Monday, January 22, 2007

Children of Men

"Joseph and Mary"

Andrew and I saw Children of Men this past weekend.

Don’t do many movie reviews but this one struck me as unique.

I won’t ruin it for you, but the movie wonders what would happen if women stopped having children.

Or in other words, what would happen if there was no longer a reason to create art, or come up with new inventions, or pass on the most important moral and spiritual insights to the next generation because there would be no next generation and because nobody would be alive a hundred years down the line?

And what would happen if a child was suddenly and miraculously born into that world?

Children has more to do with the Old Testament and the Book of Revelation and the Nativity narratives than it does with traditional sci fi, but it reflects a lot of the usual dystopian visuals.

The movie is set in mid-21st century London which looks like a decaying Tokyo with huge plasma screens dominating the cityscape projecting endless ads and security warnings in the midst of typically lousy English weather. A lot like Blade Runner, which was set in a futuristic LA that looked like a decaying Tokyo with huge plasma screens dominating the cityscape projecting endless ads and security warnings in the midst of unusually lousy weather for Southern California. The visual references to Blade Runner are obvious.

And nobody looks like they've had a bath in about a month. How come people stop cleaning up and combing their hair in futuristic sci fi dystopias? I mean, you know, the showers still work even if the world is about to be hit by a meteor or destroyed by some alien pathogen. Why not end the world looking your best? :^)

Children is a religious take without being naively religious or sentimental (at all) or dangerously idealistic.

Or in other words, not much like popular American Christian faith. More like the Bible.

It’s also a powerful anti-war film. Lots of killing but all of it painfully realistic. “The authorities” and “the rebels” are both twisted by their confidence in shedding blood. Violence in Children is a tool of despair and not of hope just as it is in the real world. Pretty immediately relevant and well worth seeing.

A tip for you single guys, though. Don’t think I’d take a date to see Children of Men.

I remember going out with a woman I liked to see Apocalypse Now when I was an undergrad in the late-70's. I had no idea what the movie was about except that it was set in Vietnam. But I liked Francis Ford Coppola, the director of Apocalypse Now who did The Godfather series. Thought she would 'respect my mind' as a result.

Yikes. Take it from me. Dire apocaplyptic visions won't do your wooing a damn bit of good :^)


Blogger 3wishes said...

Thanks for the review!

4:31 PM  

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