Monday, October 5, 2009

Children of Men

In the 2006 dystopian science fiction film, Children of Men, single shot sequences were used to elaborate pivotal moments in the film in which sometimes complicated actions were occurring.  After Theo agrees to transport Kee, he is riding in a car with his estranged wife Julian, Kee, the midwife, and Luke. Their vehicle is ambushed on a country road during a brutal attack. The scene opens with the passengers in the vehicle joking around and Theo and Julian passing back a ping-pong ball with their mouths. A burning car blocks their car’s way and they are attacked as they try to reverse. Julian is shot and fatally wounded and the car is still moving and they are shot at some more. The scene is done in a single shot that lasts approximately four minutes and is an important scene in the movie that foreshadows the danger Theo will face after he agrees to transport Kee.

When Kee, the girl who is being transported, gives birth to a baby girl the shot lasts for over three minutes.  The birth of the baby is important because it is what is causing all the conflict in the story.  The current dystopian world suffers from infertility and Kee giving birth marks the first time a new human has been born in over eighteen years.

The siege at the end of the movie lasts a little over six minutes.  Theo escapes from being captured and runs through a building in the middle of raging battles.  This scene provides hope that he will be able to finish his mission of transporting Kee.  The director Alfonso Curaron’s decision to use single shot sequences help to emphasize important moments in the film. 

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