My 100 Favorite Films. Entry #37: Children of Men.


Children of Men (2006)
written by Alfonso Cuarón & Timothy J. Sexton and David Arata and Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby
(based on the novel "The Children of Men" by P.D. James)
directed by Alfonso Cuarón
starring Clive Owen, Michael Caine, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Caine
country: usa/uk
genre: drama/sci-fi

Visuals: 10
Writing: 8
Everyday watchability: 5

There is a term which directly applies to film-making called persistence of vision. It is the idea that after we see an image, its memory persists for roughly 1/25th of a second. It is how we can watch a film at 24 frames per second and see things in motion and not a series of still images.

I have a second definition for the term as it applies to film-making: the unwavering focus involved in telling a story in its proper idiomatic way. I have just finished watching Into the Wild, an interesting film, but nevertheless a film that has not found its voice. It uses storytelling modes at will, and too many to count, with director Sean Penn almost grasping at straws—albeit well-shot, craftsmanlike straws—for a way to tell his story. Children of Men doesn't need this. The film is so focused and organized that it doesn't for a moment falter in its construction. Every moment leads us through, informs us and pulls us deeper.

I could say a number of things about this film and why it's so amazing, but at this point I doubt I could say anything new. What I truly love about it is its focused ambition to tell the story right.





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