From IRS audits to sentient rocks to hot dog hands and beyond, the mundane and the inane collide with the profound in “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” the Michelle Yeoh A24 action sci-fi pic that’s drawn at-times-ecstatic acclaim since opening in limited release last month.
Where did all these zany ideas come from? Well, where do any ideas come from? Ask filmmaking duo Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, known as Daniels, and they might have a different answer each day.
On this particular afternoon in this particular universe, as they Zoom together in Kwan’s lightly cluttered home office in Los Angeles, they trace a line back to their last movie, “Swiss Army Man,” a poignant 2016 dramedy about human connection that Scheinert modestly describes as their “feature film about a farting corpse.”download everything everywhere all at once full movie on 4k hot videoand you can watch movies online free on this site
“We showed it to our parents and it sparked so many conversations,” said Scheinert, who with Kwan spent a decade building their eccentric brand around mind-boggling music videos, shorts and films. “It made us reflect: why did we feel the need to make something so strange — and why is it so hard for our parents to understand it?”
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” follows Evelyn Wang (Yeoh), a woman drowning under the stress of her family’s failing laundromat, her ailing marriage to Waymond (KeHuyQuan) and the elderly father (James Hong) who disapproves of her life choices. But it’s the widening gulf between Evelyn and her daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) that threatens to unravel the fabric of existence as she learns that she’s just one in a vast multiverse of Evelyns — and the only one who can save it.
There is a heartwrenching misunderstanding between Evelyn and Joy — and Joy’s nihilist alter ego, JobuTupaki, who has channeled her pain into a burning desire to implode the multiverse with a black hole everything bagel. That resonated with Daniels as artists whose parents struggled to fully comprehend their career paths.
Seeing his own mother expand her comfort level with each phase of Kwan’s career inspired the ways in which Evelyn must continue to grow to accept the multitudes that Joy contains, including her queer identity. “This is in some ways my way of saying thank you to my mom for constantly allowing space for the unexpected parts of us to exist in her worldview,” Kwan said.
In an earlier draft, that wasn’t the case; Evelyn was more close-minded and “overtly homophobic.” But that didn’t feel true to their own lives. “Our parents try to be accepting. It’s just that they struggle to communicate with us,” said Scheinert. “And when we went back into the script with that perspective, it
Added Kwan: “It’s such a stupid idea. A 5-year-old has probably thought of this — oh, they look like fingers! The real difference is that we took the time to be like, in a world of hot dog hands, what is the beautiful story there?” Love, of course
What’s in a name? Maybe nothing at all — and that’s partly the point. The all-powerful JobuTupaki, bent on destroying the multiverse to end the pain of her fractured relationship with Evelyn, was just the right nonsensical moniker that may have come to Kwan in a dream while he and his wife were brainstorming baby names.
“Miranda July wrote a book ‘The First Bad Man,’ and in the book the narrator is looking for a baby — her soulmate — that exists somewhere out in the universe, and she has called it KubelkoBondy,” Kwan said. “What a fun word to say! JobuTupaki’s just a fun name to say. At one point we joked that we would name our baby that.”
In a previous draft, the name even had a back story in an even sillier universe populated by sentient spaghetti.“They’re in a boiling pot and a hand comes out and scoops one out every so often and they call it Throwing Day,” said Kwan. “It’s a ritual where if you’re chosen, you get thrown against the wall and if you stick you progress into adulthood and you get a name. And JobuTupaki was her name.”
Only loosely connected to the film, the book taps artists, philosophers, writers, scientists and assorted Daniels friends to expound on the implications of a multiverse. As Hollywood doubles down on such sagas — think “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” and the cyclical properties of Marvel and DC — the concept has greater potential than how it’s being exploited in blockbuster pop culture, the filmmakers argued.
“The multiverse can be way more than just this corporatized version of it that we’re seeing right now, where it’s basically used for fan service or for cultural fracking, almost — like we’re mining our past cultures just so that we can resurrect them in new arrangements,” Kwan said.
“We should be looking to a forward-looking multiverse, because right now this universe we’re in is on a very scary path. And the multiverse is actually a really beautiful, important metaphor for right now because we need to be looking at all the possibilities, not just the one that we think we’re in,” he said. “And we definitely shouldn’t be looking backwards.”