WORTH WATCHING

Watch: Lana Wachowski's Moving Awards Speech at the HRC Gala

by
October 24, 2012
Source: THR, RopeofSilicon

Lana Wachowski

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.

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  • syntaxterror
    Hat's off to Lana. Not only was it a difficult thing to come out to her family and the public but to break out of her shy nature and deliver a worthy speech. It takes guts to be true to oneself and to others. Bravo
  • beevis
    while i think cloud atlas can go a ways toward making them a more substantial name, i wouldn't put them ( Wachowskis) in the list of greatest anything. i understand your admiration for the original matrix - but that's it, as far as i'm concerned. i'm certainly hearing many good things about CA and am looking forward to seeing it. i'm just not clear, exactly, what you are in awe of as far as their film-making..........as far as lanas life decisions, many people are uncomfortable in their own skin for a variety of reasons - and i certainly hope she, and every other individual (suffering from personal crisis) anywhere in the world, finds some peace/happiness and contentment in life.
    • http://www.firstshowing.net/ Alex Billington
      I understand that not everyone is a fan of the Wachowskis. First things first, they made a movie the redefined cinema and influenced moviemaking forever, a incredible sci-fi movie that I genuinely love and could watch at any moment, any day, any time. Any filmmaker who makes that kind of iconic movie, even if it's just once, is usually a favorite in my book no matter what. However, I am also big fans of all of their work. I love the remainder of the Matrix trilogy (not as much as the original), I love V for Vendetta, another one of my all-time faves (and they had quite a hand in that despite not directing) and I also love Speed Racer. I, of course, also love Cloud Atlas - one of my tops of this year. I just think these two really push the boundaries of filmmaking even if it's in ways that people don't accept, don't like, or don't think is actually innovative. Whether you agree or not, Speed Racer IS ahead of it's time and many will defend it. See this io9 article published today: http://io9.com/5954595/10-reasons-why-speed-racer-is-an-unsung-masterpiece I just love that they challenge the norms of cinema, that they make big visual spectaculars that don't copy or imitate, but instead innovate. I love the emotion and energy they put into their films. There has always been something unique and exhilarating about their work, and I've connected with that, which is why I love them as filmmakers.
      • DoomCanoe
        guess i shoulda scrolled down a bit and just agreed with this instead of writing the reply above. i completely agree with ya Alex
      • beevis
        that was very well said, buddy. i still hold my opinion (loved matrix but not the sequels) - however, i certainly understand where you're coming from. and, i'm definitely excited about seeing CA! thanks for well-written reply, alex!
  • Happy camper
    Thats not your mother, thats a man baby! - Austin Powers
    • Manuel
      Priceless. Austin Powers for President.
  • Devlewlew
    Lana is amazing. I mean this with all compliments...but she reminds me of Catherine O'Hara. Beautiful, funny, quirky & clever.
  • LightningB
    I would argue that The Matrix is one of the best movies ever made. It was so revolutionary in terms of story, effects etc. that it never gets old no matter how many times it is viewed. HOWEVER, my opinion of anything else they have done is different. Even the other Matrix movies I thought were lacking. Only the first one matters as far as I'm concerned. It feels like a stretch to heep praise onto anyting else they have done. Speed Racer bombed, V for Vendetta (the just produced) was............. interesting. I hope Cloud Atlas is a return to the level of The Matrix but so far with everything else they have done, it is making The Matrix look like lightning in a bottle.
    • DoomCanoe
      as a huge HUGE supporter of the Wachowskis work i have to say while the first Matrix was amazing the second is way to over looked. The highway scene is probably the best car action scene... ever. and the addition it made to the story was both mind blowing and intelligent. i wont defend the third because it had its problems and while i liked it... i think its more because i had to force my self to. AND!!!! SPEED RACER WAS PERFECT. if anyone was ever a fan of the cartoon growing up (i watched it allll the time as a kid) they would agree. it was a cheesy, over the top, colorful and up dated adaptation of the cartoon i loved. V for Vendetta ended up as a bit of a cult classic and i hope it grows with the faithful audience that loves it so much. anyways, Cloud Atlas... tonight at midnight, and i cant wait.
      • LightningB
        I just can't give Speed Racer too much credit. Very little really but you are correct about the highway scene in Reloaded. Not a fan of the rest but that scene was the best. Don't misinterpret anything said, I am still a fan of the brothers so much because of The Matrix that I will easily give anything they touch a chance. I think The Matrix set my expectations so high for them that it's been somewhat disappointng in ventures since then. Excited for Cloud Atlas and hope it's as advertised.
    • lilli
      While the first one is easy to like on many levels, 2 and 3 need more working. Initially disappointed with the sequels, I - a grown(!) woman - found myself for hours in forums discussing the movies... and researching philosophy and religion/spirituality. Gradually, the movies opened to me and I turned from being disappointed to being in awe. But the real achievement of the movies is that they made me dive into philosophy and spirituality and therefore are the driving force for changing (and enriching...) how I perceive life and myself.... This can be said of no other movie, even though there are many good ones out there...
  • Cody W
    Lol human rights, while the government takes away all our liberties and rights behind our back and people are worried about LGBTs rights, so doomed.
    • Alanna
      I think there's a pretty solid argument that you can both care about equality and the steady erosion of our civil liberties. It's not an either/or situation.
      • q
        Exactly.It's the same thing basically.
      • Cody W
        You dont get equality without basic human rights...which are being destroyed so i think theres a pretty solid arguement that one is a helluva lot more important right now than the other.
        • rant
          Equality IS a basic human right.All are equaly important.You deny one and you take away from human life.
    • q
      How does one differ from the other? One group of people should keep their rights while other should not fight for theirs ? Is that not discrimination? I think you should really think hard about these words: liberty and equality for all. I understand if the issues regarding sexuality make you feel weird.Sometimes it makes me feel weird too.But that does not mean we can deny LGBT rights just because it makes us a little queasy.
    • badarinteminabarnisyra
      Alot of the people perfer safety over freedom, we sure are in for a bumpy ride. I would tho say that it's the media promoting the LGBT'madness forcing us to advert our eyes from the real problems in the world.
      • rant
        The real problems in the world are rooted in intolerance and fear.Most of the social issues in fact are.A lot of fear stems from intolerance and ignorance. Phrase "LGBT'madness" sounds pretty ignorant to me. It could be argued that most of human activities and mindsets are madness.Even the so called normality.Whatever that is. Any group of people that tries to impose their set of values over another or deny the rights and liberties or pursuite of happines of another group is moraly corrupt and bankrupt in my opinion.You don't have to love all people but it is A MUST to tolerate all people if we are to survive as humane and free society and even as a species. Or we could just kill all "undesirables".But that's not the world I want to live in.
        • badarinteminabarnisyra
          So we can say what we want as long as we say the right thing, Do what we want as long we do the right thing? If a pedofile is running around in my backyard near my kids do i need to "tolerate" that? Do i need to respect him and his/her pursuite of happines? And the madness i talk about is who cares about if she rather spends here life with a woman? I atleast could care less. But i don't want to get this non important bullshit called LGBT thrown at me every time i turn on a tv or read a newspaper. There is so mutch bigger issues out there in the world then what some celeb is gay o not. She is interesting. Not here sexual preference.
          • rant
            You are free to speak your mind and to think and believe whatever you want.Granting others the same is tolerance. As for the actions,doing "the right thing" goes,that's a bit more complex.In my opinion right is what causes the least amount of harm to yourself and others,preferebly no harm at all in any way. The issue of pedophilia is a complex one.It is easy to label pedophiles as evil and act accordingly.But I don't believe that is the right answer.I don't have an answer for that.Is there a civilised solution? I don't know. No one is suggesting to leave children exposed to harmful actions of others. But using children as an excuse for pushing any kind of agenda is also harmful if it is not sincere.Most of the time it is not.Especially used in arguments concerning LGBT issues.Lets face it ,when there is a lack of arguments the "think of the children" is used.I find it vile and dishonest,because most of the time it is used to mask the bigotry and intolerance counting on an emotional response in regards to the children. Also ,lumping pedophiles with LGTB is not honest and is really ignorant.Those are two separate social issues and should be dealt with separatelly. I agree with you on the madness in media.Sensationalism is very harmfull for society in general but "you gots to sell them papers ".
        • beevis
          rant - poverty/ hunger/ poor education are far worse problems than intolerance and fear.
          • Cody W
            And your wrong, Fear is the biggest problem this country has, fearof absolutely that its turning a once proud and alpha country into a bunch of politically correct vaginas, that are afraid of the slightest thing outside of the routine. Just wait til DHS and FEMA are at our doors then youll fear is everything.
          • beevis
            cody, you're babbling and are making no sense. btw - READ the comment to which i was responding before sending me a reply - i did NOT say biggest problems in the US - poverty/hunger/poor education are the biggest problems in the world. i wasn't talking about the US or any other country specifically - because that wasn't what rant was talking about. your reading comprehension skills need a lot of work.
          • rant
            You are right of course.Still does not make intolerance and fear any less problematic.They contribute to poverty,hunger and poor education and vice versa.We need to tacle them simultaneously.
          • beevis
            i think fear/intolerance are more abstract issues. yea - in some instances these feelings will lead to some to some awful behavior by people.....but fear and intolerance certainly aren't necessary "ingredients". sometimes, economic demand, whether real or made up is all it takes for minor problems to spin out of control. - anyway, as far as the worlds worst issues, i stand by what i said.
    • beevis
      what liberties and rights have you lost that you're most concerned about?
      • Cody W
        You mean besides the fact that any moments notice the government can declare martial law and do whatever they want to us in the name of terrorism and security? Or the fact that if I knock a gay dudes lights out for grabbing my ass its a hate crime and the fag was only standing up for his rights? Or maybe since Agenda 21 was written in the 80s people care more about the environment then they do human beings? Or maybe that if I shoot a robber thats in my house Im going to jail for murder since our 2nd amendment is null and void? Or maybe its the face that ever since the engineered financial collapse or America Ive been laid off 3 times and can barely get 20 hours a week? you people say civil liberties, its not just civil liberties, its basic human rights this country was founded upon that are being threatened, but a great man once said "those who sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither" and amerika is gonna get its wish.
        • beevis
          buddy, you're letting anger guide your thinking......but, i have to say i understand completely as far as the economy. it is NOT right what has happened to the working class in america. the rest of your post is trash.
  • ticketmaster
    Cloud Atlas is a mediocre film at best with little to no entertainment value. The 6+ timelines as a whole are uninteresting, predictable, cliche as are the individual plots within each timeline. The sci fi action story was a poor knock off of Equilibrium. The Caucasian male actors in ethnic prosthetic make up were very distracting. The futuristic post Apocalyptic world ripped straight off of Mad Max/Waterworld right down to the way they talked was laughable. A smorgasbord of different genres each poorly executed. Red Box Rental at most.
  • http://shiftlocal.wordpress.com/ Marc Callado
    Wow I never ran across this news in the past. When I read some stuff on Cloud Atlas I was surprised when I saw Lana. It left me confused because I swore they were the Wachowski bros... now it makes sense. Thanks for sharing!
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7YGEVuJ4mM Carpola
    Good for her. It's actually quite good to hear them speak a bit more.
  • BloodwerK
    I can't help but think this recent rash of public appearances is due more to pushing some civil rights issue than due to anything involving filmmaking...
    • syntaxterror
      it is... thought that was pretty obvious. Did you even bother to watch the video?
      • BloodwerK
        No, I didn't, but I wasn't talking about just this one. I've been seeing the two of them like once or twice a week for a while now. Before "the change" I never saw them on anything...
        • syntaxterror
          if you watch the video you'll know that weren't doing any interviews for the past, what was it?, 11 years? watch the video
  • Xerxexx
    Nice...cannot wait until Could Atlas comes out...tomorrow! Who cares about her Metamorphosis?
    • beevis
      i agree - i don't think it has a place on this type of forum, but lately, there has been a LOT of issues being brought up on this site not related to movies......not sure why.

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