spacetime coordinates: Pacific Islands, 1849 // Cambridge/Edinburgh, 1936 // San Francisco, 1973 // London, 2012 // Neo Seoul, 2144 // Big Isle (Hawaii), 106 winters after the Fall (2321)
Cloud Atlas is a 2012 German-American science fiction film written and directed by The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer. Adapted from the 2004 novel of the same name by David Mitchell, the film has multiple plots set across six different eras, which Mitchell described as “a sort of pointillist mosaic.” The official synopsis describes it as “an exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.” Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, and Jim Broadbent lead an ensemble cast.
Lana Wachowski stated “people will try to will Cloud Atlas to be rejected. They will call it messy, or complicated, or undecided whether it’s trying to say something New Agey-profound or not. And we’re wrestling with the same things that Dickens and Hugo and David Mitchell and Herman Melville were wrestling with. We’re wrestling with those same ideas, and we’re just trying to do it in a more exciting context than conventionally you are allowed to. … We don’t want to say, ‘We are making this to mean this.’ What we find is that the most interesting art is open to a spectrum of interpretation.”
spacetime coordinates: AD 2142, Ecoban / Thera / The island of Gibraltar
Wonderful Days (also known as Sky Blue) is a South Korean animated science fiction film, released in 2003, written and directed by Kim Moon-saeng. The film deals with environmental destruction, pollution and class struggle.
Wonderful Days is set in 2142. Environmental pollution has led to a breakdown of human civilisation. A technologically advanced city named Ecoban was built and it harvests energy from the DELOS System, which uses pollution in a carbonite catalysed reaction to generate power. Carbonite extraction is carried out by people who live outside the city in the surrounding wasteland.
“I know that I shall meet my fate / Somewhere among the clouds above; / Those that I fight I do not hate, / Those that I guard I do not love; / Nor law, nor duty bade me fight, / Nor public men, nor cheering crowds, / A lonely impulse of delight / Drove to this tumult in the clouds; / I balanced all, brought all to mind, / The years to come seemed waste of breath, / A waste of breath the years behind / In balance with this life, this death.” (W B Yeats from the DVD cover)