Andy Wachowski, left, and Lana Wachowski speak during the press conference held Thursday in Seoul. The directors, known for "The Matrix" series, came to Korea for the first time to promote their new film "Cloud Atlas." / Yonhap
By Rachel Lee
For world-famous movie-making team the Wachowskis, shooting their recent science fiction film was like a game.
Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski known for their worldwide hit trilogy "The Matrix" came to Korea Thursday for the first time with German director Tom Tykwer and English actor Jim Sturgess to promote their new film "Cloud Atlas." Korean actress Bae Doo-na, who stars in the film as one of the six main characters, also attended Thursday the press conference with them.
"We were actually going to cancel the press conference so that we can get out and see this beautiful city," said Andy jokingly during the press conference held Thursday in Seoul.
Their new drama and science fiction film, written and directed in collaboration with Tykwer, was adapted from the 2004 novel "Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell. World-famous movie stars appear in the film including Hugh Grant, Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Ben Whishaw.
The film explores how the actions of individuals affect others throughout the past, present and future. Action, mystery and romance weave dramatically through the story as one soul is transformed from a killer into a hero and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution in the distant future. Each member of the ensemble appears in multiple roles as the stories move through time.
"It was quite easy (for me to make the film), because the book was wonderfully constructed. We had a lot of fun finding all the connections. It was a process that continued all the way through the creation of the film, even in editing. Even after watching the film, we still found a connection we hadn't made. It was like a game," said Andy.
During the conference, Lana, who described her wife as a big fan of Korean food, said she first got to know Bae when she watched "Take Care of My Cat" (2001).
"I kept watching her films (after I watched ‘Take Care of My Cat.' I watched almost all her movies," Lana said.
The director spoke highly of the Korean actress Bae for her superb portrayal of the role Sonmi-451, a genetically-engineered clone. The director said that Bae is capable of expressing "pure emotional vulnerability" and underneath this there is "toughness and strength that lead to a revolution" an effect similar to that caused by Sonmi-451 in the film.
Lana also expressed a positive view about the Korean film industry, actors and actresses. She also shared the desire to make a film in Seoul.
"We think the Korean film industry is very exciting. There are many great films being made out of here," Lana said. "We want to make a movie in Seoul so if you have a good book or good ideas, send them to us," said Lana. She previously worked with Korean singer Rain for "Ninja Assassin" (2009) and said working with him was like a "dream." She described him a "physical genius like Mozart," adding that when he asks him to perform something, he does it instantly.
Andy Wachowski, 44, teamed up with his older sibling Lana Wachowski, 47, and began working on films. Their first script was optioned, and formed the basis for the film "Assassins" (1995). The Wachowski's went on to make their directorial debut with the self-written "Bound" (1996), which was well received. They followed this with the smash-hit "The Matrix" (1999) and went on to produce two successful sequels, "The Matrix Reloaded" (2003) and "The Matrix Revolutions" (2003). Other projects include scripting and producing the cult hit "V for Vendetta" (2005), a live action version of a Japanese anime series, "Speed Racer" (2008) and the ambitious epic "Cloud Atlas" (2012).
"Cloud Atlas" will be released on Jan. 10, 2013 in theaters nationwide. Rated 18 and over. Runs for 172 minutes. Distributed by NEW.