Watching All of the Wachowskis' Movies for the Sake of Watching All of the Wachowskis' Movies
Around the four-minute mark of my first viewing of the Cloud Atlas trailer, as the M83 track swelled to its bursting point and a hoverbike darted through future-Korea, I remember e-mailing and GChatting at least a dozen friends with a link to the preview and my take: "Holy Sh*t."
Naturally, everyone on the Internet had an opinion on Cloud Atlas. There was concern about how David Mitchell's sprawling and complex novel could ever be adapted for the screen. But this trepidation seemed to be as much about the "who" as it was the "how."
Andy and Lana Wachowski, the sibling duo behind the film adaptation (they wrote the screenplay alongside David Mitchell and co-directed it with Tom Tykwer) have a complex reputation.
Their oeuvre is hard to succinctly classify. As a recent New Yorker profile paints it, the siblings essentially talked their way into making their first film, Bound. Based on the strength of that debut, they churned out the The Matrix, a sci-fi flick with a cultural impact so incredible, there are professional basketball players and dance moves named after it.
Sequels followed and so did Speed Racer, which was such a financial and critical flop that the Wachowskis had trouble securing funding for Cloud Atlas because of it.
So, what can one expect from these filmmakers? In an effort to get a better handle on their mojo, I re-watched all of the siblings' films with one question in mind: What makes a Wachowski movie a Wachowski movie?