Originally Posted by ilovemovies
His comparisons to The Fountain worry me though. I didn't like The Fountain since I found that movie to be every bit as incomprehensible and incoherent as 2001: A Space Odyssey was. Also, I'm always wary of movies that use voice over narration. As much as I loved Terrance Malick's The Tree of Life, that movie did get bogged down by all the annoying voice overs, alas.
I'm not much of a Fountain fan either. The comparison was just apt due to some similarities in the way they approach their stories but I think Cloud Atlas would be more approachable for most people because on one level, I think you could just view it as an anthology film.
I think the difference here is that in Cloud Atlas, each of the stories themselves are more solidly contained - i.e. you don't need to analyze or interpret events to understand each of the stories and their basic arcs. Any of these stories, by itself, would mostly make a relatively straightforward movie in its own genre so I think regardless of how you feel about the film as a cohesive whole, you will be able to enjoy the six storylines for their individual merits. The execution of the stories, familiar as some may be, really worked for me. I mostly never felt frustrated about jumping around from story to story because each one was up my alley.
Where the interpretation comes into play, and where it gets to be an expansive field of analysis is when you view the film as a whole (and that's what will make or break this for people I think - if you see it as a single entity bursting with thematic parallels and juxtapositions or if you feel like it is six mostly unrelated stories spliced together awkwardly) - it's how you interpret each storyline in contrast with the others. I don't really know how to explain but I definitely felt like the sum was greater than the individual parts. Which, come to think of it, relates directly to a key line in the script. Despite the wildly varied genres and the lack of clean parallels and solid links between each story, I find they harmonized well together, each contributing to a greater tapestry. It's like - there are themes present in each story but some themes are not as obvious as others, and may not even have revealed themselves if you only read the single story. But when you parallel one of the stories with several other stories that may not exactly repeat the themes but have echoes and traces of them, those themes start pulling themselves more to the foreground in a way they never could have within the single storyline. Hope I'm making sense...Essentially, the film feels
like a cumulative experience to me rather than a fractured one. The more I think about it and connect with the thematic links from story to story, the more it weaves itself together as a seamless movie, and the more impressed I am.
As for the voiceovers, they are definitely present throughout the script but nowhere near as frequent as in a Malick movie. There's still far more dialogue than voiceover in the script, maybe about an 80/20 ratio.
I'm curious how they cut this script down. I have no idea where they'd start, each story is just long enough to feel satisfying I think. Too short and there may not be enough weight to the whole piece.
Originally Posted by DaMovieMan
JC, thanks for breaking down the Cloud Atlas script. I'm definitely intrigued. Complex storylines like that really pull me in and when done right end up on my year-end top ten lists (I'm thinking Synechdoche, New York now). Are you going to read the book before the film?
I think I might now actually. I kind of wanted to re-read the script to see if the thematic links will reveal themselves more second time around, but reading the book is a good way to do the same thing and maybe get even more insight.
Originally Posted by DaveyJoeG
At least Nolan doesn't put close-ups of feet all over his films. Blech!
Hahah spot on.
And...I think I've just hijacked my own thread lol. Carry on. So. anticipated movies of 2012...totally agree about it shaping up as one of the best line-ups in years. Which I really need cause last year was a bit of a downer for movies for me.