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The book was thought to be unfilmable. Somehow, the Wachowskis pulled off a miracle. As I wrote after viewing Cloud Atlas in the theater, this is one of the most important films in many, many, years. The public, for whatever reason, did not respond to it well. As the years and decades move forward, it will be loved and critically reappraised: there will be many edited volumes and articles written about Cloud Atlas. I can say that with certainty. It is/will be a new classic.
I am not one to cry in movies.
Our emotional responses to film are often a function of how art speaks to us and our emotional state at a given moment.
I tear up when Luke watches the twin suns on Tatooine because Star Wars represents my childhood with all of the good, the loss, the wonder, and being asked to grow up too soon, in many ways, that were not fair.
Years later I was a perfect jerk, quite literally walking out of the movie Garden State, because my girlfriend of many years brought me to see a movie in which the plot is driven forward by a parent passing away not too soon after my own father had died.
She did nothing wrong; when we hurt, we are often not ourselves. My bad behavior was not forgivable.
And Babe: Pig in the City just causes hysterical tears, for there are few movies that are such precise mirrors of human ugliness and the beauty of our animal friends.
The end of Beasts of the Southern Wild, when our young heroine communes with the great mythic(?) animals is one more moment that causes a tear mixed with pride for our little/big protagonist's amazing strength of will and character.
The conclusion of Cloud Atlas makes my cry. I am not yet sure if it is because of the movie's pathos and ability to communicate how people can prevail, and have prevailed over Power and indomitable odds, that moves me.
Maybe it is the sincerity of the film? It could simply be how the closing montage makes me think of the many Peoples Struggles around the world and what we have accomplished...and still have to do together.
Ghetto nerds cry at movies. We are Subotai the Archer from Conan the Barbarian. There is no shame.
What movies move you in ways that you may be embarrassed or ashamed to share?
I would like to think that I am not alone in my vulnerabilities to the emotionally moving power of great film, art, or literature.
I tell my students that popular culture "matters" because it says something to us, about us, and reflects the best and worst of who we are. That is its power. I hope that I am not wrong.