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Cinematic Magic: Anza-Borrego's Role in 'Everything Everywhere All at Once'

Cinematic Magic: Anza-Borrego’s Role in ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’

Anza-Borrego: A Vital Setting with a Deep Meaning

The mesmerizing desert landscape of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park has graced the silver screen as the backdrop for one of the most unforgettable scenes in the acclaimed film “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

First….A Summary of the Film

Released in 2022, ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ is an American independent film directed and written by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. The movie, a product of creative collaboration with Anthony and Joe Russo, as well as Jonathan Wang, seamlessly blends elements from diverse genres and film styles. These include absurdist fiction, comedy-drama, surreal comedy, science fiction, fantasy, martial arts films, immigrant narrative, and animation.

The film’s central character, portrayed by Michelle Yeoh, is Evelyn Quan Wang, a Chinese-American immigrant. While undergoing an IRS audit, she discovers that she must forge connections with alternate versions of herself across parallel universes to thwart a destructive force set on annihilating the multiverse.

The star-studded cast also features Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jenny Slate, Harry Shum Jr., and James Hong in supporting roles. Randy Newman, who has scored nine Disney–Pixar films, appears as the voice of Raccacoonie, a reference to the Pixar-animated film Ratatouille (2007).

We can’t forget to mention cinematographer Larkin Seiple who chose Anza Borrego State Park as the filming location.

Enter Anza-Borrego: A Cinematic Oasis

Cinematic Magic: Anza-Borrego's Role in 'Everything Everywhere All at Once'

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in Southern California is known for its rugged terrain and diverse ecosystem, featuring rocks, sand, and hardy plants. This desolate expanse draws parallels to the vastness of the multiverse, cleverly utilized by the filmmakers.

In this setting, Evelyn and Joy become sentient rocks, capturing the story’s isolation and emptiness perfectly.

A Personal Touch

Anza-Borrego's Role in 'Everything Everywhere All at Once'

This captivating scene draws its inspiration from a heated argument that director Daniel Kwan had with an ex-girlfriend. Her desire to become a rock, free from emotions, lingered in Kwan’s mind, eventually weaving its way into the fabric of the film. This unique and deeply personal concept contributes to the scene’s emotional depth and impact.

Cinematography’s Touch of Magic

Originally intended to be set in a field, the scene’s location was elevated to the enchanting Anza-Borrego Desert State Park thanks to the persuasiveness of cinematographer Larkin Seiple. This location held a special place in Seiple’s heart, as he had proposed to his girlfriend within these very landscapes. His insistence on the park as the scene’s backdrop added a layer of meaning and beauty that resonates with both the filmmakers and the audience.

Embracing the Unconventional

Despite initial reservations about the scene’s abstract nature, the filmmakers chose to follow their instincts and incorporate it into the film. Their bold decision paid off handsomely—this scene stands as one of the iconic moments in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

A Message of Self-Acceptance

"Everything Everywhere All at Once" delivers a powerful message about self-acceptance.
"Everything Everywhere All at Once" delivers a powerful message about self-acceptance.

At its core, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” delivers a powerful message about self-acceptance. As Evelyn navigates her flaws and embraces her true self, the film delves into themes of family, love, and forgiveness, making it an experience that resonates on multiple levels.

Critics Rave

Don’t just take our word for it—critics have showered praise upon this cinematic masterpiece:

If you’re ready for a cinematic journey that defies convention, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” awaits. With a potent mixture of humor, drama, and science fiction, this film promises to captivate your senses and keep you pondering long after the credits roll. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park’s role in creating a stunning backdrop for this masterpiece only adds to its allure.

Check out this article for more information about the making of the movie: The Images of Everything Everywhere All at Once: Absurdity, Authenticity, and a lot of Improvisation

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Daniel Kwan
Daniel Scheinert
Written by Daniel Kwan Daniel Scheinert
Produced by Anthony Russo
Joe Russo
Mike Larocca Daniel Kwan Daniel Scheinert Jonathan Wang Peter Tam Lee
Starring Michelle Yeoh Stephanie Hsu Ke Huy Quan Jenny Slate Harry Shum Jr. James Hong Jamie Lee Curtis
Cinematography Larkin Seiple
Edited by Paul Rogers
Music by Son Lux
IAC Films Gozie AGBO Year of the Rat Ley Line Entertainment
Distributed by A24
Release dates March 11, 2022(SXSW) March 25, 2022(United States)
Running time 139 minutes[1]
Country United States
Languages English Mandarin Cantonese
Budget $14.3–25 million[2][3]
Box office $141.2 million[4]