Nick came over yesterday and spent the night. Today, we went downtown to see Cloud Atlas at the Cinerama.
This film was directed by the Wachowskis and Tom Twyker (Run Lola Run). It’s based on a famously unfilmable novel, which is best described as “take six short books, open them up to the middle, stack them, then close them up”.
The movie adaptation… well. It’s better described as “take six short books, rip them each into about twenty pieces, and interleave those pieces in largely chronological order”. With some pieces from just before the climax of each story right up at the front.
Mostly I wanted to see it not so much for the film itself as for the filmic tricks; the choice to have the same half dozen or so actors and actresses play a role in every sub-story mirrors what I’m doing with Rita. I’m not sure it gave me any real insights into how to do that right or wrong. Well, it gave me one insight – if you’re making this connection through visual means, leave it for the viewers to puzzle out. Don’t have the characters give out lengthy speeches at the end about how WE WILL ALL MEET IN ANOTHER LIFE. And luckily, I do seem to have the sense to leave pretty much all the connections between the four stories in Rita for the reader to discover.
And overall – I feel it’s a failure as a coherent film. At least on its first viewing. It might fare better if I watched it a couple more times, but I’m really not sure I want to spend three hours watching it again. To its credit, it pretty much held my attention throughout! And there was one really nice moment where I realized what relationship two of the narratives had.
Still. It’s a very fascinating kind of failure, that I think was eminently watchable and kind of fascinating. I’d recommend going to see it. It’ll leave you disoriented and discombobulated. In a good way.
Also this was the first time I’d seen a movie at the Cinerama. Holy shit that is a nice theatre, and only $9 for an evening show. Man the next time I want to see a movie I am totally going there if it’s an option. We got there barely in time to find seats, so we didn’t get to try the chocolate-covered popcorn they offer. Maybe next time.