Children of Men

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released from Arrow and the films on them.

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Barmy
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 3:59 pm

#151 Post by Barmy » Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:10 pm

Thanks, angry lefties, for providing me with the laugh of the day. To even begin to compare CoM to current reality, or think it is even a remotely plausible scenario within the next 20 years (or ever) is silly, and an insult to the Brits. If nothing else, I recall that one of the fugees being treated in a Ghraiblike manner was Czech, and that is just beyond implausible.

redbill
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 2:03 pm
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#152 Post by redbill » Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:20 pm

Barmy wrote:Thanks, angry lefties, for providing me with the laugh of the day. To even begin to compare CoM to current reality, or think it is even a remotely plausible scenario within the next 20 years (or ever) is silly, and an insult to the Brits. If nothing else, I recall that one of the fugees being treated in a Ghraiblike manner was Czech, and that is just beyond implausible.
damn, they had me convinced. i had already thrown away my GF's birthcontrol...

David Ehrenstein
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#153 Post by David Ehrenstein » Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:28 pm

Thanks, angry lefties, for providing me with the laugh of the day
Thanks smarmy neo-fascists for providing the knee-jerk of the day, declaring once again that art has no meaning or purpose whatsoever.

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Barmy
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 3:59 pm

#154 Post by Barmy » Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:36 pm

I'm not smarmy.

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Steven H
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:30 pm
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#155 Post by Steven H » Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:38 pm

Barmy wrote:Thanks, angry lefties, for providing me with the laugh of the day. To even begin to compare CoM to current reality, or think it is even a remotely plausible scenario within the next 20 years (or ever) is silly, and an insult to the Brits. If nothing else, I recall that one of the fugees being treated in a Ghraiblike manner was Czech, and that is just beyond implausible.
My God, someone insulted Britain? The nerve. Not to get too off topic here, but isn't it funny how isolationism and exceptionalism keep switching hands between the right and left? CoM seems to posit that Britain, under "duress", has resorted to an extreme of both, but even the european left has only recently given a little way towards flexible borders, and it's becoming politically mainstream in Britian to not think it's the center of the universe. A curious situation, but unlike in the US, which is where the real aim of the film comes down, and despite the relatively new and strict work Visa situation, Cuaron doesn't seem that interested in the UK. Another shot at fans of the book, that he would use it as a springboard to discuss the politics of a completely different country.

A Czech surely *can* be tortured, unless invincibility is within reach of their race. Many people thought we saw the last of White People Genocide until Bosnians started piling up in mass graves a while back. Just be glad you don't live in Baghdad, where you're in the middle of a violent civil war AND oppressive occupation (not to mention the lawlessness spread out over Asia and Africa of late, CoM might hit a little close to home for these people). Enough preachiness from me (I'm left-wing *and* preachy, hold the phone.)

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tavernier
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 7:18 pm

#156 Post by tavernier » Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:37 pm

Andrew Sarris is not impressed:

Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men, from a screenplay by Mr. Cuarón, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, is based on the futuristic sci-fi novel by P.D. James. If I had seen it before I compiled my “Movies Other People Liked and I Didn'tâ€

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tavernier
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#157 Post by tavernier » Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:38 pm

Can I join Barmy's Smarmy Army?

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david hare
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#158 Post by david hare » Thu Jan 18, 2007 6:05 pm

A Czech surely *can* be tortured, unless invincibility is within reach of their race. Many people thought we saw the last of White People Genocide until Bosnians started piling up in mass graves a while back.
Just over a year ago in this country a case broke the news about a German woman who had been thrown into one of the Australian "Detention Centres" as an illegal alien. After a year, through virtual mischance and after concerns about her mental health were leaked to the few saints who try to bring these wretched creatures some friendship, that she was in fact an Australian citizen, suffering from delusional schizophrenia, as a result of which she had been insisting she was someone unidenifiable to the authorities. She was released after 18 months deprivation and confinement with a peremptory apology to her distraught sister. Attempts are being made to seek compensation from the fucking Immigration Minister who is responsible for these concentration camps but the government remains unmoved.

Stories like this abound. They are disgustingly real.

David Ehrenstein
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#159 Post by David Ehrenstein » Thu Jan 18, 2007 6:36 pm

Jose Padilla, the famous "shoe bomber" is another such story. This hapless gang-banger has now been so severely tortured that it's impossible for him to stand trial for anything -- which was of course the whole plan.

Andrew Sarris has been wrong about a million things.


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tavernier
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#161 Post by tavernier » Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:08 pm

All this reality doesn't make "Children of Men" a good movie--not by a long shot (or close-up).

David Ehrenstein
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#162 Post by David Ehrenstein » Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:31 pm

How about a medium two-shot?

Napoleon
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 6:55 am

#163 Post by Napoleon » Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:28 am

Edit: SPOILERS!

I really wanted to like Children of Men and although I certainly didn't dislike it did take a few clumsy miss-steps.

The first 10 minutes are breathtaking in their execution. The cafe scene and the aftermath of baby Diego giving way to an overwhelming feeling of sadness as Theo returns to his office where his fellow workers are unable to absorb what is happening. The sense of melancholy, decay and impending extinction is tangible. The look and feel of Children of Men is exactly how V For Vendetta should have, but didn't look and feel.

The long takes are of course majestic.

Then there are lots of nice touches:
There are no new cars, because there is no point in making them.
The reveal (when they go straight to Jasper's hidden house) that the fishes were not lying when they told Theo they had been following him.
The tune that Jasper is listening to at first would be from when he was young man.
Sid's inability to refer to himself as me or I.

The problems?
Lots of stodgy exposition with Julian.
Jasper's death which was shamelessly used for shock value (and wouldn't it have been an idea to interrogate him first?).
An unnecessary and stodgy bit of exposition from Farris and her experiences on a maternity ward.
The police/army letting the first child born for 18 years walk away when distracted by a couple of fishes. I'm guessing that Cuaron was making some point about the police being more interested in fighting than the possible survival of the human race, but following on from scenes where the police were dropping to their knees and crossing their chests it either didn't work or at best, jarred.
Worst of all Chiwetel Ejiofor is not given enough to do! The film would have worked better for me had he and Owen played each others parts. Ejiofor is a better actor with a more likeable screen presence.
Barmy wrote:To even begin to compare CoM to current reality, or think it is even a remotely plausible scenario within the next 20 years (or ever) is silly, and an insult to the Brits.
I'm a Brit and I'm not insulted by the events depicted here. Given the current climate in Britain these events seem plausible *if* a major event such as mass infertility were to occur.
Barmy wrote:If nothing else, I recall that one of the fugees being treated in a Ghraiblike manner was Czech, and that is just beyond implausible.
Racism on the scale seen here has nothing to do with race or colour (it rarely does). It is a means for the people in power to keep the majority content by giving them an artificial scapegoat for all their problems.

And I'm poitically dead centre with leanings to the extreme right and left.

David Ehrenstein
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#164 Post by David Ehrenstein » Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:13 pm

Good post, Napoleon. I can't quite agree about Jasper's death. The fact thast they don't interrogate him only goes to show how batshit crazy things have become.

The song he listens to is "Ruby Tuesday" from the Stones' epochal Between the Buttons album (thus connecting this film with The Royal Tenenbaums.)

Not quite sure about "stody exposition" either because, to my mind, the film depicts a series of events that just keep popelling forward almost spontaneously. Yes there are "reasons" why tings are happening, but Curaon shows wha it's like to live -- and die -- in the moment.

Napoleon
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 6:55 am

#165 Post by Napoleon » Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:09 pm

David Ehrenstein wrote:I can't quite agree about Jasper's death. The fact thast they don't interrogate him only goes to show how batshit crazy things have become.
The problem I had is that Jasper is made to be such a sympathetic character for the audience and his death is so irrational and cold-blooded that I couldn't help but feel manipulated.
You are probably correct about the batshit aspect.
There is quite a nice feint where Cuaron uses the suicide pack to make us think that Jasper will kill himself. As he doesn't when we see him outside we are led to believe that he will survive. It nearly works.
David Ehrenstein wrote:The song he listens to is "Ruby Tuesday" from the Stones' epochal Between the Buttons album (thus connecting this film with The Royal Tenenbaums.)
I was referring to the cover of "Hush" by Kula Shaker (shudders), sorry should have mentioned this specifically.
David Ehrenstein wrote:Not quite sure about "stodgy exposition" either because, to my mind, the film depicts a series of events that just keep propelling forward almost spontaneously. Yes there are "reasons" why things are happening, but Curaon shows what it's like to live -- and die -- in the moment.
Perhaps subsequent viewings will reveal this to me. I accept that my first opinion of a film is not my final opinion.

I'd like to add that after making some (but not all) dreadful films through the 80's/90's that it is good top see Caine reinventing himself as a reliable supporting character actor. He seems to be really enjoying his work again.

scalesojustice
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#166 Post by scalesojustice » Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:14 pm

Napoleon wrote:The problem I had is that Jasper is made to be such a sympathetic character for the audience and his death is so irrational and cold-blooded that I couldn't help but feel manipulated.
SpoilerShow
i don't think it was too irrational as everyone who tried to help the woman with the baby had to die.

David Ehrenstein
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#167 Post by David Ehrenstein » Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:30 pm

"it is good top see Caine reinventing himself as a reliable supporting character actor. He seems to be really enjoying his work again."
Indeed. In some recent interviews he's made it clear that he enjoys playing juicy supporting roles like this rather than being forced to carry a entire picture as its star. He's been there, done that.

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Steven H
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#168 Post by Steven H » Sun Jan 21, 2007 11:27 am

For what it's worth, and it may mean nothing, but a good Bosnian friend of mine said that the first foreign language utterred in the film is Bosnian, a woman behind one of those "gates" saying she's hungry and begging for food.

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david hare
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#169 Post by david hare » Sun Jan 21, 2007 10:29 pm

This in today's Sydney Morning Herald:

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/qan ... 07525.html

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toiletduck!
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#170 Post by toiletduck! » Sun Jan 21, 2007 11:50 pm

A Qantas representative wrote:Whether made verbally or on a t-shirt, comments with the potential to offend other customers ... will not be tolerated
Should I ever find myself needing to fly Qantas, they had best be prepared for a smattering of Helen Keller jokes whilst in the air.

-Toilet Dcuk

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miless
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 9:45 pm

#171 Post by miless » Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:40 am

toiletduck! wrote:
A Qantas representative wrote:Whether made verbally or on a t-shirt, comments with the potential to offend other customers ... will not be tolerated
Should I ever find myself needing to fly Qantas, they had best be prepared for a smattering of Helen Keller jokes whilst in the air.

-Toilet Dcuk
why can't Helen Keller drive?

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domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

#172 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:43 am

because she's a woman

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miless
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#173 Post by miless » Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:47 am

domino harvey wrote:because she's a woman
right on the nose

marty

#174 Post by marty » Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:14 am

davidhare wrote:This in today's Sydney Morning Herald:

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/qan ... 07525.html
I don't have a problem with this directive from Qantas. I am a frequent overseas flyer and the next thing I want is for some bozzo to be wearing 'Bush is the World's Number One Terrorist." Whether you agree with the statement or not is irrelevant. Can you imagine the uproar if one was wearing a T-shirt "All Muslims are terrorists so watch out for them on this flight"? Everyone would just go nuts and be up in arms.

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toiletduck!
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#175 Post by toiletduck! » Mon Jan 22, 2007 2:30 am

marty wrote:I don't have a problem with this directive from Qantas. I am a frequent overseas flyer and the next thing I want is for some bozzo to be wearing 'Bush is the World's Number One Terrorist." Whether you agree with the statement or not is irrelevant. Can you imagine the uproar if one was wearing a T-shirt "All Muslims are terrorists so watch out for them on this flight"? Everyone would just go nuts and be up in arms.
Well then everyone needs to calm the hell down and realize that, while the man in the shirt is probably a moron, they can take smug comfort in the fact that they are not the man in the shirt who everyone thinks is a moron.

I'm not trying to derail this, as it had been riding that line quite adeptly, but marty, you do realize just how very little is separating your post from an all-out condoning of censorship. Don't you? Please say you do.

-Toilet Dcuk

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