Sunday, July 01, 2012

watching children of men [2006] on the syfy channel

didn't mean to but i did.  i have the dvd and i think alfonso cuaron's vision of p.d. james' dystopian fiction is one of the best films of the past decade.  watching it on tv as it was edited for time and langauge, along with long pauses for commercials, was a frustrating affair.  cable tv networks have no problem with violent imagery but a bit of dirty language is a no go.  same with sexual imagery.  oh well.  what remained intact is cuaron's bravura camera work.  there are a few long takes that make me catch my breath in wonder.  and yet the movie, as much as i admire it, feels a bit less than the sum of its parts.  the battle set pieces are remarkable for their realism.  the torture depicted in the refugee processing center appear even more as a blistering indictment of george w. bush's war in iraq today then it did when it was released on '06.  which it was.  and is.  still even if the imagery of cruelty seems too politically on-point those images resonate deeply with me.  the movie broadcast on prime-time tv seems at odds with the intent of the filmmaker who was, i think, making a broadly sweeping anti-war statement of a conflict that is still ongoing but not much in the news anymore.  the movie broadcast on cable suffered from too much whittling down for time and, this is a big bugaboo with me, none of the raw language that one does expect with this kind of film.  still, i watched and teared up at the penultimate scene where theo and kee and baby are walking out of the line of fire where innocents and combatants cease their actions in the presence of the first baby born in 18 years.  yes, to mis-quote luke, a militant leader of the underground rebels, the fishes, it is a fucking miracle of a movie at that. 


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