Author Topic: Children of Men  (Read 13735 times)

MagnusFromBerlin

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Re: Children of Men
« Reply #30 on: January 24, 2007, 11:29:02 AM »
I hope I'm not saying something too obvious.  The world turned to hell because humanity lost hope in itself.  The thinking is if humanity cannot continue itself, then humanity doesn't exist, and human life has no value.
Yes, that would be the conclusion I would also come to, it's just I'm not to sure how valid I personally find this one, because for example you Alex are yourself in a relationship that will never produce any children, are you that sad that this is the case?
On the other hand humanity has proven to be quite adaptable to catastophic situations, science for example would try it's up-most with artificial reproduction (so there would still be hope therein) and I think many people would just shift their priorities...

alexarch

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Re: Children of Men
« Reply #31 on: January 24, 2007, 11:43:14 AM »
Yes, that would be the conclusion I would also come to, it's just I'm not to sure how valid I personally find this one, because for example you Alex are yourself in a relationship that will never produce any children, are you that sad that this is the case?
On the other hand humanity has proven to be quite adaptable to catastophic situations, science for example would try it's up-most with artificial reproduction (so there would still be hope therein) and I think many people would just shift their priorities...
I think you just wrote the most uninteresting movie ever.

Humanity can't reproduce.
Humanity finds a way to reproduce.
The end.

I read this thread on Something Awful one time doing this exact thing.  It was "The Shortest Movies in History"

The Lord of the Rings
Frodo:  What's this ring, Gandalf?
Gandalf: Oh, that's nothing.  Ignore it.
Frodo: Ok.  Wanna play frisbee?

Star Wars
Uncle Lars: We need an Artoo unit; pick one out, Luke.
Luke: Okay.  This orange striped one seems to work.
(It does.)

But getting back to your question.  The central point seems specious, and I thought about the same thing coming out of the theater.  But then I remembered it was a movie, a sci-fi movie at that, and sometimes you just have to swallow that central premise if you loved the movie otherwise.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2007, 11:47:36 AM by alexarch »

Bucho

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Re: Children of Men
« Reply #32 on: January 24, 2007, 02:53:03 PM »
It's a stupid question, but i just got to ask:
If we stop having children the world plunges into turmoil, because... what?


The world is already in turmoil now but once hope fades the gloves of diplomacy come off. Once there is no foreseeable future at stake it seems there is nowhere near as much to lose and rash actions replace tempered ones. Science has failed for 18 years and the general public's faith in science (which even now is no great shakes) is gone. The reason humanity, or any animal, continues to adapt and survive in the face of catastrophe is because there is stilll hope. In the CoM scenario that is very thin on the ground.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2007, 02:57:25 PM by Bucho »
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sdedalus

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Re: Children of Men
« Reply #33 on: January 24, 2007, 03:05:36 PM »
But getting back to your question.  The central point seems specious, and I thought about the same thing coming out of the theater.  But then I remembered it was a movie, a sci-fi movie at that, and sometimes you just have to swallow that central premise if you loved the movie otherwise.

But here's the thing, if it's just a silly sci-fi movie with such a silly premise, why do people take it so seriously as one of the most profound and powerful movies they've ever seen?
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alexarch

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Re: Children of Men
« Reply #34 on: January 24, 2007, 03:25:14 PM »
But here's the thing, if it's just a silly sci-fi movie with such a silly premise, why do people take it so seriously as one of the most profound and powerful movies they've ever seen?
I didn't say it was a silly premise.  I said, sometimes you just have to swallow a premise...sometimes you just have to go, "Okay.  I accept your given.  Continue with your proof."

karlwinslow

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Re: Children of Men
« Reply #35 on: January 24, 2007, 03:29:18 PM »
Well Cuaron ins't trying to tell us what could happen, in terms of women no longer having babies.  He doesn't tell you why it happens he just says it has happened, if we're arguing whether or not infertility of the world is possible.

It's the set up for the movie, it needs no explanation.

sdedalus

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Re: Children of Men
« Reply #36 on: January 24, 2007, 03:33:52 PM »
But here's the thing, if it's just a silly sci-fi movie with such a silly premise, why do people take it so seriously as one of the most profound and powerful movies they've ever seen?
I didn't say it was a silly premise.  I said, sometimes you just have to swallow a premise...sometimes you just have to go, "Okay.  I accept your given.  Continue with your proof."

You said the central point was specious, which amounts to much the same thing.

Maybe it's just me, but I can't take a film so seriously as a political or philosophical statement if its foundation is so flimsy.  It's just not relevant to the world I live in.
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alexarch

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Re: Children of Men
« Reply #37 on: January 24, 2007, 03:53:10 PM »

You said the central point was specious, which amounts to much the same thing.

Maybe it's just me, but I can't take a film so seriously as a political or philosophical statement if its foundation is so flimsy.  It's just not relevant to the world I live in.
I guess that's the difference between you and me.  I'll give you that I used a word that I should have looked up before using it.  Specious is too strong a word.  What thing, for you, would have to happen where humanity loses hope and turns on itself?

Bucho

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Re: Children of Men
« Reply #38 on: January 24, 2007, 04:33:53 PM »
I can't see the film as a political statement, it just doesn't tell me anything that isn't already obvious and I don't look to artists for insights into politics anyway (in fact it seems they're often the worst placed to offer such things credibly).

Philosophically it doesn't strike me as anything profound either, it's really just supposed to be a ripping good yarn. It sets up a future which is utterly believable to me in terms of what I know of humanity and human behaviour. The world we enter in CoM is as fully realised as any futuristic world I've seen in film. Where it falls down is when some of the characters make decisions that are not in line with what we know of them, but are designed to force the plot to where Cuaron wants it to go and the cartoonish nature of that jars with the bleak realism of the atmosphere. The story is a great one but the characterizations don't match the technical talent in the telling and that leaves the film overall a level below the best films of last year for me.
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sdedalus

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Re: Children of Men
« Reply #39 on: January 24, 2007, 05:58:35 PM »

You said the central point was specious, which amounts to much the same thing.

Maybe it's just me, but I can't take a film so seriously as a political or philosophical statement if its foundation is so flimsy.  It's just not relevant to the world I live in.
I guess that's the difference between you and me.  I'll give you that I used a word that I should have looked up before using it.  Specious is too strong a word.  What thing, for you, would have to happen where humanity loses hope and turns on itself?

I think the same movie without the inability to reproduce would make the same points Cuarón is obviously after in terms of the politics of racism, xenophobia, anti-immigration policies and the decent of democracy into fascism.  It's telling that none of the immigration material is from the book, Cuarón added it himself.  This would make the film essentially V For Vendetta with a gray color palette and fancy long steadicam takes.

I think the film, as it is, tried to walk a fine line between being a fun action movie and a serious political statement.  But I don't think the combination works with this premise.  Instead, the politics distracts from the fun (and the cinematography makes the action scenes more disturbing than exciting) and the flimsy sci-fi foundation limits the effectiveness of the politics.
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