|Reviews, reviews, reviews ...
||[Mar. 27th, 2007|04:34 pm]
Alfonso Cuarón: latest news, projects and info.
Hi all ... I joined this community for the sole purpose of linking a bunch of articles on Children of Men to people who may actually get some use/enjoyment out of them. |
Anyway, apologies if some are really old-hat. Everyone has probably seen J Hoberman's rave, but maybe not the appreciation of the 2006 movie year in long takes from another Village Voice critic, Jim Ridley: "The astonishing single takes in Children of Men — particularly one sustained shot that follows Clive Owen’s cynic-turned-savior high and low through the rubble of an urban war zone — seem likely to tickle movie geeks’ taste buds. But they never become, in the cautionary words of Cuarón’s cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, “an Olympics of long takes.” In blocks of real time, they convey, as movies rarely do, the sense of existing in a nightmare that can’t be blinked away."
Reverse Shot: "It’s somehow telling that two of the best films of the year are defined by death and the long take. Both The Death of Mr. Lazarescu and Children of Men capture man’s dilemma eloquently, pinning him to his environment without the respite of a cut. Tracking death—of one man in the former, of the human race in the latter—both movies express with unique power the inescapability of the physical world."
The House Next Door:"The movie felt less passionate and personal to me than Mad Max, Blade Runner, Brazil, Spielberg's War of the Worlds or the sleazy but fascinating 1975 midnight movie A Boy and His Dog -- movies that are mainly interested in building and sustaining a dreamlike/mythic free-associative aura that's not "real" in any quantifiable sense."
Quiet Bubble:"By positioning the story of Christ so that it's really Mary's story, and by making the Christ child a girl, Cuaron gets to do two things at once: 1) He makes his sci-fi allegory into a specifically Catholic story, staying within a denominational tradition that's always given more import to Mary than Protestant versions; and 2) he's radically re-imagined a distinctly patriarchal religion as a potentially maternal one. Essentially, he uses Catholic tradition against itself... while, somehow, giving us a cinematic vision that's wholly Catholic. So I think the focus on Kee rather than solely on Dylan doesn't negate or diminish the religious significance; he's in some ways working right in line with a millennium of Catholic orthodoxy. His audacity of having a vision of the world that's unapologetically Christian--and specifically Catholic--is brave. Even though I'm not a Catholic, and never have been, I applaud his refusal to generalize the film's (ambigious) messages into a feel-good mush."
The Valve: Joseph Kugelmass:"In the world of Children of Men, there isn’t only one synthesis or identity of the personal and the political. There are many, and many of these are ultimately destructive. It achieves the remarkable feat of persuading us that its heroes are on a different sort of quest from the various factions they encounter, one that leads back to a habitable world ..."
K-Punk:"In Children of Men, public space is abandoned, given over to uncollected garbage and to stalking animals (one especially resonant scene takes place inside a derelict school, through which a deer runs). But, contrary to neo-liberal fantasy, there is no withering away of the State, only a stripping back of the State to its core military and police functions. In this world, as in ours, ultra-authoritarianism and Capital are by no means incompatible: internment camps and franchise coffee bars co-exist."
Armonddangerous @ Blogspot:"Of course the script calls for a hero, and of course, given the state of the movie business, it's wildly unlikely that said hero would be played by anybody other than a white man, but in letting those assumptions go unquestioned the filmmakers left themselves with a scenario — white man protects and saves black woman — that plays like a rescue fantasy and leaves the movie open to accusations of condescension."
World Socialist Web Site:"So compassion and sincerity combine with dramatic sloppiness or the desire to show off. Some moments strike deeply, too many are merely glancing blows. Technical marvels compete with one another. Stories are designed to the hilt, perhaps over-designed, but the ideas are not particularly strong. The writers and directors are satisfied when they’ve hit upon one or two insights and leave it at that. Action scenes can be brilliantly done, yet when the pace lets up, there’s not too much there. Dialogue about ideas is not expressively or convincingly done. So the action has to be cranked up again, because the filmmakers have only a limited number of things to say."
The Scrivener:"Even when the plot suffers from holes -which it does now and again- the visual storytelling compels our attention and inspires compassion for the little things of life: the tender, the frail, the human. A photo collage tenderly arranged, a young woman braiding an old woman’s hair, a wounded foot, a kitten that tugs insistently at one’s pants, a homemade shrine to saints of faith and family, a walk through an abandoned school where children once painted the walls with images of themselves; these are, in Children of Men, little visions of a world speeding away, precious and irrecoverable. It is these fragile things that are called upon to bear the weight of human suffering, as reminders of what is lost."
x-posted to children_of_men