Sep 23, 2023Liked by Casey Muratori

My biggest problem with the film was when the main character breaks the non-violence (I don't remember the main group killing anyone?). I didn't mind (or even noticed) that the main character didn't pick up any sort of weapon, but then when they successfully escape the building after beating the officer, the main character turns around and picks up a giant brick or something, which I assumed he would use it to block the door from opening, but instead he strikes the officer in the head with it and kills him. Like personally, that is the last thing I would do even if I was being chased by a rapist serial murderer. Shooting someone with a gun is probably much easier and less traumatizing than cracking someone's skull with a brick. The kill was technically justified if we were to consider self-defence, but honestly, I think the movie's message would be stronger if it stuck with the non-violence of the main character completely, since the movie is about hope and about how we need to choose to do the right thing even if it doesn't seem beneficial or optimal under such a brutal, oppressive and hopeless society. I do like how our main cast was unarmed since it does emphasize their powerlessness against the forces of society, and not to mention that they could probably get away just fine without killing the officer as he could easily have picked up a few bricks and block that door that was already half buried under gravel. That's what I thought most people would have done at least, assuming they were willing to take a bit of risk.

Also, my initial instinct would be to completely disarm him and pick up any potential weapon as well. I don't know how to use a gun, nor am I willing to stab someone with a knife or something, but the person I'm fighting against would not know and assume the worst anyways. So even if a lone gun was laying on the ground and it was closer to the wounded officer, there would be a very high chance I would risk it and sprint for it.

That being said, I still think this movie is up there as one of my favourites, especially how they didn't need to explain what the human project is or why women are infertile. Though I was kinda lost at the beginning as I felt like things were just happening, like how it felt completely random he was just kidnapped in the middle of city in what seems to be a police state. Slowly I got more hooked into the story. Maybe I have just watched too much anime where they would have 6 flashbacks within flashbacks of a side character to explain what is going on. I didn't mind he times they needed to dump some exposition as it did fit in the context of the scenes. I also noticed how the movie just felt different, but I had no idea about the single-shot sequences. It worked so well that I didn't even know they were happening or that they were even that long.

I've never read the book but I think it was actually about men being infertile rather than women, so the title Children of Men makes more sense in that context since men are the ones that decide whether a baby is born.

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Also I have to mention that the stealth scene when they were trying to find a car felt like an actual third-person video game. I don't know how he managed to successfully escort 2 other people without anyone noticing.

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Sep 22, 2023·edited Sep 22, 2023Liked by Anna Rettberg

It's the first time I rewatch the movie since its release. For some reason, at the time I was not impressed by the oners, I don't remember exactly why, maybe I felt it was trying too hard to do video game aesthetics (which in my opinion don't work as well in film because of the lack of interactivity with the environment). But now that I rewatch it I completely agree with you on realism and actually I don't think the oners are related to video games that much. The feeling I have is that Cuaron and his dop watched stuff like The Cranes are Flying and tried to transpose it in the near future. Like this shot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3U9ceWpqyMk

The scene is obviously staged, but it definitely feels like first-hand experience to me.

Also, I really like the ideas about art in difficult times that the movie explores. There's the guy at the Tate modern with the paintings, but also at 1h21min, there's Shostakovich and Prokofiev pieces, which were composed around WWII. The violin concerto by Prokofiev they played inside the apartment is especially interesting to me. By design, Prokofiev composed the most luminous and graceful melody of his career for this piece, which is a huge contrast with the political situation of the time. It's a great soundtrack choice, again the movie hints at first-hand experience.

Interesting movie for sure, some plot points are a bit contrived and everything, but I like how it explores concepts more on a sensory level.

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