Eugene Weekly : Movies : 1.11.07


This Weeks Movie Reviews:

Children of Men Directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Written by Cuarón, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, based upon the novel by P.D. James. Cinematography, Emmanuel Lubezki. Music, John Tavener. Starring Clive Owen, Michael Caine, Julianne Moore and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Universal Pictures, 2006. R. 109 minutes.

Whatever else might be said of it, Children of Men solves the problem of setting movies in the future. Instead of hovercrafts and jet packs, which years ago felt nostalgic — more 1950 than 2050 — Children of Men assumes more modest transformations: The future happens to look a lot like right now, only dirtier and with uglier cars. In fact, Children of Men is so visually credible that it plays like a documentary of the future, which makes its premise — a global infertility epidemic — that much more terrifying. Read more…


Curse of the Golden Flower Directed by Zhang Yimou. Written by Zhang Yimou, Wu Nan and Bian Zhihong. Cinematography, Zhao Xiaoding. Production design, Huo Tingxiao. Costumes, Yee Chung Man. Starring Gong Li, Chow Yun Fat and Jay Chou. Sony Pictures Classics, 2006. R. 114 minutes.

In the last few years, Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou has focused mainly on the making of action epics, with the exception of the quiet, intimate Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles (2006). In 2003’s Hero and 2004’s House of Flying Daggers, he offered grand, sweeping tales stunningly photographed and rich with breathtaking fight sequences. Curse of the Golden Flower, his latest, combines the intimate family focus of Riding and the dramatic hues of Daggers and Hero, but what results is a blinding assault of color, spectacle and melodrama that reaches for classic drama but falls short of the mark. As The New York Times said, the effect is one of “operatic delirium.” Read more…