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Film Studies 101
Feature
Five For The Diary: Smart Sci-Fi Movies
The science fiction thrillers headed our way

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Five For The Diary: Smart Sci-Fi Movies | 3. Cloud Atlas
3. Cloud Atlas

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Six stories stacked like Russian dolls, a central cast that crops up again and again throughout the millennia covered by the whole, and a whole heap of wigs and prosthetics. The latest effort from the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer is the adaptation of one of those books that’s supposed to be thoroughly unfilmable – and with good reason, given its structure and chronologically complex plot.

So there’s a bit set in the Pacific in the 1800s, a segment in 1930s Belgium, a section in 1970s California, a near-contemporary sort of gangster tale, a dystopian near-future full of cyborgs and a distant, post-apocalyptic future where humanity has descended to barbarism. And amid all of this there are Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, Susan Sarandon and James D’Arcy.

Ambitious is the correct description, in other words. But if they miraculously do make this work, what other unfilmable sci-fi awaits? Could we see some of Iain M. Banks’ weirder Culture novels? Might China Mieville hit the screen? Is it possible that we could one day see a Dune worthy of the name? Probably not – but we’re still very intrigued by Cloud Atlas, and optimistic after that epic 5-minute trailer.

SEE ALSO Twelve Monkeys, for sci-fi that will likewise bake your noodle, or 2001: A Space Odyssey for a similarly ambitious scope.

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Your Comments

1 What joo say bout MK?
Hey, don't rag on Milton Keynes, I bet the Empire office toilets are far less hospitable! More

Posted by oakford on Sunday September 16, 2012, 22:08

2 HAHA I love empire sometimes
'It’s also generally easy for filmmakers to create, too: just head to some remote, godforsaken corner of the globe (Milton Keynes, say)' Haha Empire just dissed my hometown lol. Nah take the piss out of it all you want, I want to leave MK hahaha! More

Posted by MartyW on Saturday September 15, 2012, 23:42

3 RE: Diana Wynne Jones' A Tale Of Time City
I am not a fan of every good book out there being turned into a movie. But this one? 'Tale of Time City' is amazing, and would make a great movie--so long as they don't involve any of the 'Alice in Wonderland' design/effects people and turn it into a candy-coloured CGI orgy. But in the hands of a director known for a personal, interesting style, it could work brilliantly. Too bad Michael Fassbender is too old to be typecast as another android... ;) More

Posted by HighwayJoe on Saturday September 15, 2012, 12:09

4 It is now in 3D
Following Empire's news post about Warners converting this to 3D, this needs updating. Hopefully it'll be del Toro approved 3D. More

Posted by JoeN on Friday September 14, 2012, 15:22

5 Oh sweat dreams
"Could we see some of Iain M. Banks’ weirder Culture novels?" YES PLEASE!!! Give me Excession the movie! More

Posted by amerelium on Friday September 14, 2012, 13:57

6 All apart from Cruise!!!
Looking forward to all of these movies ( especially the new Bloomkamp and Del Toro ones ) apart from the one involving Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise sucks big time!!! More

Posted by dannyfletch on Thursday September 13, 2012, 16:24

7
Milton Keynes is an awesome place!! More

Posted by Bowwowow on Wednesday September 12, 2012, 11:53

8
Can't wait for Pacific Rim. Still so far away... More

Posted by Whistler on Wednesday September 12, 2012, 03:35


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