A retrospective look at ‘Children of Men’

I found this interesting and very readable discussion of Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men on the interwebs. I have added a chunk but do read the whole thing. Lots of good stuff to help you revise!

Children of Men (2006) opens with a long hand-held shot starting in a London cafe in which the news of the death of the youngest person on Earth is being broadcast to a transfixed crowd. As Clive Owen pushes through the tightly packed sea of aghast faces with his coffee the camera follows him out into the exaggerated decrepitude of future London. A few feet down the road the camera repositions itself on his blindside documentary style. Still in the one shot the cafe explodes in a cloud of dust and glass, completely free of Michael Bay pryrotechnics, moving cameras and helicopters. It’s such a refreshing intro; as a reviewer you know you’re in for something special.

Let your imagination run riot for a second and imagine that film reviewers were frustrated film-makers. Children of Men is the movie they want to make. It is loosely adapted from P.D. James’ 1992 novel The Children of Men. The film was directed by Alfonso Cuarón and stars Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Claire-Hope Ashitey, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Caine. Reviewers of this generation grew up with some great post-apocalyptic visions of the future. We’re talking Blade Runner, Half Life 2 and Akira. We watched the streets of our major cities come to resemble these nightmarish visions of police states and squalor. Film studies taught us that Hollywood treated us like babies by cutting constantly, telling us where to look, afraid of losing our attention. We could not be trusted with the freedom to roam the frame and have a more interactive experience with the film…

Read on here.

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