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Childhood's End (2015)
Sorry, for all the fx, it missed the point of the novel completely and was a shallow exercise without any philosophical or scientific backbone. It had all the depth and vision of a Jerry Springer episode. The children are not meant to be from the Village of the Damned or following a leader with their Nazi-like salutes. Each child is metamorphosing into a more advanced stage of being. None of the wonder and beauty of their journeys was ever explained-something attempted in the novel and would have been perfect for special fx. All the slow-motion or close-ups of eyeballs cannot make up for an abominable script, insipid acting, superficial directorial decisions, complete lack of editing (it could have been halved in length) and trivial focus. While the planet is going to be altered and all of global history transformed, these people can only say "we must fight to get our kids back." This version shows a complete lack of comprehension of the possibilities in the universe without any of the scientific curiosity or artistic efforts that the characters complain they are not allowed to explore. Much time was spent on completely unrelated scenes but all examination of the implications of important events is skipped over in the most trivial and over-simplified manner. The point of this film appeared to be that becoming a parent is the most important thing anyone can do and that focus on one's romantic relationships is the most important aspect of life. Although these are lovely things, the book is an exploration into even deeper aspects of life and of being a human.
If you are interested, do read the fascinating novel, see the film '2001", visit your nearest planetarium, watch old episodes of Carl Sagan's 'Cosmos' and contemplate the mystery of life and eternity as Arthur C. Clarke would have suggested. This film was made by narcissists about narcissists for other narcissists. As was once said: "it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world."
Mlyn i krzyz (2011)
Painterly and absorbing
I found this film to inspire the same contemplative mood and heightened awareness of similar films that build power without reliance on lots of dialogue, music or usual cinematic cues. If you appreciated "Into Great Silence" or "Vision" or "The Tree of Life" or even "2001" you will appreciate the poetic quality of this film. It is important for us to slow down occasionally and allow some films to affect us without the necessity of being slammed over the head with noise and speed and highly charged emotions. After all, for a film placed in its time, that is a more realistic portrayal of life during those centuries. This film illuminates the artistic process and aims of the artist. We are fortunate that the makers of this film dared to create this unique journey into a canvas of one of the world's great artists.
The Wonder of It All (2007)
Wonder of It All
I could not disagree more with the previous posting that criticized "In the Shadow of the Moon". I thought "In the Shadow of the Moon" was exceptionally beautiful and inspiring - slightly more artistically done and poetic, in a way, as a film experience than "The Wonder of It All." "Shadow" did most certainly discuss all the other missions and the groundwork that earlier missions laid for the moon landings, plus the historical background of the entire space program. And the interviews in "Shadow" with Alan Bean and Gene Cernan (among others) were for the landings that followed Apollo 11. So it was not restricted to Apollo 11 only. Plus significant time was spent on Apollo 13. Both The Wonder of It All and In the Shadow of the Moon are important to see and cover similar content. "Shadow" interviews other astronauts while "Wonder" interviews only those who actually walked on the surface of the moon. Both are highly recommended.
Exquisite haunting whispers of China
In response to the comments that this film is boring, shallow or without a character to identify with: Please study some Chinese history before you make such judgments. The story we see is a visual treat but overlays a much deeper story of China in myriad aspects. Perhaps you are unaware that films and books of the period had to tread lightly on topics that were not merely taboo but could result in danger for all connected. Thus, a slight symbolic representation often took place. Sort of poetic shorthand. Not unlike Chinese art that may seem to be about the season of autumn but is actually about death or change or loss. Nevertheless, any film must stand on its own regardless of the background. This film includes acting scenes that are incredibly forceful and still so gentle. The photography, costumes, sound and music blend into a cinematic work of art. I found the character completely believable, a woman bound in a tradition from which she found no escape except death or madness. And for those who sneer at the opera singer, imagine how the music you enjoy would sound to someone who has a completely different background. Please accept cultural diversity and let your mind and heart be enlarged!