Oh this podcast is going to make me very happy!
I haven't even listened yet and it's already my favourite episode!
It might be one of my favourites as well
Thanks for sharing the movie love!
Regarding The Avengers winning the Saturn Award that year, to be fair, that was a movie pulling off something pretty ambitious for its day as well.
I agree, and I enjoyed the heck out of Avengers! I guess I don't quite think of it as "science fiction" in the same way as a movie like Cloud Atlas, though (maybe because secretly I think superheroes are real.) And I always wish awards would pay more attention to the films made outside the "big studio" system, which sometimes get overlooked.
agreed with john murphy.i have yet to listen to the podcast, but it's perfect timing because i watched it for the first time last week. for some reason i was afraid of it and wanted to be in the perfect mood to watch it. i have to say it is a very ambitious film, but i like big ambitious films. i wouldd put southland tales in the same category. the director(s) had a vision that probably nobody could seeanyway, can't wait to listen to the podcast and hear what you guys have to say
One of my favourite movies discussed by two of my favourite people? Well that's all I need for Christmas this year. Well, that and a new UHD TV - maybe FTM will make ALL my Christmas dreams come true? Hmm?
Oh my gosh Jan please visit more often <333
I won't be satisfied until Jan and Erika take over the entire podcast to be honest.
I'm so in, even if it's just one bizzaro spin on a Patrick/JB episode, an "other half" episode if you will!
I have heart emojis in my eyes right now for you all.
This is one of my fav episodes already and I'm only 2/3 through it. I love Cloud Atlas, and hearing you two agree with everything I love about it, especially now, has made my day. I'm with Kelly Shea - come back soon Jan! ("They rhyme in my heart" made me actually laugh out loud at my desk)
This was such an awesome episode! I've always liked this movie, but after hearing your insights and thinking about it more, I now love this movie and feel compelled to watch again this weekend. Also, I wish this podcast had more regular doses of Jan. She is a such a delight :)
Validation! Yes! I was just talking to my friends about this movie and how much I liked it. That and why I didn't understand why bashing it was a popular thing to do. For instance, I started watching Silicon Valley and there's a scene where Richard and Dinesh rip on the movie saying "Nobody can make it through a minute of it." and I was taken aback. It's certainly not going to make everyone's favorite movie list but it is far, far from unwatchable. Glad to hear there is a lot of love for this movie. It really is what we need right now.
Tomorrow's headline: "Jancast redeems 2016."
As a wise man once said- I wanted the moon and I got the moon. Beautiful, insightful, hopeful and exactly what I needed. I have read the book and could not concieve how it could even be a movie. First day off will be a cloud atlas day.
So glad you brought back Jan, Patrick! I think this was one of the most insightful podcasts to date. I only just saw Cloud Atlas for the first time a few months ago so I'm gonna watch it again tonight.
And I'm currently reading "Many Lives, Many Masters" Anyone interested in past life experiences/reincarnation/karma should give it a read. In a way, it offers some insights into the characters of the movie.
That was great! I could've listened to you guys all day. Any chance of a Jan AND JB cast anytime?
Thanks! Great idea...if I can handle all the KISSING NOISES!!
Ha! Just have Erika on too and call it a Kisscast. And when you're not all smooching you can discuss Full Metal Jacket.
I'm about halfway through, and it's great. Of course, now I can't use "The Culmination of Human Endeavor" as the title of my autobiography. THANKS, Jan.
SPOILERS: About the different story strands and who's the protagonist, after I first saw it, I read a lot about it and found this infographic that ties it all pretty nicely together.This is definitely one of my favorite episodes. And can't wait for On Her Majesty's Secret Service!
Mikko, thanks for sharing that awesome graphic -- I think it illustrates exactly the point Patrick brought up, and also really resonates with Sol's comments/questions below. During the podcast, Patrick also posed this question: could Cloud Atlas someday be regarded as a genre touchstone in the same way Blade Runner is now? This graphic highlights the rich narrative and thematic veins so intricately woven into the movie's artistic vision--the type of thing not always apparent to casual audiences on first release--and exactly the type of thing, IMHO, that is key to that kind of legacy. In the end, maybe that is the secret to a movie whose impact unfolds as time goes on: the presence of real artistic VISION, which is not always rewarded at the box office. That "vision" doesn't guarantee a great movie, doesn't mean everyone has to love the movie, doesn't mean that if you don't love the movie you "just don't get it" (ugh) -- it just means that there will always be something there to give the movie resonance and "legs".
Thanks guys, that was just as great as I expected. Such a special, wonderful movie - I've seen it several times and it keeps holding up, it always makes me contemplative about the nature of love and time and cause and effect - it just speaks so many truths about the nature of existence. Which leads me to my one divergence with you guys in a possible interpretation (I think it really can go either way and given my personal agnosticism I can see it both ways): Are the different characters throughout time played by each actor necessarily supposed to be spiritual reincarnations? That was my initial thought but on a subsequent rewatch, having the same difficulty that Patrick had in figuring out a sort of through-line for each actor's various characters, it occurred to me that it could be purely a fun way to present the story rather than a part of the actual narrative, because it certainly doesn't need to be. The cause and effect ripples through time don't rely on it being a story about the adventures of just a handful of souls, nor does it even require the existence of souls. And the way that birthmark lands on different actors throughout different times seems to be a clue towards that idea as well? In any event, as it's an interpretation that doesn't require spirituality and grounds everything that happens in the fact that the past can have a profound effect on the future, especially the further into the future you go, it speaks to a profound truth about the nature of existence whether you are spiritual or not. And if you are, bonus, because you can totally see it that way too! In conclusion, if you think this movie is the worst movie of the year you are an inhuman monster of Amy Adams-like proportions.Thanks guys, just like the movie, the podcast flew by and I loved every minute of it. And Jan you were fantastic as everyone knew you would be!
Crap I said profound twice in the same sentence - that's too much profundity!
NEVER too much profundity, especially for a poet discussing Cloud Atlas!Check out the link to the graphic Mikko posted above -- I think it really illustrates your musings. Personally, I think the multi-casting is a brilliant way to achieve something visually that would be much easier to achieve in a book. The graphic suggests the movie posits less of a "personal" spiritual reincarnation than an "archetypical" spiritual reincarnation. One might argue that the archetype each character represents, which does appear to follow a through-line, are not necessarily the same "human soul" but the same aspects of "the human soul" -- things we all share, in differing proportions. You could also substitute "nature" for soul, comparing the nature of one person and how it evolves to human nature in general and how it has evolved. I love your point that the narrative and themes don't rely on things being "a story about the adventures of just a handful of souls... or even require the existence of souls." I agree! To me that echoes the "what is an ocean but a multitude of drops" quote. There is a real and undeniably intentional blurring of the boundaries defining what "an individual" really is. I think we're meant to take it either way -- or both ways -- or neither. Using the same actors, but assigning them different genders, races, etc -- makes us question those boundaries, and I think the existence of the question is far more important than the answer to the question. How's that for profundity? Also, can we start a Profundity GoFundMe?
But if it is the same soul moving on, I kinda like the idea that Dermot Hoggins (the Hanks writer character) is in a state of perpetual anger, which stems from his untimely passing in his previous life...
Finding a rhyme for profundity? Now you're just showing off! :PThat infographic is great - really fleshes out my own thoughts about what's going on. And yes! Totally agree with you on what the movie is saying about questioning boundaries. At like both a personal and an atomic level it's one of life's great illusions.
Ah, just finished! An appropriately epic-length podcast for an epic movie. Cloud Atlas is a special film for me. It's one of the few I've seen where I genuinely feel like I've been transformed as a person. One other that I can definitely say had that effect on me is Tokyo Story, by Yasujiro Ozu. Both films are "empathy machines," as Jan described. They both deal with the ongoing battle between selfishness and empathy. Empathy is harder, because it requires human connection and a willingness to look beyond your own particular point of view. Empathy also involves risk, because any attempt at connection can fail for any number of reasons. There are characters in Cloud Atlas (the jackass older composer, for example) who are genuinely gifted and have the potential to be greater, but through their prejudices and fears they limit their own potential. Perhaps one reason the composer cannot write music anymore is because of his self-imposed limitations.Anyway, great job! I am seriously jazzed about the upcoming Bond podcast. I would strongly recommend watching some of season 4 of the British show "The Avengers" to get a sense of who Diana Rigg was before she became a Bond girl.
One other point - I wanted to ask if anyone had any thoughts about the fact that the young composer does not finish the lawyer's journal. This is clearer in the book, but it is pointed out in the movie that half of the journal is missing and has been used to level the bed. The composer has been able to intuit that the lawyer is being poisoned by the doctor, but never reads the end of the story where the lawyer actually succeeds in his quest and is inspired to join the abolitionist movement. The Wachowskis talk about this in the supplementary interviews on the Cloud Atlas disc, and suggest it contributes to the composer's ultimate fate. Any thoughts?
That's really interesting -- I actually love that moment when WE can see that the missing part of the story has been within his reach all along, but he still misses it. I hadn't really considered the ramifications, but now it seems so clear. It reminds me of the "It Gets Better" movement -- that idea that a spot of hope, shared personally, can make the difference for someone struggling. Even the fact that the torn book is used purposely reinforces the importance of choice. Would Frobisher have chosen to continue living if he knew the lawyer's fate? It does seem possible. I think it's important that he makes clear in his letter to Sixsmith that he considers his suicide a courageous act. Hae-joo tells Sonmi 451 that "Survival often demands our courage" and Frobisher thinks that suicide is his only option for "surviving" (through his music and letters.) He may think differently if he knows the lawyer makes it and goes on to achieve more than the freeing of a single man -- as, if had chosen to somehow live on, Frobisher may have gone on to write other great works.
Great episode and discussion. I loved this movie when I saw it in theaters, and I was baffled by the seemingly automatic rejection it received from audiences and by some critical circles. I get how some see it as cheesy or needlessly convoluted, but I don't think you can tackle such big ideas without taking storytelling risks - especially when you're making a $100 million movie intended to play for a mass audience. I think a good (if simplistic) comparison is "Tree of Life," which is also a movie that reaches far beyond what is normally expected of film storytelling - the difference being it isn't also trying to appeal to the blockbuster crowd. "Cloud Atlas" in many ways is more ambitious, and if it falls short of the coherence of something like "Tree of Life," it's because of its even broader ambitions. That being said, I always worried I was wrong about "Cloud Atlas," that my experience in the theater would be shattered on second viewing. I waited a good year before watching it again. Thankfully, the glass wasn't broken.
Listened to this again today for the 2nd time in 2 days, and I'm now positive this is my favorite episode of the podcast so far.Patrick, Jan, I thank you for such a thoughtful and important discussion of what I truly feel is one of the greatest films of all time.
I finally got around to watching Cloud Atlas just so I could listen to this episode. I liked it quite a bit. Then I pretty much immediately listened to the podcast, heard you guys talking about a bunch of things I didn't pick up on, and now I already feel like I need to watch it again.Also Jan is the best. I'll bet she even says "era" better than the rest of you.
Also, I don't want to oversell Westworld but I absolutely loved it and think it's very much worth watching. It absolutely nails a lot of my favorite subjects.
Jan B is like the warmest ear hug.
Patrick, when you announced Cloud Atlas as your favourite movie on that year's best-of episode I had to brace myself because I thought you were setting up a joke. I love this movie (and so glad to know you do too). Thanks to you and Jan for speaking so thoughtfully about the movie and our times. I'm ready to watch Cloud Atlas again knowing that the spell won't be broken.
While you did not convince me to give this movie another chance, I was convinced the podcast needs a lot more Jan B! Great episode, despite my remaining of the polar opposite opinion on almost every subject concerning Cloud Atlas.
Having finally seen Arrival yesterday and rewatched this earlier today, I think there's a fantastic double bill to be had with these two films.
Listening to the mention of the term Fabricant made me think of its (french) definition which is Maker or Manufacturer.I haven't given this any thought but it probably adds meaning or something.