Big announcements from directors and cast of big pictures that are being released, especially ones they have a lot vested in personally, are always a bit suspect, unless you are Lana Wachowski, née Larry, formerly brother of Andy, now his sister. What does Lana have vested in the release of Cloud Atlas? It might not be her own money, but at $100 million, it is by far the most expensive “indie” film ever produced, although I don’t know how people massage the word “indie” into its description when Warner Brothers was behind it all the way, probably with their usual 25% financing deal—I don’t know, I’m not privy to the contracts.
But I quibble. I quibble about Lana’s announcement, because I have always wanted to hear this lady speak and explain herself, and I quibble about the indie bit because Cloud Atlas is an audacious piece of filmmaking the likes of which nobody has seen before. As I wrote today in a Facebook comment, “It’s like Moulin Rouge: Nobody can deny that it isn’t a cracking good piece of colorful entertainment, and well worth the price of admission. Hating it is like saying you dislike the circus.”
After seeing this remarkable speech of Lana’s, given a week ago in front of a group of Gheys at the Human Rights Campaign, I’m now a huge fan; I even dreamed I adapted Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood as Over Hollywood with Lana as the First Voice. Do yourself a favor and skip the intro by the overly exuberant ringmaster queen in the beginning: