The dystopian worlds of Cloud Atlas

Posted by CB Droege

Cloud Atlas - the latest Wachowski project - depicts the complex threads of a story spread across multiple centuries.

It starts in the 19th century and runs up to the dystopian fall of civilization, with a tale that intertwines through the ages.

Every look at the future is a bit different, so it’s always interesting to analyze how a particular film predicts the world we will someday make for ourselves. The new Cloud Atlas art offers a first look at 2144 Seoul, one of the futuristic settings depicted in the film. We have energy beam freeways, and giant ads. It looks a bit like the Blade Runner future.

We also have what appears to be a poster image or some concept which ties the eras together: an old frigate sailing toward a futuristic city on a sea of clouds.

The synopsis of the Cloud Atlas novel is thus:

A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan’s California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified "dinery server" on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilization - the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other’s echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small.

Cloud Atlas stars Halle Barry, Hugh Grant, Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon, Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw, James D’Arcy, and Jim Sturgess. It’s directed by Tom Tykwer in addition to the Wachowskis. A release date is still pending.