360

360

Anthony Hopkins in 360, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

360 (2011/2012)

Opened: 08/03/2012 Limited

On-Demand06/29/2012
Limited08/03/2012
Sunshine Cinema08/03/2012 - 08/09/20127 days
The Landmark08/03/2012 - 08/09/20127 days
Cinema Village...08/10/2012 - 08/16/20127 days
DVD11/06/2012

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home, Facebook

Genre: Drama

Rated: R for for sexuality, nudity and language.

Synopsis

A sexy dramatic thriller about interconnected romantic life in the 21st century. 360 starts in Vienna, weaving stories set in Paris, London, Bratislava, Rio, Denver and Phoenix into a single, mesmerizing narrative. A businessman faced tempted to be unfaithful to his wife sets into motion a series of events which ripple around the globe with dramatic consequences, set against the backdrop of international banking crisis, the domino-effect of the Arab Spring, the threat of global flu pandemics and Euro-Zone instability. From the director of City of God and The Constant Gardener, and featuring a terrific ensemble cast, let by Anthony Hopkins, Jude Law, Rachel Weisz and Ben Foster.

From Page to Screen

At the heart of 360 are themes of love. We all have options and we all make choices, but how many chances do we have? Which path to take? To turn right, and then at the last moment turn left? What if a decision we make is changed by the deed of another? How many of our actions are based on good intentions towards others, or on a deeper level according to our own secret wants and desires? How did we get to be where we are today? Are our lives a web of coincidences, or is it all mapped out for us?

360 is an expression of the world's interconnectedness, and interdependence - and not just through the miraculous internet which connects the world. Peter Morgan's idea for the original screenplay came about as financial crises spread from one country to the next, toppling banks and governments in a sequence of dominoes -- and a flu pandemic raged in such a way that each corner of the world was connected to its polar opposite.

Morgan, as befits his profession as an multi-award winning screenwriter with scripts which have been set, and shot, in locations across the globe, spends a great deal of time travelling, in particular moving between Vienna, London, New York and Los Angeles. As he explains, this life he leads along with the global events he watched unfurl influenced the foundations of the script, "In many ways 360 is a reflection of the way I live and that I spend far too much time in airports and on the move. If you put yourself in a jet lagged haze and imagine life in those four cities that are all metropolitan centers filled with multinational communities and you combine that with the impact of the internet - you can't help noticing the degree to which boundaries have become obsolete and that modern 21st century life has become one global community. I wanted to write something that would reflect that, and the fact that all actions have consequences. The fact that the economic actions of one country, or bank, or Government can so dramatically affect others -- the fact that one person carrying a virus in New York get on a plane and pass it to someone in Mongolia 24 hours later -- the fact that a stock price falls in Tokyo making people redundant in Stockholm - that people are playing online poker with somebody in a different time zone and different country -- the extent to which we would become -- and already have, become one community. I wanted to write a story to reflect that. But I didn't want to write it head on, I wanted to write it as a metaphor. And what better subject to channel it through -- than love, romance, sex and relationships."

David Linde, a globally respected producer and executive who has been responsible for numerous groundbreaking, award-winning and commercially successful films involving some of the world's most talented filmmakers, knew when the script for 360 came to him exactly who he had to send it to. As Linde elaborates, "Like many people I was very strongly affected by Fernando Meirelles' City Of God. I was running Focus Features at the time and made every attempt to try and find a way to work with a filmmaker who seemed so in sync with what we were trying to accomplish at Focus, which was to concentrate on directors' whose perspective towards material really defined the film. The Constant Gardener proved to be that chance and it was a tremendous experience to see that film come to life in his hands. When I came on to produce 360, I sent the script to him precisely because of his real interest in people and global culture and how they interact. I think of Fernando as a director who really cares about his characters and he has an almost unbelievable ability to make them feel personal to our own interests, fears, and emotions. In 360, we really relate to each character's experience, no matter who they are, and that's what makes the film so special."

360, a film which spans several continents with seven different languages spoken as the stories intersect and collide, found its perfect director in international filmmaker Fernando Meirelles. Meirelles has been honored with critical praise, awards and plaudits the world over for his visceral style of filmmaking from the moment his seminal feature City of God hit screens and opened the world's eyes to the pain and the beauty of life in the slums of Brazil told through the lives of two young men. This made him the perfect choice to direct 360 with his tour de force of intelligence, energy and enthusiasm, and his understanding of humanity, which meant he could bring a realistic quality to the contemporary lives of the central protagonists.

The attraction for Meirelles was the script that Morgan has created and the fact that, in his eyes, there is an underlying theme that connects all of the characters, as he explains, "I think what connects the stories for me, and what I like about them, is that they are about people trying to do their best, trying to do good things and be good people, but they are not always capable of doing it. It means it is a very human story as it is about impulses and desires, and the fact that sometimes something inside you can take you in a different direction. I thought that was fascinating and I wanted to explore it."

For Andrew Eaton, the prolific award-winning independent producer, who is highly respected and recognized for actively seeking challenging projects to bring to the big and small screen explains, it is the interlinking stories zigzagging across the world, and the very different protagonists and situations that exist within each, that give the audience the opportunity to connect with at least one individual in one way or another, "I think people will see parts of themselves when they see this film, parts of experiences they've had in their own lives, and I think it's that normality, but told in a larger than life way that's really attractive about it. I think it is about hopefulness, that despite the mistakes we make in our relationships that life does goes on."

The process of writing a script from the initial ideas through to the final result is a process which involves instinctive decisions, and as Morgan explains the script in itself became a journey for him as he developed the series of relationships based on modern society, "The journey that you go on when you write a script and the changes of direction and forked roads, I prefer that, you know. I was constantly going into directions I never expected."

Eaton observed the close collaboration between Meirelles and Morgan, and he describes it as an organic process which led to subtle moments unfolding onscreen as the stories gradually come to life, "Watching the process between Fernando and Peter has been fascinating for me because Peter's a genius writer, and with such an interconnected story I think Fernando's taken it to another level. If you look at his work, like City of God and Constant Gardener, they're quite complicated structures that move back and forward in time, and with 360 Fernando has done the same with subtle little changes, like not finding out that Rose is married before you see her having sex with another man, so he's actually over emphasized the surprise which I think is a good thing."

For Meirelles, the decision to take on this delicate, complex piece about relationships which takes the audience in many directions was in part due to the milieu of differences between the stories, which greatly excited him, as well it being a unique opportunity to play with genres and settings within one film. As he explains, "There are several tones to the film and I think that's what I enjoy because the story of Rachel Weisz and Jude Law is about this couple where one is cheating the other, it's not a romance, it's a romantic tragedy I would say. Then we have a bit of romance between Jamel Debbouze and Dinara Drukarova in Paris, it's a very sad romantic film, and then we have a bit of thriller in Vienna with the Russians and some guns and people chasing the other, and a bit of comedy with Moritz Bleibtreu. What I'm really enjoying about the film is every new story, every time I start a different story it feels a bit like a different film, or it's a different feeling. When I was shooting in Paris I was telling a sad story, and in Vienna there's a lot of action so there's a different base and I enjoy that a lot."

As Morgan explains, the hope is the recognition of the shared experiences of humankind will come to the surface when watching 360, "I am always encouraging myself to take risks in my writing because I believe that all human struggles and all human emotions, it's a pallet we all share. And I think the feelings that I have, the struggles that I have are yours. I am constantly shocked by how I may think that a particular predicament I have, or an emotional challenge is one that is unique to me. It's absolutely not the case and you know we are all in the same old mess and we all have the same struggles."

For Linde, 360 illustrates how people are constantly looking for ways to connect in today's modern world, as he explains, "It seems pretty clear that we more interested in each other than ever before. Facebook is a key example. The movie speaks to that really beautifully, even though you never see anyone turn on their computer to Ichat. We are looking to connect, to discover and to experience, and these characters are incredibly brave and really inspirational, finding their way to love each other and themselves in an increasingly complicated world. Our world."

About the Cast

360, a film which spans the globe with English, Viennese German, French, Russian, Arabic, Slovakian and Brazilian Portuguese all spoken, required a truly international cast to bring the central protagonists to life. The narrative of 360 is driven by the characters and their scenarios, and each story strand stands up in its own right. The universal link to each, and the theme that runs throughout, is that we are privy to just a fleeting moment in their lives and have no knowledge of these individuals before this moment in time. The decisions they make, which may or may not be for the greater good, leads to each of them being redeemed in some way within their own story.

The appeal of developing a fully-fledged three dimensional character within their story arch that could carry a whole film, when in reality it forms just a small part of an ensemble piece, was for the cast in no small way influenced by the opportunity to work with Meirelles. The chance to work with him, and knowing that he was helming an intelligent piece written by Morgan, was both an exciting and challenging combination.

Meirelles is very calm and methodical, and also collaborative, in the way he works with his actors, allowing them to improvise within the structure of the script and experiment. His warm approach leads to a relaxed vibe on set, where the cast feel they have had the opportunity to fully explore and develop their characters. This coupled with Morgan's script with the detailed characters, each drawn in a very distinct way, and the overall structure was extremely appealing for the actors. They all met with Meirelles, and in some cases they then needed to spend some time researching the background of their type of character, and each actor created a back story in their minds to breathe life in to these individuals. Once the camera started rolling, with most of the cast having just few days on screen, they had a brief but significant opportunity to play protagonists that were both authentic and realistic, and to convey the emotional truth in that moment for their characters within the circle of 360.

The catalyst for the chain of stories and events which unfold stems from the moment Jude Law's character, Michael Daly, makes the decision not to go through with his frisson with the prostitute Mirka. However fleetingly, from this point onwards the consequences of his choice reverberate throughout all of the stories connecting or linking them in some way.

Jude Law and Rachel Weisz play the married couple Michael and Rose Daly. On the surface they appear to be two beautiful people who have worked hard to create a perfect home for their young daughter. Yet somehow you get the impression they are no longer communicating, and that affection and intimacy has fallen away from their relationship.

Jude Law describes his character thus, "Something Fernando said to me before I started, which really warmed me to this project was that everyone in it is trying to do the right thing. Michael is a normal, regular, flawed human being. He's a father who perhaps knows he should be at home a little more to see his daughter growing up. He's working hard but at the same time kind of missing his life. And he wants to do right by his family and wants to do right by himself. But there's nothing particularly special or spectacular about him. He's just a regular Joe. It's more about the rhythm of how your life can affect other peoples."

For Rachel Weisz, having won plaudits and awards for her role in Meirelles' The Constant Gardener it was the opportunity to work with him again and the written material, as she explains, "I love the script and the idea that it's a true ensemble, everyone does their little story and then they pass the baton on to the next actor that comes along. The chance to spend five days with Fernando, someone I hugely admire, and the Peter Morgan script is really wonderful and unusual. In some ways it's easy and light, and in some ways it's challenging because you don't have as much time to establish your character you just have to dive straight in."

Anthony Hopkins character is the older man, John, who is en route to Phoenix to a mortuary to discover if the unidentified girl that has been found is his long missing daughter. She ran away from home many years ago after she uncovered her father's affair and they argued. Hopkins explains his take on his character, "We all get caught up in relationships and in life with things we don't expect. And we're only human. We can make a lot of mistakes. And I think that's what I like about this guy. He's an ex-drunk and he's made a lot of mistakes in his life and he'll still go on making them. But he's learned something about himself. He's learnt something about life."

Maria Flor plays Laura who heartbroken and alone boards a flight home to Brazil and sits next to the older man. They share a connection that helps them both move forwards in significant ways even if they do not quite realize it at the time. Flor interprets her character and situation as, "I think Laura looks naive and fragile, but that she is strong and she has the power to change her life. She is really sad and distressed, and totally alone at this point, so when she finds the older man it is good because he's warm to her like a father, he's someone she can trust, and I think he is really important for her at that moment in her life."

Flor also shares some powerful scenes with Ben Foster, as he plays a sex offender who has spent the past six years behind bars and is about to restart his life. For Foster the opportunity to work with Meirelles was one which he immediately knew he wanted to be a part of before he had even turned a page of the script, "You start with the script, and it's a gift to have material as thoughtful and interested in the human beings rather than the exposition of moving story forward, although that's handled beautifully. It's about people trying to make choices, and not always making the right choices, and sometimes there are very dark circumstances but I believe every character in this film is attempting to make the right choice."

Marianne Jean-Baptiste plays Fran, the psychologist, who has been treating Tyler and has been working towards this moment with him when he will be gradually released back into the world through a rehabilitation program. Jean-Baptiste explains the appeal of 360 for her as, "For me what I found really striking is you get a glimpse of these people at a point in their lives where they are faced with a choice. And you just kind of go "Oh, what are they going to do, is he going to go this way, or that way." Which I thought was a really beautiful thing and I really enjoy that element. You start with something very simple and raw and they all end up back in a place where things are really simple and raw."

Moritz Bleibtreu plays the salesman who uncovers Michael Daly's proposed liaison with the prostitute. He was delighted to have the opportunity to be a part of this ensemble and explains his interpretation of the script as, "It's about hope and keeping hope alive. It is about certain people who give up hope and say 'No, there is no hope.' and others that say 'No, hope is still there, even though everything is bad and my life is f**ked up- hope is still there', and I think that's what this movie does. You are going to end up seeing a film where you come out saying, with every dark side that a human being has and all the sinister areas that this movie shows and reflects - there is hope and love is going to survive."

It is desire and love, along with being young and ambitious, that propels Juliano Cazarre's character, the photographer Rui, in to a relationship with Rose. He is not in his own country and in Rose he finds someone he is extremely attracted to her, who knows his profession and has influence within it, and she could be the key to everything he aspires to, even though it means risking his relationship with Laura as his feelings for Rose become deeper. Cazarre explains his take on his character, "I think this is a very plausible situation that this could happen. You have a girlfriend from your own country, you're young and different things happen in life, new people can come into your life. I think Rui would stay with Rose but he doesn't know what to do with Laura because he is responsible for her, he convinced her to come to London, so I think this is his dilemma and as a lot of men do, he is just you know, pushing things and not deciding them. He's not making a decision; he's trying to live the best of both sides."

Dinara Drukarova plays Valentina, a character who appears fragile with a complex past. She is stuck in an unhappy marriage and is considering a life changing decision as she travels back to her adopted home, Paris. She describes 360 as, "A really very contemporary view of our world, with all of these people crossing paths, their religions, their nationalities, it's really a mirror of society nowadays and that's what exciting about this film."

Johannes Krisch, who plays the pimp Rocco, uses technology to access international businessmen who are looking for female company. His website with online profiles and reviews for each girl and his mobile phone are his tools as he arranges appointments and keeps tabs on his girls and clients. He views 360 as showing how small our world is becoming, "We are always talking about globalization and a global community, the planet is getting smaller and smaller with all the communications that we have so this is really a big chance to show how small and big life is at the same time."

Mirka and Anna, the Slovakian sisters, are very close being best friends as well as sisters, supporting and trusting each other. Lucia Siposova, who plays Mirka, interpretation of her character is thus, "What I liked about Mirka is that she's not a prostitute who wants to become a prostitute, she thinks, 'Ok I'm going to do this so I can fulfil my dreams,' because she is kind of naive in a way, she thinks maybe she can make enough money to make her life as she wants it to be later. I think she is street-smart and brave and she just takes her chances. She's not oversensitive about it, but also its not like she really wants to do it, she's quite pragmatic."

Anna, played by newcomer Gabriela Marcinkova, muses on the significance of 360 and the stories which populate it, "360 is a circle. Circles are something that are never ending, kind of like life is never ending. So within 360 there are so many stories, so many different characters, so many different countries exactly like life and throughout the world, and it makes the circle of life, it runs and runs, and we are not so important each of us, but collectively we are very interesting."

 

Trailer