We’re going off topic with this post, but for a good reason: because your humble editor just watched a movie trailer that caused a few thousand micro-strokes, leading to one big fuckin’ head explosion.
Cloud Atlas is the name of a novel by David Mitchell that was published in 2004 to considerable critical acclaim. It seemed like it would be a fascinating read, so I bought the book. I’m pretty sure it’s lying around here somewhere, probably underneath some animal pelts or unread magazines from 2005. Anyway, I didn’t read the book and forgot all about it, until today.
And today a friend sent me a link to the trailer for a movie that has been made from the Cloud Atlas novel. It stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, James D’Arcy, Zhou Xun, Keith David, David Gyasi, and Susan Sarandon. It was co-written for the screen and co-directed by the people who made the The Matrix trilogy (Andy and Lana Wachowski) and Run Lola Run (Tom Tykwer).
Trying to describe the plot is difficult, but from what I’ve read, it involves interlinked stories spanning centuries (and extending into the future) about six characters, including a voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer struggling in Belgium between the wars; a journalist in 1970s California; a vanity publisher fleeing gangland creditors; a genetically modified “dinery server” on death-row; and a young Pacific Islander witnessing the downfall of science and civilization.
I have no idea how these stories connect, though some time travel seems to be involved. Maybe it will turn out to be a confusing mess — some people who’ve read the book are fearful about that. But I can tell you that based on this long trailer, the movie LOOKS fucking awesome.
Here’s an embeddable version of the trailer that I found, but you can also see it without the subtitles and in a version that can be expanded to wide-screen at this location. Feast yo’ eyes — and don’t stop until the end (thing don’t start to get really interesting until about the 2-minute mark):