Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Children of Men is simply excellent.

Saw it last night with Justin at the Metro—glad to catch it on a big screen because there’s a lot of details you’d miss otherwise.

Year is 2027, most of the world is in chaos from an unspecified cocktail of maladies: most likely drug-resistant diseases, civil wars, ecological collapse and/or nuclear mishaps. And as a cake topper: all women in the world have been infertile for the past 18 years. For unexplained reasons, England is the only place that’s maintained order, but it’s become a police state that rounds up foreigners, takes their lunch money and generally acts like a total dick.

Why I like it:

  • It’s not preachy and not obvious.

  • Show me; don’t tell me -- It’s a director’s movie. Alfonso Cuaron, was pretty damn sanguine about tossing out elements of the book. Which I never read, but that’s what I’m told. Plot-wise, some major things have obviously happened in the last 20 years--but they are never explained. You have to guess from things in the background like newspaper clippings, city signs or burning cattle.

  • The actors do their jobs. No scenery chewing.

  • Shit goes wrong, in an extremely plausible way.

And it’s a tense movie, basically a chase movie, but also much more. Things it made me think about in no particular order:

  • Christianity in general, and the nativity story in particular

  • V for Vendetta but this is a much better movie

  • On the Beach

  • Blade Runner (only at the end)

  • Y Tu Mama Tambien and how this movie is so absolutely nothing like Y Tu Mama Tambien

  • Julianne Moore giving me a vigorous scrub down

  • Hippies and Earth Liberation Front. Ends justifying means.

  • 9/11 of course and especially the crypto-paranoid style of politics that followed it

  • Of course fascism. And xenophobia.

  • How I totally knew Clive Owen was a bad-ass back in Croupier

  • How so few science fiction elements Children of Men has, but how it’s great science fiction. No cool gizmos really. In 2027 they got better flat-screen monitors, more security cameras, some new games and moving advertisements. That’s pretty much it. No robots, no aliens. People drive to work or take the bus; they watch TV and smoke pot.

  • City of God and the kind of meaningless chaos it showed on the streets of Rio

  • Why are there so many Poles living in London these days? Something to do with the EU I bet.

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