At the same time as the lengthy trailer was released for Cloud Atlas, Warner Bros also released this shorter “director’s commentary” video. The idea may have been to clarify the trailer to make it clearer for the rest of us. The studio might have been thinking, “Please, just have a chat about the film on camera so they know this is not a joke.”
But I find this video, in some ways, more bizarre than the trailer itself.
1) The first question I had – who is Lana Wachowski? Last time I remembered hearing the Wachowski name was on V for Vendetta, and then there were the Wachowski Brothers, Larry and Andy, wasn’t there? Is she Andy’s wife and his brother doesn’t do films any more? And, then slowly, as I was watching the video it dawned on me that, somewhere in the last decade or so, Larry had become Lana. I believe if I’d been following the gossip rags, I might have heard about this earlier, but given that the Wachowskis never do interviews, this is actually a first for many people to see them since The Matrix.
2) The strange shared sentences. Who thought this idea up? The Warner Bros marketing team? The three directors? Either way, the fact that this is not a straight-up interview where the three explain the film just makes the whole thing more bizarre. (Especially Andy’s “big booming voice” sound when he’s pretending to be a producer …)
I think the most useful thing that could be gleaned from this video is an explanation that they’re trying to do a multi-genre film and (more importantly) that author David Mitchell loved their script. I don’t think films have to slavishly follow their source books, but I do think they should generate the same spirit. So if Mitchell liked it, it’s probably a good sign. (With no reviews yet, we’ll just have to wait and see.) But only a few days more till its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, so hopefully we’ll find out soon.