Saturday, October 27, 2012

Cloud Atlas

Hugh Grant in Cloud Atlas. Each actor portrays several different roles at different points in history; each of Hugh Grant's characters are capitalists; why would Grant be cast as a capitalist? It's hard not to see Hugh Grant and think of what he did to long-time girlfriend Elizabeth Hurley in 1995 with his prostitution scandal, and linking Grant with the sex industry would definitely be to the advantage of socialists wanting to cast as black of a shadow on every facet of capitalist society possible. In this particular clip, Grant plays a cannibal, literally, a human flesh eating cannibal.
Permit me to put it this way: if someone wanted to make Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto into a film, they would make Cloud Atlas. I have heard the mutterings of, "Why do you think everything is about communism or capitalism?" and trust me, I am totally sick of this, I want something new, but films are generally 1 1/2 to 2 years behind cultural events (it takes that long to make a film, and sometimes longer, with delays like G.I. Joe Retaliation and Hansel and Gretl Witch Hunters) so the film industry is really just now dealing with the communist in the White House. Cloud Atlas is a total, full-scale assault against capitalists--like myself--and on every level it wages war against the virtues of the economic system to which people like myself cling to; what Cloud Atlas fails to achieve, like every other pro-socialist film, is a positive, convincing view of a socialist society,...why?
Because it can't.
Hugo Weaving as several characters, all bad, and all the "long arm" of capitalists, in this scene, an assassin who works for Grant's character that wants to prove nuclear energy is unstable so Americans will stay addicted to oil and continue making the oil industry filthy rich. Why would Weaving be cast in this role? As we have discussed in Captain America, we can't help but recall him saying, "Mr. Anderson," from The Matrix, his break-out film. Reader response theory is drastically under-rated by the critical establishment, primarily because it focuses on the masses instead of academia; even though Alfred Hitchcock wouldn't have recognized the name, he whole-heartedly agreed with the principles, because who and why his audience recognized an actor is how he made his decisions to cast who in which roles. Knowing what we have seen, that we the audience do not exist in a cultural vacuum, but we see other films, we listen to music, we watch television and the news, we hear gossip about the private lives of stars, etc., is employed to increase our interaction with the film and its characters, our knowledge database activated when we identify an actor or a situation reflecting those in the news, gives the film makers an enormous amount of "extra data" with which to work with at very little expenditure on its part; casting certain actors with whom the audience has a strong database of knowledge with, enhances what we all ready know or expect from a character without the film having to spend time developing that aspect. For example, Ben Whishaw, who plays a bi-sexual male prostitute in Cloud Atlas, may have that recent image haunting audience members while watching him play "Q" in Skyfall.
I am getting that review up asap, and responding to emails that have so kindly been sent and reader comments (including a very interesting one left regarding Snow White and the Huntsman and paganism which I am determined to discuss this weekend). I am wanting to see Silent Hill: Revelation, Sinister and Pitch Perfect, but before October is over and gone, I want to get The Blair Witch Project done; that film was too revolutionary not for us to discuss, as it was the "mother" of the "found footage" genre that films being released this month--Paranormal Activity 4, Sinister, V/H/S--are all dependent upon for their aesthetic and this is a marvelous chance to discuss the "philosophy" of what it means to be live on camera and what it has done to us as a culture and why films more than a decade later are still employing the techniques created by this independent, block-buster hit.