Alec Soth's Archived Blog

January 6, 2007

Top 10 addendum

Filed under: lists — alecsothblog @ 10:49 pm

While working on my Top 10 list, I realized that I only watched one movie in a theater in 2006. My New Year’s resolution was to make more time for the big screen. Tonight I made my first outing to see Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men (2006). I doubt I’ll see a better movie this year. Like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (also on my Top 10 list), Children of Men is a masterpiece of bleak and breathless storytelling. It is also equally relevant. “It imagines the unthinkable,” Manohla Dargis wrote in the New York Times, “What if instead of containing Iraq, the world has become Iraq, a universal battleground of military control, security zones, refugee camps and warring tribal identities?”

But for all of the doom and gloom, Children of Men isn’t so much about a slow apocalypse as the slow reawakening of hope. There is light at the end of the tunnel. What Cuarón never makes clear is the nature of this light. Is it a baby? Christianity? Or is it the bright light of Hollywood?


  1. Agreed. I was really impressed with that movie. And your comment about the “slow reawakening of hope” sums it up well.

    Comment by Pete — January 6, 2007 @ 11:33 pm

  2. Be sure to watch “Pan’s Labyrynth.”

    Comment by Annai — January 7, 2007 @ 2:02 pm

  3. Dido for what Mr. Pete said.

    Comment by bradley peters — January 7, 2007 @ 9:22 pm

  4. I liked that the final scene was so open-ended and that the role of the Human Project was undisclosed. Definitely the best dystopic films to come along for a while. It reminded me in some ways of 28 Days Later but was much more subtle.

    Comment by Davin — January 8, 2007 @ 9:11 pm

  5. How bizarre. Less than five minutes after posting that comment, I turned on the TV to see that 28 Days Later is on. Definitely a good one.

    Comment by Davin — January 8, 2007 @ 9:48 pm

  6. I often come out of the cinema thinking “I doubt I’ll see a better movie this year”. Not sure whether this means I am shallow, have a very short memory for the thoughts and emotions generated by a movie, or only tend to go to see films which I come highly recommended, and which each in turn trump everything that went before.

    Comment by Dan Sumption — January 9, 2007 @ 8:29 am

  7. I also really enjoyed Children of Men. Along those lines, you might want to read a novel called Blindness by Jose Saramago. It’s set in a society where everyone, except for a few individuals, goes blind and the chaos and brutality that ensue. Some say it’s an allegory for the atrocities committed during the second world war, particularly the Holocaust. I read it as a comment on the breakdown of civility and connection in modern society. Any way you interpret it it’s a great book.

    Comment by Amy — January 13, 2007 @ 12:32 pm

  8. Oddly enough, one of the best movies I’ve ever seen about a slow apocalypse and the slow reawakening of hope is “Road” by Alan Clarke ( “When I was a boy I wanted to be a cowboy, but I’m cattle.”

    Comment by Chris Rauschenberg — January 28, 2007 @ 8:49 am

  9. I like “Children of Men” very much and was quite disturbed by it even as I so admired its fluid non-stop storytelling. I found the very end somewhat disturbing, however… it rather reminded me of the end of “Lord of the Flies” which had been deliberately crafted for the falseness of its security.

    Comment by Kevin Bjorke — February 8, 2007 @ 4:28 pm

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