Friday, December 7, 2012

"Cloud Atlas" Directors Behave Badly with Reviewers

The other day I wrote a post about how poorly the producers of the film "Cloud Atlas," in my opinion, handled scenes that required actor Jim Sturgess to wear "Yellowface." And it gets even worse. While I was reading about that particular subject I found a few interesting things about how the directors reacted to critical reviews of their film. Evidently, some people in the film industry don't seem to be held to the same standards as authors.

Here's a quote from wiki so you can see for yourselves how they reacted when reviews of "Cloud Atlas" were released:

Reaction from the directors
On October 25 (after the premiere at Toronto), Andy Wachowski stated about critics "As soon as they encounter a piece of art they don’t fully understand the first time going through it, they think it’s the fault of the movie or the work of art. They think, 'It’s a mess [ ...] This doesn’t make any sense.' And they reject it, just out of an almost knee-jerk response to some ambiguity or some gulf between what they expect they should be able to understand, and what they understand."[27]

In the same interview, Lana Wachowski stated "People will try to will Cloud Atlas to be rejected. They will call it messy, or complicated, or undecided whether it’s trying to say something New Agey-profound or not. And we’re wrestling with the same things that Dickens and Hugo and David Mitchell and Herman Melville were wrestling with. We’re wrestling with those same ideas, and we’re just trying to do it in a more exciting context than conventionally you are allowed to. [...] We don’t want to say, 'We are making this to mean this.' What we find is that the most interesting art is open to a spectrum of interpretation."[27][56]

Now that's vicious WTF-ery if I've ever seen it. I honestly can't even imagine how a new self-published author would be received if they made grand remarks like this, comparing themselves to Dickens and Herman Melville, claiming they know the definition of true art and the critics are all wrong and all they want to do is hurt them.

I'm not saying that authors should start behaving badly like the directors of "Cloud Atlas." Far from it, so please don't misinterpret me. I'm only saying the directors of "Cloud Atlas" should start acting like adults, learn to take criticism like big boys and girls, and they should be held to the same standards as authors.

They're getting paid a lot more than .99 an e-book every time someone buys a movie ticket.


Moria said...

I have to say that just reading the synopsis about this movie makes my head ache. I also can't imagine why they went out of their way to be so offensive. Not just to Asian American, authors of all types but also to us, the viewers of movies. We are not as stupid as they seem to think we are.

Anonymous said...

I found the movie worked best for me when I gave up trying to connect all the various stories and just enjoyed them on their own. The tenuous narrative thread supposedly linking them all did not work at all for me. And that gobbledy gook they were speaking in the future story? What the heck was that? Had no idea what was going on through most of that, so when it ended I'm still going... uh... huh? So, what was the point, exactly?

Parts of it were enjoyable, parts of it were side-splittingly humorous (loved the Great Escape, that was hands down my favourite), parts of it were incomprehensible and a little heavy-handed, but it wasn't genius by any stretch of the imagination, in my humble opinion. But then, I'm not a critic just some schmoo occupying a seat in a t hreatre for a few hours.

heh heh.

ryan field said...

I haven't seen it yet, so I didn't comment on the film. But I don't think I'm going to. I just don't like the yellowface thing.

Kristabel Reed said...

There is no reason to be so snippy and mean. The book was a hard one to convert into a movie. And I did try to read the book--I was confused within the first 3 pages and didn't make it very far The movies was...yes. Just as confusing. Which is a pity, I like reincarnation pieces.

ryan field said...

The book or quality of the film has nothing to do with this post. It's not a review of the book or film. It's my opinion on how the directors reacted to the reviews, and my opinion on how offensive I found the yellowface issue. And I think MANNA agrees with me.

ryan field said...