Log in

No account? Create an account
we saw wut u did thar, paramount
"Cloud Atlas" film's got some yellowface goin' on. 
26th-Jul-2012 03:32 pm
ROD Read Or Die final
Maybe someone can help me with this one bcz I might have entirely gotten things wrong. So I'm watching this trailer for an upcoming Tom Hanks / Halle Berry movie and I see something really strange. No, not Hanks' facial hair; Jim Sturgess in Yellowface[starts at 1:53]:
That is Jim Sturgess, right? Anyways, here's the directors explaining the film, in which they comment that the actors are to play multiples rolls: different ages, different races, and different genders[starts at 1:05]:
I don't get it. Even if people are perfectly "cool" about this, how can you look at that guy's face and think he looks perfectly normal? Oh, wow, and it's Jim Sturgess from 21. How odd is that?

Apparently the two actors play different roles in another part of the film, and from this image it looks like the actress, Doona Bae, is playing a white lady?

27th-Jul-2012 01:30 am (UTC)
The gimmick of the Cloud Atlas movie is that everyone plays multiple roles, so yeah, that is Doona Bae as a white lady in that other screencap.

Halle Berry is also playing Jocasta Crommelynck (we only see Jocasta for like a split second in the trailer, but she's fairly important in the book) in what looks like whiteface.

Halle Berry's main roles are Meronym (who's explicitly a POC in the book) and Luisa Rey, whose race is never explicitly identified, but is strongly implied to be white. We didn't really see him in the trailer, but Keith David is playing Joe Napier, who's also implied to be white in the book, but is black in the movie.

It also looked like some of the white European characters in the 19th century section are being played by black actors, but since we only saw those scenes for a split second I'm kind of at a loss to guess just what characters they are.

So really, things are all over the place-- there's white actors playing characters of color, non-white actors playing white characters, non-white actors playing characters who were probably white in the book but aren't white in the movie, etc., etc.

Anyway, the six most important characters in the novel are probably Adam Ewing (white in the book and the movie), Robert Frobisher (white in the book and the movie), Luisa Rey (probably white in the book, not white in the movie), Timothy Cavendish (white in the book and the movie), Sonmi~451 (Korean in both the book and the movie), and Meronym (not white in both the book and the movie). So in the movie, it looks like these six characters are half white guys and half women of color (and a third Halle Berry since she's kind of double dipping here).

Just to give a bit more background on the book, the casting, and what's different where.

EDIT: Mostly I'm just pleasantly surprised they even remembered Sonmi~451 is Korean. :V

EDIT EDIT: HUGE NOVEL SPOILERS: It's totally irrelevant to whether Jim Sturgess playing him is appropriate or not, but I feel compelled to point out that as much as the trailer portrayed a lovey dovey relationship between Hae-joo Im and Sonmi~451, in the end Sonmi reveals that he was a huge traitor scumbag government plant.

Edited at 2012-07-27 01:37 am (UTC)
27th-Jul-2012 02:04 am (UTC)
I found an image of all the different characters Halle Berry plays in the trailer:

Clockwise from top left, it's Jocasta, Luisa Rey, Meronym, and a random background extra at a party in the Cavendish section.
27th-Jul-2012 02:19 am (UTC)
Thanks for all that. I'm still not sure how I feel about the whole Jim Sturgess thing. It kind of really jumped out at me while watching the trailer. He does look pretty stupid though.
27th-Jul-2012 03:13 am (UTC)
Yeah, whatever you think of it it, he sure does look dumb. I always sort of assumed Hae-joo Im was hot
31st-Jul-2012 02:05 pm (UTC)
"but I feel compelled to point out that as much as the trailer portrayed a lovey dovey relationship between Hae-joo Im and Sonmi~451, in the end Sonmi reveals that he was a huge traitor scumbag government plant." Isn't that never confirmed though? It heavily hints that he is a traitor but in the end they never find out for sure. Kinda like in 1984 life was so awful for them all in that world that if the rebels did turn out to be a government trap they wouldn't be surprised but both books never make it clear if the suspicions were true. At least that's what I thought.
27th-Jul-2012 05:19 am (UTC)
the premise of it is really cool, but the ratio of white actors to poc actors is absurdly laughable

but the thing that jumped out at me the most is how "all the waitresses had the same face" was an asian woman

and jim sturgess looks ridiculous
27th-Jul-2012 03:18 pm (UTC)
but the thing that jumped out at me the most is how "all the waitresses had the same face" was an asian woman

Same here. It's like wow, you sure had to stretch a brain cell to come up with that one...
29th-Jul-2012 02:51 am (UTC)
Of the actors listed at the end of the trailer, the ratio is 8:5 (and two of the white actors are listed at the bottom as "with", implying they're more minor roles, so the ratio of the main characters is more like 6:5). How's that "absurdly laughable"?

Edited at 2012-07-29 02:54 am (UTC)
29th-Jul-2012 06:14 am (UTC)
where i wrote "absurdly" i'd meant and should've written "ironically," because the filmmakers apparently wanted the movie to "transcend race" but the trailer still makes it look like stories about white men (who are occasionally other races) w. token woc thrown in as love interests. i'll admit that i didn't take a close look at the closing credits, but the trailer sure didn't make the poc at the bottom look very important.

Edited at 2012-07-29 06:46 am (UTC)
30th-Jul-2012 03:31 am (UTC)
Assuming it's even vaguely close to the book, Sonmi (Doona Bae) and Luisa Rey (Halle Berry) are definitely the protagonists of their respective segments. You could have a nice, long argument over whether the protagonist of the Sloosha's Crossin' and Everything After section of the book is Meronym (also Halle Berry) or Zachry, but she's definitely a major character in it.
30th-Jul-2012 04:15 am (UTC)
that's a real relief to hear. d'you recommend the book btw?

but i'm only judging by the trailer. it's all we really can judge by at this point. to me, it seemed like everything would be told from the (white) men's pov, which is why i thought the execution was ironic given the apparent intentions. hopefully, this isn't the case 'cause if anything i'm curious about ben whishaw 'cause i love him :3
30th-Jul-2012 05:58 am (UTC)
the book is absolutely lovely and probably one of my favorite books ever, which is why i'm totally hoping the movie doesn't fuck it up :V

i'm so cynical about these things that i was pretty impressed that they even remembered sonmi~451 was korean, and didn't trot out some dumb excuse like "well maybe these clones in korea are cloned to look white????? maybe?????"

Edited at 2012-07-30 05:59 am (UTC)
30th-Jul-2012 05:02 pm (UTC)
oooh, then i shall check it out, thanks!

oh man, i hear you. or, y'know, casting just any asian actress just 'cause they're asian. which def isn't as bad as whitewashing the role altogether but i would've hurt myself rolling my eyes if they cast zhang ziyi, for example.
31st-Jul-2012 01:59 pm (UTC)
While I agree that that is kinda shady in the book that section is set in Korea and the reason they all look the same is because they are clones. I'm not saying that maks it right but thats the reason in case you were wondering.
31st-Jul-2012 06:04 pm (UTC)
yeah, i figured. i appreciate them setting the story in a different culture at all and it's probably a coincidence, but, sadly, my first reaction was "well, they didn't really think too hard on that one, did they.."
27th-Jul-2012 01:25 pm (UTC)
I don't understand this at all. Is this how the characters are in the book? Playing multiple roles? It just looks ridiculous.
27th-Jul-2012 03:47 pm (UTC)
I get the impression there's some sort of reincarnation thing going on. (I haven't read the book, nor do I plan to.)
27th-Jul-2012 08:53 pm (UTC)
There's a recurring motif in the book of reincarnation and souls crisscrossing through time, space, and reality, yeah.

Also, however the movie turns out, the book is really, really good.
30th-Jul-2012 08:58 pm (UTC)
thats not how reincarnation works!!! GAHHH
This page was loaded Oct 17th 2019, 11:52 pm GMT.