Film form is the sum of all the parts in a film, shaped by a set of conventions of patterned relationships used to perceive, evaluate, and define. There are 5 basic elements of film form – literary design, visual design, cinematography, editing and sound design. The movie ‘Children of Men’ directed by Alfonso Cuerno is set in the year 2027, the piece depicts a catastrophic future for humanity. The story revolves around a world that is infertile and where no child has been born for almost 18 years.
It begins in London with a breath-taking, real-time single take, set on a grungy polluted street. The director uses aspects of mise-en-scene to immerse the audience into an eerily timely era that resonates with a world war environment. The chosen city for this movie in London gives the audience a familiar feel. You can feel the bleak and dystopian suture they are portraying throughout the video. An example of this would be the pound sign on the side of the bus, this is easily recognisable to an audience from any country. There are mixed elements of lighting throughout the clip. These elements are there to show the future and how high-tech and advanced the future could be. On the other hand, there is also a lot of darkness to show how boring the lives of the people are, especially as the plot of the film is about having no kids.
The use of camerawork uses visual technique and leads us to focus on the main characters, this makes the audience care about what they are experiencing, and make observations about what is happening to them. An example of this is during the opening scene – we follow Theo around during his morning coffee.
We start by being introduced to the protagonist, Theo. We get the immediate sense of his detachment from the world around him. He pushes past the crowd, this is the main character being represented; we know this as the camera follows him from the coffee shop, this opening could establish his ability to be a ‘hero’. We watch a crowd of people who are absorbed by the news whilst watching in a coffee shop, these people are devastated by what they are hearing. The audience is now enthralled into the film.
“The world was stunned today by the death of Diego Ricardo, the youngest person on the planet. The youngest person on earth was 18 years, 4months, 20 days, 16 hours, and 8 minutes old.” The sense of detachment is also hinted as unlike everyone else in the coffee shop, he shows little to no interest in the death of the youngest human on earth since the start of the infallibly for the human race.
Once we are out onto the street, the camera shows us more glimpses of the world being established. Walking down the street, Theo stops to pour booze into his coffee, this is more of an insight into the state of detachment and depression Theo is in at the start of the movie.
The main themes of The movie children of men are Fertility, Children, and Parenthood. People are anticipating in terror as their population ages, leaving the world completely empty of children. Following the infertility crisis, the government in charge of the UK rules by fear. The government is able to foster a deep fear of immigrants and foreigners that brings about the inhumane treatment of refugees in camps such as Bexhill. Fear is a powerful motivator and an unsettling political tactic in the film.
The negativity of the current affairs is reflected through the cinematography and atmosphere; the dark colours (pathetic fallacy, contribute to the negative representational aspect. The bombing in the movie, could be explained by the government itself to perpetuate hate and solidify power.
The main themes of The movie children of men are Fertility, Children, and Parenthood. People are anticipating in terror as their population ages and is leaving the world completely empty of children. Following the infertility crisis, the government in charge of the UK rules by fear. The government is able to convey deep fear of immigrants that brings about the inhumane treatment of refugees in camps. Fear is also a powerful motivator and an unsettling political tactic in the film.
The main problem in the movie is women as they become unable to bear children. This would lead to the end of the human species. The director paints a dark picture of the breakdown of civilization for the audience. The fact that most people who were affected seemed to be women, could hint that they are now facing the prospect of no use to mankind due to the inability to reproduce. The inability of women to continue the human cycle is represented through announcements through the news, of the current state. This set’s up emotions for the audience earlier on by using women and the use of a dog in the opening scene. This builds up the tension for when the explosion happens.
This piece of moving image has great aesthetic and narrative value. It achieves instant, strong emotional impact. Its covey’s verisimilitude without being strictly realistic; we’ve all seen news images of people dismembered by bombs, people staggering after explosions, etc. Most importantly it has symbolic and expository value: it condenses into one image. A story about a half – functioning terminally disarranged society. The whole opening depicts our society today. This movie could be a warning that our future will be similar if change is not made.
Fatalism is used as the remaining population becomes extremely dark. After every human being on the planet was deemed infertile, the remaining population became extremely dark and grim to the point where they no longer saw a point in continuing living and in continuing to make efforts to become a better person. The whole society became depressed and they contemplated whether life was worth living or not. This attitude also made the population behave in a violent manner since they didn’t believe that they would still be accountable for their actions.
The bomb goes off; the coffee shop is blown up as it is a crowded area every morning – this was done to inflict terror. The opening scene ends with a woman stumbling out of the coffee shop, holding her arm, this is a very graphic ending to the opening and sets the tone of the rest of the movie. The audience now knows It’s going to be gritty, dark and full of violence.
During the opening scene Cuaron uses the combination of cinematography and editing to great effect. He has used one long take to engage the audience and created chaos through the realism of what they are experiencing. This creates pace through the action and tension of the scene. The fact that he does not cut the takes makes the scene more effective because of the audience’s attention, and the camera movement. The editing in this movie is identified by continuous long takes and a shaky, documentary-like mobility.
The colour pallet is sober, stripped of colour. Low contrast. This movie has an Analogous colour scheme; this matches the dangerous state of the world. The colour pallet is used to create a harmonious feeling that is pleasing to the eye of the viewer. The lighting used in the opening scene of Children and men is natural lighting, this gives off a very grey, dull lighting and gives a cold effect. The majority of the colours used in the scene includes blue, grey and black. The natural lighting also helps to create a more realistic feel throughout the opening scene.
The sound in Children of Men shows the kind of character he is. As he walks into the coffee shop to order his drink, he is the only person to speak over the news which shows his disinterest to the world around him, this may connote to the audience that he is already drunk and that this is his usual routine.
This film goes against the codes and conventions of an action sequence and yet still creates something just as effective and engaging then other films.
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