A New Yorker piece on the Wachowskis and their struggles to film David Mitchell’s outstanding, complex, centuries-spanning novel Cloud Atlas (opening Oct. 26 with me in line), includes a nice detail about a key difference between novels and movies: detail.
The scene in the control room, for example, features an “orison,” a kind of super-smart egg-shaped phone capable of producing 3-D projections, which Mitchell had dreamed up for the futuristic chapters. The Wachowskis, however, had to avoid the cumbersome reality of having characters running around with egg-shaped objects in their pockets; it had never crossed Mitchell’s mind that that could be a problem. “Detail in the novel is dead wood. Excessive detail is your enemy,” Mitchell told me, squeezing the imaginary enemy between his thumb and index finger.