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22 October 2012 @ 01:16 pm
Cloud Atlas Countdown  
The film adaptation of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas is almost upon us. I'd decided to steadily ignore all reviews as more and more of them began to pop up. Particularly given the varying responses to the cross gender/race thing that could be taken as innovative or offensive. Or both. I intend to judge it for myself when the movie opens in the US on October 26th.

As part of the countdown, I give you this image from the film of Robert Frobisher (Ben Whishaw) and Rufus Sixsmith (James D'Arcy). For those who have read the book, it looks like Frobisher's dream that he describes in his first letter to Sixsmith.

FrobisherSixsmith
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aelfgyfu_meadaelfgyfu_mead on October 22nd, 2012 06:24 pm (UTC)
I definitely want to know what you think! I haven't read Mitchell; the ads look intriguing, but the race and gender issues you mention make me wary. Then again, I had serious worries about what Elementary would do with race and gender, and they did far better than I feared, and now I'm rather attached to the show!

I will be quietly hopeful but await your report. (Of course, finding a time when Brilliant Husband and I can see a movie together presents its own problems, but I will try to be optimistic about that too.)
Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.: SPN_D+B_Securityguardian_chaos on October 22nd, 2012 11:14 pm (UTC)
David Mitchell's a very good writer. I think 'Scrib would echo me in saying that his books are well worth checking out. I like Number9 Dream the best, but 'Scrib prefers Cloud Atlas. Either one's worth reading. :)
formerly lifeinsomniac: bookdeathjoonscribble on October 22nd, 2012 11:22 pm (UTC)
I'm not really sure if I'd say I prefer Cloud Atlas over Number9Dream. They're both very different novels (such is the talent of Mr. Mitchell!) and each excels at something very different.

Number9Dream is like an homage of sorts to Haruki Murakami so if you've read his stuff and enjoyed it, you might want to start with this one. This was my first David Mitchell book and I never looked back.

Cloud Atlas has something for everyone so I feel like you can't not like at least some part of it if not the whole thing. There's also Ghostwritten which for me is like Cloud Atlas-lite.

If you prefer more of a quiet, coming of age novel, I'd go with Black Swan Green. It's Mitchell's most straightforward, no frills novel and it was quietly moving. I grew to love Jason. He was perfectly rendered in that he was a young boy with the potential for sweetness but also casual cruelty as children are.

And for more historical fiction, cinematic drama you can check out The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. It has one of the best, human moments I've ever read in any novel by a living author. Clearly becoming a parent has given David Mitchell some awesome emotional fodder to work with.

Thus ends my essay-like recommendation of his works.

Edited at 2012-10-22 11:22 pm (UTC)
Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.: DTamers_BeautifulNightguardian_chaos on October 22nd, 2012 11:31 pm (UTC)
Ah, well I stand (slightly) corrected, then! Either way, yes, great books. Go read them! :D

I haven't read Ghostwritten yet, but perhaps I should.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on October 22nd, 2012 11:33 pm (UTC)
Ghostwritten is probably the book I recall the least as a whole. Although there is a wonderful section in it that takes place from the POV of a disembodied spirit. The conclusion to that story was AMAZING.
Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.: DTamers_BeautifulNightguardian_chaos on October 22nd, 2012 11:37 pm (UTC)
Ohhh!! One of my only stories that my stuffy creative writing teacher of so many years ago approved of was written from the perspective of a disembodied spirit. She hated fantasy. How can you be a creative writing teacher and hate fantasy? Bizarre woman. She once wore a necklace made of plastic antelopes. I was very confused by her.

Uhhh. My point being that I like that perspective! So I'm further intrigued.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on October 22nd, 2012 11:26 pm (UTC)
but the race and gender issues you mention make me wary. Then again, I had serious worries about what Elementary would do with race and gender, and they did far better than I feared, and now I'm rather attached to the show!

Yeah, I'm still not comfortable with the stills I've seen with the race/gender bending stuff. I've read enough interviews to get how the directors and actors are approaching this but it really will depend on how it feels when I see it on screen. Let's hope it's more Elementary and less Charlie Chan circa 1940s.
Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.: SPN_Rainguardian_chaos on October 22nd, 2012 11:15 pm (UTC)
Ohhhh, well isn't that a fascinating image! At the very least, I think it's a sure bet this film will be visually appealing.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on October 22nd, 2012 11:25 pm (UTC)
I've so far loved all the images I've seen for the Frobisher story. Also, the two interviews I've seen with Ben Whishaw and James D'Arcy have been encouraging for how well this section translates into film.

I made the mistake of seeing a script excerpt on Tumblr for this section. I say mistake because I started to tear up a little at my school library's computer.
Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.: ST_Captain'sChairguardian_chaos on October 22nd, 2012 11:34 pm (UTC)
I have remained unspoiled as a whole for this film, but I am still excited about it. I'm not expecting it to be a 100% faithful adaptation, and hopefully the race/gender issues aren't too stifling, but I still think it has great promise!

I made the mistake of seeing a script excerpt on Tumblr for this section. I say mistake because I started to tear up a little at my school library's computer.

Aw! Haha, yes, that is an awkward place to be when receiving emotion-triggering spoilers.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on October 22nd, 2012 11:36 pm (UTC)
Haha, yes, that is an awkward place to be when receiving emotion-triggering spoilers.

By and large, all the dialogue I've heard for this movie that didn't come directly from the novel has sounded awkward to me. But this one script page had an addition that was so...lovely. And sad. SO SAD. It definitely ramped up my overall reaction to what I know about how the Frobisher story ends.
Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.: BL_FlamingoInCrowdguardian_chaos on October 22nd, 2012 11:44 pm (UTC)
It's kind of neat that this movie's coming out when it is. I'll view it as a nice Birthday present, even if I don't get to see it on the actual day. Hmm. Time will tell. Hopefully there'll be more than just one promising revision in the overall script.