Hugo Weaving Cloud Atlas

REVIEW: ‘Cloud Atlas,’ A Symphony of Love in Six Eras

Now that I’ve seen Cloud Atlas, I wish I’d made more of an effort to attend one of the screenings around town recently, which were followed by Q&As with the Wachowski Siblings.  I would have asked something unabashedly unprofound: “Just how much fun did you guys have making this?”

I suspect that, despite the colossal effort to mount this epics of epics—the narrative scale of which I am still at a loss to find a reference in dusty film archives of my memory—they had a great deal of fun.  And that exuberance shows in every frame, whether the film is teetering on the brink of genius in some moments, or doing a backflip into a puddle of camp and trite in another.

The more serious professional critics are going to hate on this, or hide behind ambivalence—they can’t like it; it’s too messy, too unprecedented (it pays to remember that Roger Ebert once wrote for Russ Meyer—he’s a little out there).   If I were to close my eyes and imagine the impact Cloud Atlas will have on critics as if the film were embodied by a person, I see a nine-foot-tall tattooed tranny dressed in a garish costume that pays homage to centuries past and future, ambling into the hyper-exclusive Knickerbocker Club in New York, and not only insisting she be served the same drink as Mrs. Astor, but sitting down and playing bridge with her.

This is a bull through the china shop of every critics’ society in the West, and just to make sure they get the point, there’s even a scene in which a china shop is rapturously destroyed.

What’s Good For The Goose…


by James Killough

Finally, protestors in America hit the streets to complain.  The movement is gaining momentum, in part thanks to a thrust Susan Sarandon gave it in the media last week.  Good for Susan.

Of course, the reasons behind the protests are far more nebulous than those, say, behind the murder of Troy Davis, institutionalized under the guise of capital punishment.  That’s very cut and dry.  Eric Baker summed up the reasons capital punishment is wrong better than I can in a previous post, but I would add to his list that leaving any human being to languish for years in doubt over whether the state will take him out back and whack him is the very definition of cruel and usual punishment.  At least the death row inmate’s purported victims died more decisively and swiftly.

Dressing up as Wall Street zombies isn't exactly the way to be taken seriously. In fact, it's how to make a serious issue look silly and frivolous.

The problem is “corporate greed” is redundant, which makes it such a hard thing to protest against.  Corporations are set up to make a profit, and the US is a mercantile nation.  The real issue is regulation and the lack thereof.  The Obama administration is being taken to task for implementing regulations at some un-right-wing rate, but what they are doing is trying to restore order after the fences were taken down by previous governments, and the ravenous wolves were allowed out to do what is in their nature, which is to slaughter the sheep and grow fat doing so.