Watch: Lana Wachowski's Moving Awards Speech at the HRC Gala
Its been a long journey for Lana Wachowski, sister of Andy Wachowski. 2012 marks the year she finally "came out" to the public. That intro video with the 5-min Cloud Atlas trailer in July was the first time she's made a public appearance since Matrix. Lana gave a rather moving speech at the Human Rights Campaign gala, but before you ask why we're posting this video, it is best to let Brad of RopeofSilicon explain more eloquently than I: "While this isn't exactly a topic of movie discussion… the reality of it is that if Lana Wachowski wasn't a director, her story most likely wouldn't be heard and would therefore remain silent and many of us remaining ignorant to the problems that affect a portion of society we don't hear from regularly."
Ever since being absolutely blown away by The Matrix in 1999, I have been in awe of the filmmakers known as the Wachowskis. But ever since 1999, they have been notoriously press-averse, until now. In Lana's HRC speech (full transcript on THR) she explains the story of how and why they decided not to speak to press. "Anonymity allows you access to civic space, to a form of participation in public life, to an egalitarian invisibility that neither of us wanted to give up. We told Warner Bros. that neither one of us wanted to do press anymore. They told us, 'No. Absolutely not. This is non-negotiable.' … We said, 'OK, we get it. So if it's a choice between making movies or not doing press, we decided we're not going to not make movies.'" Ahh!
That was just one of the many fascinating stories Lana tells in her speech, which for the sake of supporting incredible, original, ambitious filmmaking and the artistic power of one individual, it's worth watching here:
In this follow-up Q&A on THR, Lana explains more about how there are some similarities between her own struggles and the movies she makes with her brother: "I think that Andy and I pursue nonconventional approaches to cinema in the same way that David Mitchell approaches nonconventional forms of literature, or did in Cloud Atlas. It's a hard subject. I don't want to be reduced or marginalized into this identity of the 'noncomformist,' yet I realize there's something inherently nonconforming in the way that we approach cinema in this studio structure that has many of its decisions made by mathematical formulas… But I also think that the studios need originality. It's not an accident that Warner Bros. has ultimately greenlit most of our movies. Originality and nonconformity is still possible, obviously." That is the case, but let's hope Cloud Atlas earns some money at the box office this weekend and proves originality is still viable as well.
I know that some may not feel like this is a discussion that fits on a movie blog, but I still found her speech completely moving and inspiring to hear, and especially because Lana is one of my favorite filmmakers and has made a number of my favorite films. I'm happy that she has finally come out, and that the Wachowskis are now out talking with press and speaking openly, as I hope this means we'll continue to hear from them as they continue adding to their extraordinary filmography. Please keep all comments civilized and mature.