Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Coming soon to a theater near you.

This Sunday, I went out to see Pirate Radio with a gaggle of family and friends. The movie itself was light and entertaining (more on that later this week), but two of the most memorable moments of the afternoon were two very different movie trailers.

A documentary from France called Babies is scheduled to be released early next year. While I have no idea how good the whole film will be, the coming attraction was absolutely amazing. It's like a high end nature documentary, but instead of pointing the camera at penguins or meerkats or sharks, the camera is aimed at four babies from around the world and the camera just rolls. In the trailer, there was no voiceover and minimal musical cues. You just watch one of four babies doing what babies do. From what I've read online, the trailer premiered during showings of Where The Wild Things Are and made a huge splash. Director Thomas Balm├Ęs finished this film in 2008 and it took a while for him to get a worldwide distribution deal, but this has a real chance to be the sleeper indie movie hit of 2010.

If the ninety minute version has an emotional pull as strong as the three minute trailer, it will trigger maternal instincts in anyone who watches it.

This movie could make Chuck Norris lactate.

So what does an audience who just spent three minutes oohing and ahhing at babies want to see next? How about the bleakest post-apocalyptic nightmare ever?

Also showing on Sunday afternoon was the trailer for The Road, a film based on the book by Cormac McCarthy and starring Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce and Robert Duvall. Several actors from HBO series are also featured, including Molly Parker and Garret Dillahunt from Deadwood and Michael K. Williams from The Wire. There is a lot of buzz about this movie and the release was timed for Oscar consideration.

The film answers the question, just how bad will the post-apocalyptic world be? Will it be like The Road Warrior or A Boy And His Dog or The Day After? The answer is no, it won't be nearly as cheerful or upbeat as those movies.

After watching this three minutes of hopeless violence and senseless cruelty, I turned to my friend Jodi and said, "Yeah, there going to be showing this as a double bill with Babies."*

*More in the first comment.


Matty Boy said...

Back in 1988, the Japanese animation films My Neighbor Totoro and Grave Of The Fireflies played as a double bill. Totoro is wonderfully sweet and charming. Fireflies is like a kick to the solar plexus, devastatingly sorrowful.

I will never truly understand the Japanese.

CDP said...

Based on what little I've heard so far, Viggo Mortenson would have to pay me (and generously) to go see that movie. Post-apocalyptic societal breakdown is one of my many irrational fears, so I really don't need to exacerbate it by watching a graphic representation on film.

namastenancy said...

What CDP said! I picked up the book some time ago and it set off all my anxieties about nuclear winter and a post-apocalyptic world which often seems way too close. I respect Viggo as an actor and wouldn't kick him out of my bed (I wish!) but I am not up for watching bleak disaster movies. They hit too close to the bone. Fireflies is a masterpiece; they played it on TCM (??) and I didn't know what I was getting into when I started watching it. By the time I figured that out, I was hooked. It's one move that I haven't forgotten.
Now, the movie with babies sounds like an utter delight, especially as you won't have to change diapers or do the 2 AM feeding. I love being an aunt and a great-aunt because when the little person gets fussy, I can just hand him or her back to the parents.