Friday, December 01, 2006

What I Want for Christmas is Bleak and Dreary

The trailer for Children of Men really turned me off of the film. Visually, it looked fine, but the trailer seemed to hammer in the obvious, what with the Clive Owen “women stopped having babies” narration and the climax montage set to cheery pop music. It adhered to a formula mocked by such wonders as the Shining remix trailer.

And if the advertising campaign is so formulaic, it means one of two things – the film is either going to be formulaic or the film is going to be so wildly unusual that the marketing team has gone into overdrive to make it look tepid.

So I wrote off the film as a rental, if that.

But then I heard this month’s Audition podcast, which begins with this introductory speech:

Films that open during the Christmas season are traditionally either upbeat and heartwarming or mindless eye candy. On Christmas Day this year, a film will open in American theaters that has been described as dystopian, terrifying, and bleak. The film is Children of Men, starring Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, and Michael Caine. Set in the year 2027, the story ushers us into a world where no babies have been born for 18 years. Some undetectable has rendered all women on the planet barren. The last generation of humans has become hopeless. Societies are torn by war, terrorism, and savagery, and suicide is a positive possibility for many. Merry Christmas.

Ok, this may reflect more on me unfavorably, but THAT TEXT sold me more than the trailer ever could.

Christmas comes at a dark and melancholy time in the year. The days are shorter, the air is colder, and, on the surface, it doesn’t seem like a good time to celebrate anything. But just as dark helps define the light, hopelessness can define hope.

I think I’m finally getting into the holiday spirit. I can't wait to read the book.

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