Recent films

May 4, 2007

I’ve watched a spate of films recently, including the following:

Children of Men: A really excellent, and surprisingly brutal, sci-fi film about a near future in which humaity has lost (for reasons unknown, or at least unspecified) the ability to procreate. Clive Owen plays an ordinary-Joe character caught up in the activities of a terrorist group who are in possession of mankind’s potential saviour. The film is set in a very realistic fascistic future London (all the more remarkable in that the director, Alfonso Cuaron, is Mexican), and there are suitably downbeat supporting perfomances from Michael Caine and Julianne Moore. The film avoids over-explaining things, which I tend to think is often the key to good sci-fi.

Little Children: a bit of a weird one, this. Set in American suburbia, its essentially a romance, with Kate Winslet’s character (a bored housewife) getting involved with the local superdad type guy. So far, so very Desperate Housewives. However, the film tries self-consciously to be a bit dark and edgy, by tacking on some sub-Happiness-style queasy psycho-sexual drama that never really meshes with the other strand of the film. The ending is pretty pat too, in a “hard-won redemption” kind of way. It also features one of those amazingly irksome, breathy, stentorian voiceovers that state the bleeding obvious.

The Lives of Others: this film has caused a great deal of debate about its historical authenticity (see here for an example) which I won’t get into here. Suffice to say, I thought this a well acted, plotted and filmed movie on the way in which surveillance corrupts all those who take part in it, and the possibility of resistance and dissent, even in closed societies such as the DDR. The redemptive end seemed a little bit too easy, but perhaps the whole thing might have been a bit too airless without it. What is it with films and redemption anyway? I don’t want characters to learn important life lessons, I want them to be as awkward and lacking in self-awareness as they are when they start out, like in Sideways.

By the way, have you noticed that as soon as I changed this blog’s name to Library etc., I have totally failed to blog about libraries? Oh, the irony!

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4 Responses to “Recent films”

  1. Tom Says:

    I loved “children of men”, it’s one of those rare films thta’s actually better than the book upon which it’s based.

  2. lo-fi Says:

    I watched Satan the other night. What have they done to the lovely Vincent Cassel?

  3. neilstewart Says:

    He’s turned into a scary man!

  4. lo-fi Says:

    No!!! Bring back Doberman


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