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With a directorial career that began with steamy lesbian crimes and is currently taking an elf-eared Channing Tatum to space, Andy and Lana Wachowski are two of the most ambitious filmmakers out there. Regardless of how one feels about the stories they tell, it’s undeniable that they are masters of visual media. And so only the slightest bit of bewilderment accompanies the siblings’ claim that they captured live births for their upcoming Netflix series Sense8. Doesn’t get much more visually distinct than that.
No surprise, Sense8 is a sci-fi-leaning series, one that uses death as a springboard for its story of connection, and I guess there’s no better narrative contrast for that than filming a loins-parting baby coming into the world. Here’s how they dropped that nugget – bad choice of words, perhaps – to io9 while discussing the amount of creative freedom they asked for and received from Netflix.
Andy: We have live births.
Yes, but are there live births? This comes right after Lana tossed out the idea of “psychic orgies with all sorts of different bodies.” Sense8 follows eight strangers who all go through a terrible experience involving the death of a loved one, and then find that their emotional and mental states are suddenly all connected, despite everyone living in different parts of the world. That explains the psychic orgies. That doesn’t explain why this is a Netflix series and not some Discovery special.
I’m going to guess that they’re talking about a variety of animal (non-human or Keanu Reeves) giving birth, as opposed to seeing women in delivery rooms sharing such intimate and important experiences with Netflix subscribers. Not that watching horses or camels having babies is anything to sneeze at. And maybe I’m wrong. The fact that it’s plural is what throws me.
The siblings also shared how they basically spent a year filming the series in nine different locations – from San Francisco to Mumbai to Reykjavik – and had amazing experiences in each place they went. (Their presence in Nairobi drew some stares.) Maybe they’ll feature someone giving birth in every city. It’s all connected!
For Sense8, the Wachowskis teamed up with Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski for co-writing and co-producing duties. Add to that Netflix’s penchant for quality original programming, and this could easily be the sci-fi masterpiece of the decade. Or it could be a gorgeously ridiculous piece of mythology-infused claptrap. I’m hoping for the former, as everyone involved has done their part in creating classic sci-fi.
While Jupiter Ascending is hitting theaters this weekend, the Wachowskis are filling their days editing the ten episodes of Sense8, which will apparently hit Netflix in May. Will you be watching from anywhere in the world?