Saturday, 1 April 2017

The 8th Hall Of Fame Inductee Representing Science-Fiction/Fantasy Film - Children Of Men (2006) - Alfonso Cuarón

Alfonso Cuaron’s 2006 adaptation of P.D. James’ novel, The Children Of Men, has a particularly unique place in my own personal history as an enthusiast of cinema. It is, so far, the only film which has caused me to have a complete shift in opinion. When I first saw it, I was relatively nonplussed. I didn’t get or understand what it was about, felt that the film was all craft and no substance. However, every couple of years, I would end up watching it, and every single time I felt it was a better film, to the point that I have now for some time considered it to be a masterpiece. As I alluded to, there is a tremendous amount of skill in the craft behind the technical achievements in this film. Emmanuel Lubezki’s mastery of the long take is on full display here, which mixed together with the sound quality and the sharp editing from Cuaron and Alex Rodriguez give this a powerful and contemporary feel. Even though it is set in a dystopian future London, this is an urbane landscape that feels eerily familiar, the almost-newsreel style presentation of the piece bringing to mind docudramas like Peter Watkins’ The War Game. But it’s not just a technically sound film, because at the heart of it is a strong, powerful story. Clive Owen, in his greatest screen performance, as Theo, is a sympathetic and relatable reluctant protagonist in his attempts to protect the pregnant Kee, who after two decades of infertility may be humanity’s one glimmer of hope. The sociopolitical implications of their travels across England to provide safe sanctuary for the illegal immigrant against the oppressive government forces are all very prevalent today with the recent demonization of the ‘other’ in the eyes of Western civilization. It is a remarkable and thought-provoking tale.

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