1/15/2007

‘Children of Men’ One of 2006’s Best Films

Posted in Reviews at 3:59 am by Stephen

Children of Men (2006), directed by Alfonso Cuarón, is a stunning, surprising film about a future world where humans are all infertile. For this review I’m trying something a little different: rather than writing out my review, I’ve recorded it. You can listen to it below, and please let me know if you like this little audio experiment.

 
icon for podpress  Review: Children of Men [9:56m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

3 Comments »

  1. Grishny (156) said,

    January 15, 2007 at 11:49 am

    I liked it fine, yeah. Feel free to do this again. This was a film I was very interested in seeing when I saw the trailers for it last summer, but I haven’t had the opportunity yet. Maybe I can talk my wife into letting me go before it stops showing at our local Regal.

  2. Grishny (156) said,

    January 17, 2007 at 10:28 am

    I saw Children of Men last night. I went to the latest showing and had the theater all to myself. I wouldn’t say I was blown away by it but it’s a powerful film that takes an interesting idea and creates a world around it.

    Also, to relate it to the latest podcast: there are some prime examples of the creative use of sound in this movie.

    This could get a little spoilery so if you haven’t seen the movie yet you might want to stop here.

    One interesting use of sound I noticed was how the movie opens and closes. If I’m remembering it correctly, it began with a black screen and the sound of children laughing and playing. The sound slowly fades to silence and the title pops up, and then we’re introduced to this world with no children. As the movie ends, the first baby in eighteen years has been born and is on her way to safety and the black screen returns, and slowly the sounds of the children playing fades back in, along with the film title again, and then the credits role.

    This reminded me of a similar visual effect in Schindler’s List, where the movie opens in color with the candles being lit for the Sabbath, an then fades to black and white as we watch the candles burn down to nothing. Then at the movies’ end, new candles are lit and the color slowly fades back in with the flames, signaling that the Holocaust is finally over. I almost wonder if Cuarón was inspired by that.

    The other neat use of audio effects I noticed was near the end, when Theo has been separated from Kee and her baby and is trying to find and rescue them from a building where a firefight is taking place between three different factions. After he enters the building, he begins to hear the sound of the baby’s crying, just barely audible over the gunfire and explosions and people crying and screaming around him. As he climbs the stairs and gets closer to them, the baby’s cry grows louder and louder until finally he’s in the same room with them. While they retrace their steps to try to get out of the building, progressively each of the other sounds fades away as group by group, they encounter people who gradually realize what it is they’re hearing. The magic moment for me was when they reached the first floor where the army soldiers in full camo gear are storming the building, and suddenly they see the baby and stop in their tracks. The order to “hold your fire” is given and suddenly there is complete silence but for the baby’s crying. Like I said, magic.

    Good work, Alphonso.

  3. Outatime (13) said,

    April 27, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    Totally agree with you. I don’t know where to start. The car chase scene with people actually pushing the cars. The comedy of the dredlock guy constantly get screwed over is halarious. The grittiness, the political undertones. Immigration, Global warming, Globalism, facism, even maybe issues of Abortion (i didn’t discuss anything, but it sort of put things in perspective).
    I was expecting the long uncut scenes. i think Y tu mama tambien changed alot of how directors look at scenes. I heard the Farrelly brothers name drop that movie when talking about Stuck on you. The long uncut scenes really gave the feeling that what you’re seeing is what’s going on and also the feeling like you’re actually there obviously. the baby scene freaked me out, i had no idea how they pulled that off. The battle scene with blood on the lens, the car scene looked like it was all one shot. It was an hour and 50 minutes and in the end i felt like i had watched a 10 minute short. Though it could have gone on and on for another 2 hours i would have loved it, i was 100% happy with how it ended. Perfect movie.

    The trailer was very deceptive. All the emotionally huge lines delivered in the trailer were just casual conversation while exiting a room in the film. Hollywood needs BIG tough-guy lines to get people in the seats.

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