE: You're no fun at all.
posted by kyrademon at 5:33 PM on July 26, 2012 [12 favorites]


I love the book and I really, really love the Wachowskis (mostly because of their visual style and because the first Matrix movie is one of my favorites ever) so I am STOKED FOR THIS MOVIE. The trailer is REAL good, and moved me to tears. (Note: I cry about everything, so this may mean nothing.) I am going to start re-reading the book right this second.

My feelings are more eloquently summed up in goodnewsfortheinsane's comment directly above.
posted by sc114 at 5:40 PM on July 26, 2012


I read Thousand Autumns and loved it - it has one of the most affecting endings I've ever read. Cloud Atlas I respected greatly, but left me a little cold - like goodnesfortheinsane I was felt bereft of an overall point or conclusion. I'll definitely be looking out for Black Swan Green though. Mitchell is an automatic pickup if I see him at an affordable price.

On the other hand - I started watching the trailer and then stopped before halfway. I think part of the fun of this movie will be anticipating how they render the many memorable moments the book has, and that means forgoing spoilers, sweetie.
posted by Sparx at 5:43 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I do like the trailer. I'm also reminded that Tykwer did ok with Perfume, which even Kubrick gave up trying to adapt for the screen.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 5:52 PM on July 26, 2012


I had never heard of "Cloud Atlas" in any way, shape, or form until watching this trailer. Only thing I knew when I clicked to watch (from another site) was something about different time periods, and Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis. Ok, sure, I'll check that out. So - at first I see this historical thing with the ship and stuff.. then it moves to what looks like modern times.. and on.. and then by the time it shifts into this Asian looking future... and just keeps going... well - I wish I'd filmed myself watching this, because in my iMac's screen I could at some points see the reflection of my face, and I had the most "OMGWTF I DON'T EVEN" look on my face. This could be unspeakably brilliant, or it could be a massive mess. (dare i mention "Speed Racer"...)

Anyway. Wow. I'm currently reading Salman Rushdie's "Midnight's Children" in advance of the film coming out this fall. I had something planned to read when I finish it... now I'm wondering if I should change that plan and read "Cloud Atlas" instead.
posted by dnash at 5:57 PM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Take note: mochapickle's comment is the greatest comment, on any thread, on any site, on any topic, ever. EVER.
posted by Monkey0nCrack at 7:13 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]



(Also how has no one mentioned Number9dream yet? It's my favorite David Mitchell book after Cloud Atlas.)


I'm definitely surprised that more people seem to have read The Thousand Autumns and Black Swan Green than have read number9dream. It's among my top two favourite Mitchell books, too.

It's been a few years since I read the book, but this trailer makes me think the movie will be departing from it quite a bit... I may re-read it before seeing the movie.
posted by snorkmaiden at 10:07 PM on July 26, 2012


I hate everything but I liked The Cloud Atlas.
posted by Damienmce at 10:09 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


An earlier conversation about Cloud Atlas on the blue marked one of the first disagreements I had about literary recommendations here. I read the book based on recommendations I read here, and I want those hours back.

Don't get me wrong (and please don't try to convince me otherwise, 'cause "hated" means past tense and I am comfortable with the decision I have rendered), the author writes well. But each transition between narrators left me annoyed, simultaneously thinking "Pick a genre!" and "Why the fuck do we have to go out the same way we went in?" I get what Mitchell was doing, but the result is no less art-school pretense.
posted by Graygorey at 10:25 PM on July 26, 2012


wait..... they're making Midnight's Children into a movie? Really? Howthe.... what?

(although, curious to see who plays Parvati the Witch)

but still... really?

please please please please don't involve voice over narration, please please please....
posted by Afroblanco at 10:42 PM on July 26, 2012


entropone: "Lovely book. Can't wait to see the movie. Wish I didn't have to download Quicktime to watch the trailer."

Huhn. Point - Linux. Just watched it without QuickTime. Maybe download it and try VLC?

Sometimes, just sometimes, I wish The Blue wouldn't keep me backlogged in my reading list... Even if the books are generally awesome.
posted by Samizdata at 10:50 PM on July 26, 2012


In the series of trailers for forthcoming movies based on much loved, hard-to-film books: Ang Lee's Life of Pi.
posted by rongorongo at 1:20 AM on July 27, 2012


That trailer was like a 5-minute orgasm. I wonder how much the movie is going to hammer you with the "everything is connected" slogan. I'm assuming it will be a lot, to make the movie work for people who haven't read the book.

In the book, the Sonmi and Sloosha's Crossin' bits were both kind of cartoonish but also dependent on the language that was created for the characters. In a way, I think working those parts in without wildly changing tone (or switching to animation or something) is the biggest challenge. You could make Sonmi alone into a movie that would seem really tacky and derivative. As indeed that section of the book could, if taken on its own.
posted by BibiRose at 6:54 AM on July 27, 2012


Looks beautiful. I'd expect nothing less from Tykwer.

But it also looks like a more ambitious and probably heavy-handed version of Bill Forsyth's Being Human, with visual input from What Dreams May Come.

Mind you, I have nothing against ambition. I'm one of the few people I know who really liked The Fountain, which was hugely ambitious (as Aronovsky always is) and arguably fails in many ways, but which is gorgeous and impressive nonetheless. This could do that, too.

I actually have a little respect for the Wachowskis. I know it's fashionable to hate on them for the Matrix & what they did to V for Vendetta*, but even if you think the philosophy in their flicks is puerile, at least it's philosophy.

Tykwer I have pretty mixed feelings about. Perfume left me feeling like I wanted to scrape some unclean matter off my skin. All over my body. Really, it's just a sad (so sad!) little story about how the misfit (poor misfit!) has to kill thirty-odd women just so he can create his art (oh, but of course it's worth it)....


--
*My heretical confession: I think they actually improved it in many ways. But that's another argument for another time...
posted by lodurr at 8:54 AM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Life of Pi means I'll have to break down and read the damn book. my ex gf has been after me to do that for years. I finally had to give back teh copy she lent me. She's implied that the kid gets eaten in the end....
posted by lodurr at 8:57 AM on July 27, 2012




Speaking about fictional vignettes involving writers of books that get adapted into films, the author of this one has given it his blessing:

"They aren't attempting merely to film the book, which is why many adaptations come to grief – the novel's already there, so why spend all that effort on an audiobook with visuals?" he said. "Rather, the three directors have assembled Cloud Atlas and reassembled it in a form which – fingers crossed – will be a glorious, epic thing. The reincarnation motif in the book is just a hinted-at linking device, but the script gives it centre stage to link the six worlds with characters, causes and effects. A novel can't do multi-role acting: a film can. The directors are playing to the strengths of their medium, just like I try to."

The interview in full is here. David Mitchell seems to be no Alan Moore, but this trailer does bring to mind the multi-colored over-earnest fawning visual faithfulness of Snyder's similarly long and sprawling adaptation.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:16 PM on July 28, 2012


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