Children of Men

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che-etienne
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 1:18 pm

#26 Post by che-etienne » Fri Dec 01, 2006 4:52 pm

I'm not sure he's treated with no sympathy. The final line in the scene left me ambivalent about Huston's character and the attitude he's meant to represent. Uneasy yes, but still ambivalent.

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davebert
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#27 Post by davebert » Fri Dec 01, 2006 7:15 pm

No one has mentioned Hell Comes to Frogtown yet...

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Kirkinson
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#28 Post by Kirkinson » Sat Dec 02, 2006 7:59 pm

John Cope wrote:It reminds me of that eye roll inducing scene in The Day After Tomorrow ... There's a similar moment in V for Vendetta....
Bear in mind that the situation in Children of Men is quite significantly different than in the two films you mention. In those cases, the people trying to preserve these things are doing so because they presume (or at least hope) there will be some semblance of humanity left in the world to appreciate it. In Children of Men there is no such hope: as far as anyone in the film knows, humans will be gone in 50 years. When that happens, art's only distant hope for meaning would be to alien archaeologists who visit the planet and put works up as artifacts in some cosmic museum (that far-fetched sentiment is not in the film, mind you, I just made it up).

Indeed, while I would not say that there is no sympathy whatsoever in Danny Huston's character, he is certainly not meant to be respected or appreciated for what he is doing. I think the most powerful image in that scene is seeing Picasso's Guernica reduced to nothing more than a dining room decoration. That's definitely not a testament to art's importance.

Anyway, I adored this film completely. I already loved Cuarón going in, but if I needed any confirmation that he's one of the most talented filmmakers around today I got it in spades. I don't know what I can add about the photography that hasn't been stressed already, but I have to reiterate that it is seriously staggering. Cuarón makes what must be insanely complex choreographed scenes seem completely natural and spontaneous. Part of the reason those scenes work so well is because they seem thoroughly dangerous, not just in what is being presented but how it is being presented as well. It's absolutely invigorating to see what could have easily been a standard sci-fi thriller elevated to such quality by a filmmaker who really cares about what he's doing.

I also loved how Cuarón and Clive Owen did every single thing they possibly could to keep Owen from turning into anything remotely resembling a typical action hero. Everything from his hopeless attitude to his burned-out look and his continual shoe problems to that ill-fated escape attempt (an unexpected, very funny moment)...he's probably the least heroic hero (who isn't an antihero) I've seen in a mainstream picture in eons.

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#29 Post by David Ehrenstein » Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:37 pm

I also loved how Cuarón and Clive Owen did every single thing they possibly could to keep Owen from turning into anything remotely resembling a typical action hero.
That's a very important point. Had Owen struck the de rigeur "We've got to take a stand!" pose the whole show would have gone right down the toilet.

Feast on me
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#30 Post by Feast on me » Thu Dec 14, 2006 3:46 am

David Ehrenstein wrote:That pig-shaped blimp is a fairly well-known art work of recent post-modernist vintage. Not sure of the name of the artist but in terms of the film it's as one with all the other art works Danny Huston's character is hoarding -- for no reason he can actually name. It's a perfect evocation of the utter uselessness of art.
Regarding the Pig, I can't believe that nobody knows that its an obvious reference to the cover of Animals by Pink Floyd

Even the Battersea Power Station was behind the pig

The art was by Storm Thorgerson when he was a part of Hipgnosis and you can read more here

I saw the film today and it was an amazing piece of work, the long takes are amazing and Clive Owen deserves recognition because he maintains the film interesting by his facial expressions and body movements.

Cuaron is really shaping up to become one of the masters of cinema, his directing is really subtle, he doesn't bring attention to his direction but to his story. I recommend this movie wholeheartedly. :D

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#31 Post by Doug Cummings » Fri Dec 15, 2006 12:05 pm

Am I the only one here who found this film to be a technical tour-de-force, but absolutely bereft of any ideas? Aside from a few tossoff references to the so-called "war on terror," all I saw in this "vision of the future" was a mass of crazies/oppressors/revolutionaries lacking any ideology whatsoever; this film didn't have anything more to say to me than Escape from New York. Yes, the performances are fine and I loved the long shots in space and duration, but I think the movie wants to be more than that--like thoughtful SF--and on that note it was no better or worse than Saving Private Ryan, which isn't exactly a good thing.

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#32 Post by David Ehrenstein » Fri Dec 15, 2006 12:51 pm

Am I the only one here who found this film to be a technical tour-de-force, but absolutely bereft of any ideas?
Yes.

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#33 Post by Doug Cummings » Fri Dec 15, 2006 1:26 pm

...and those ideas would be...?

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#34 Post by David Ehrenstein » Fri Dec 15, 2006 2:49 pm

They're best explained by J.G. Ballard

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#35 Post by Doug Cummings » Fri Dec 15, 2006 3:09 pm

I agree. I'll continue reading him instead of watching Cuaron's movie.

lovermanzig
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#36 Post by lovermanzig » Tue Dec 19, 2006 9:53 pm

Apparently this isn't going to be released wide in the states. What a mistake!

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#37 Post by David Ehrenstein » Tue Dec 19, 2006 10:25 pm

as far as anyone in the film knows, humans will be gone in 50 years. When that happens, art's only distant hope for meaning would be to alien archaeologists who visit the planet and put works up as artifacts in some cosmic museum (that far-fetched sentiment is not in the film, mind you, I just made it up).
This links Children of Men to my favorite Spielberg, A.I.

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Jeff
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#38 Post by Jeff » Tue Dec 19, 2006 11:01 pm

lovermanzig wrote:Apparently this isn't going to be released wide in the states. What a mistake!
Do you have a source for this? Last I heard, it was going to have a limited release in 16 theaters on the 25th, and then go wide on the 29th.

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Kirkinson
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#39 Post by Kirkinson » Tue Dec 19, 2006 11:35 pm

Jeff wrote:Last I heard, it was going to have a limited release in 16 theaters on the 25th, and then go wide on the 29th.
Indeed, I find it hard to believe Universal would give only a limited release to a film that cost them $72 million. My guess is Universal realized opening wide on Christmas would put it up against their other awards picture, The Good Shepherd, and decided to give that one the lead since it's teeming with bankable stars, and let this one (hopefully) generate some positive buzz in the press before it goes out to most of the country.

lovermanzig
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#40 Post by lovermanzig » Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:36 am

Well, I was unable to find any source of wide release. I browsed most places which give ideas of limited or wide releases, all of which mentioned "Children of Men" as "limited release."

It is quite bizarre for a $72 million dollar film getting a small release. Hope I'm wrong.

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Fletch F. Fletch
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#41 Post by Fletch F. Fletch » Wed Dec 20, 2006 3:04 pm

J. Hoberman loves it.

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Matt
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#42 Post by Matt » Wed Dec 20, 2006 4:44 pm

There's a nice little article on the shooting of the film in the new American Cinematographer (with Daniel Craig on the cover). Lubezki, in concordance with his latest trend, used as little film lighting as possible and shot entirely hand-held (even though he quibbled with Cuaron about the latter). It may also disappoint some people to learn that some of the more elaborate single-take shots are faked.

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miless
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#43 Post by miless » Wed Dec 20, 2006 7:36 pm

Matt wrote:It may also disappoint some people to learn that some of the more elaborate single-take shots are faked.
what does that mean? did they blend them... or use CGI or something?

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dadaistnun
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#44 Post by dadaistnun » Thu Dec 21, 2006 1:36 pm

Dave Kehr says,

[quote]“Children of Menâ€

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Matt
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm

#45 Post by Matt » Thu Dec 21, 2006 1:39 pm

miless wrote:
Matt wrote:It may also disappoint some people to learn that some of the more elaborate single-take shots are faked.
what does that mean? did they blend them... or use CGI or something?
A little of both. There appears to be quite a bit of CGI work in the film, but most of it is meant to be invisible--dropped-in backgrounds, digital mattes, seamless edits, etc.

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franco
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#46 Post by franco » Thu Dec 21, 2006 3:22 pm

Matt, is it similar to how Noé used CGI to blend his shots in Irréversible?

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Matt
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#47 Post by Matt » Thu Dec 21, 2006 5:54 pm

franco wrote:Matt, is it similar to how Noé used CGI to blend his shots in Irréversible?
I haven't actually seen the movie, I'm just summarizing what I gleaned from Lubezki's comments in the American Cinematographer article. I surmise that CGI was used to connect shots that would otherwise be difficult to shoot as a single take (such as one shot described that begins inside a moving car, follows a character outside the car, and then stays outside the car as the character gets back in and drives off). So, in that sense, I imagine it's similar to Noë's technique in Irreversible. I don't expect we'll see much in the way of the Rectum club scenes in this movie, though.

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Jeff
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#48 Post by Jeff » Fri Dec 22, 2006 3:57 am

lovermanzig wrote:Well, I was unable to find any source of wide release. I browsed most places which give ideas of limited or wide releases, all of which mentioned "Children of Men" as "limited release."
I found out that it is opening here in Denver on January 5, so it looks like they are going for a platform release: 16 theaters on Christmas day, more on Friday, and then fairly wide on the 5th.

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Galen Young
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#49 Post by Galen Young » Tue Dec 26, 2006 2:08 am

I hated the trailer and was so relieved to find the film was soooo much better -- clearly Universal has no idea how to sell it. What a terrific picture! Will go back to see it again in a couple of days. Some of the pop music choices rubbed me as a bit obvious (I'm not a Beatles fan at all) but I understand the resonance they will have with a certain generation of movie watchers. (could hear the older folks around me weeping...) Yes, "the pig" is obviously a Pink Floyd reference. The "long takes" were definitely stitched together, but still pretty amazing -- just this side of grandstanding really. But is it a movie "bereft of any ideas?" -- holy crap! Bereft? Really?! I think I saw a different film! The PC hippie version of V for Vendetta perhaps. (hard to believe there are five credited screenwriters -- wonder what the story is with that?)

THX1378
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#50 Post by THX1378 » Wed Dec 27, 2006 5:05 am

Well, I was unable to find any source of wide release. I browsed most places which give ideas of limited or wide releases, all of which mentioned "Children of Men" as "limited release."
It's limited til the 5th when it goes wide. I have heard that they didn't know really whom and how to market the film after V for Vendetta didn't do blockbuster box office this year. They even pushed it back from it's September opening. Does anyone know if it's got a chance at getting nomed for best picture at all? I keep hearing from people that have seen the film at screenings that it's one of the top five films of the year, and I know Jeffery Wells is backing it as his pick for best picture. I'd like to think that between this film and/or Pan's Labyrinth would be a dark horse come oscar time over Dreamgirls or Little Miss Sunshine *shudders*.

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