by RISHI AGRAWAL
I was telling a friend of mine the other day how Children of Men was my favorite movie of 2006. He said he found it okay, but did not see what the big deal was. As I tried to explain what I enjoyed about the movie, I realized that most of what I had to say dealt more with how the film looked rather than what actually happened. I enjoyed the story while I was watching the film, but what really stuck with me were the visuals.
If you are not a fan of cinematography, then perhaps this movie could make you one. As opposed to most movies we find beautiful, we don’t have stunning landscapes or breathtaking vistas, but we have a chilling portrait of a dystopian world in decline. If you don’t believe this is a fully realized world, you should take a look of this clip which highlights the advertisements in the film (which you barely notice as they are in the background). If you didn’t love this film, watch it again. Look at the scenery and the backgrounds. Pay attention to the camera work. One of the most talked about scenes in the movie is a hand-held tracking shot that lasts for seven minutes, during the climactic battle scene. And I don’t think this is just something that a film nerd can appreciate. I think anyone can look at the scene and experience the effect of not having the camera cut away.
This is still my favorite film of 2006. It is a must-see. It was nominated for three Oscars and a slew of other awards. I wasn’t the only person to like it. The film is available in widescreen and fullscreen versions (you want the widescreen version) and on HD DVD. There are some deleted scenes and featurettes, which don’t excite me, but they could be worth checking out.
Other new releases this week: Curse of the Golden Flower, Happy Feet, National Lampoon’s Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj, The Pursuit of Happyness, Turistas
Also notable is that Color Me Kubrick is available on DVD four days after being released in theaters. Maybe the director knows Soderbergh.