Friday, January 05, 2007

CHILDREN OF MEN

CHILDREN OF MEN has quickly moved near the top of my best films of 2006. It's an extraordinarily intelligent film. Excellent performances by James Bond (Clive Owen), Julianne Moore (a very small role) and newcomer Claire-Hope Ashitey, who gives an astounding performance.

Also, this film has some of the most stunning cinematography I've ever seen, perfectly integrated into the action.

Wikipedia describes the following:
"For one scene, shot in one extended take, a special camera rig was invented by Doggicam Systems, developed from Doggicam Systems' Power Slide system — and a vehicle was modified so that seats could be made to tilt and lower actors out of the way of the camera. The windshield of the car in which the five actors rode was designed to tilt out of the way to allow camera movement in and out through the front windscreen. A crew of four, including the DP and camera operator, rode on the roof.

All of this took place, in one uncut shot, while numerous dangerous stunts involving fire, thrown missiles, and stunt falls were executed with meticulous timing, while the actors perform, dodging the moving camera.

In another scene, featuring an army of actors, also shot in one extended take, hundreds of bullet shots, tank mounted 'big gun' impacts and other pyrotechnic effects surround the principal actors as they move hundreds of feet along a street, into a building and up a flight of stairs, have a scene with dialogue, during which there is continuous gunplay and explosions, and a retreat back down and out of the building. The use of a handheld film camera — whose lens becomes spattered briefly at one point with 'blood' and dirt from an explosion — lends an almost documentary feeling to the cinematography."

Recommended for all intelligent viewers. Don't be turned off by the label of "science-fiction" it's not really a sci-fi.

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