It’s depressing as shit, your typical post-Apocalyptic world, lots of grey skies and dour faced people waiting for a chance to top themselves. What makes COM a bit more interesting is the way the world—Well, humanity, Earth is just fine—is ending: Humanity loses the ability to procreate. What makes this particular version of the END is how believable it is. The story isn’t like the hopeful apocalypses of the dozens of YA novels that have depicted our collective doom with video game logic over the past fifteen years.
COM is definite.
There is no future and it wasn’t human designed; there is no evil despot manipulating humanity, shaping us to their will. Even if their will is a decaying, diseased thing that should have died decades ago. Our time is simply up; it’s not hard hitting and dramatic; it’s a slow end, a fizzle where we get to experience each agonizing second over a span of generations.
The movie ends with the latest version of a (By the way, if you haven’t seen the movie by now, you deserve to have it ruined for you) “happy” ending. The hero dies, but the pregnant (The first pregnant girl in a generation) girl he was protecting gets away and into the hands of a small band of moderate intellectuals who are in no way going to exploit the girl or the child in her belly.
In the novel—aren’t all decent flicks based off novels—the ending is far bleaker, because you know for a fact that the “moderate” intellectuals are going to do everything in their power to exploit this teenage girl and her unborn baby. It should go without saying that I like the novels ending far more. It’s realistic. It illustrates the point that a person is intelligent and reasonable. But people are less than animals and easily manipulated, and the manipulators always have an agenda.
Believe it or not, the endings of Children of Men isn’t what I’m writing about.
What I’m writing about are the performances, two in particular.
Clive Owen and that old whore Michael Caine.
And I only want to talk about a single scene they appear in together.
It’s not that I don’t find the film fascinating and worth further examination, I’ll go ahead, move on, and talk about the scene.
First off, this is one of the few scenes in the movie where it’s hinted at that Michael Caine is Clive Owen’s dad. They have a cool relationship. They sit around getting high in the middle of nowhere; everything they’ve ever cared about has been or will be flushed down the universal toilet, and yet here they are, father and son, a quiet love and joy being shared between them, smoking a little home grown dope and lamenting the past.
I don’t want to talk about that, either.
What I want to talk about is the music Michael Caine is dancing to at the end of the scene.
Doesn’t it sound a bit like Death Grips? Here’s the scene if you’ve never watched it.
Now, here’s the point of the last 500 words, other than hopefully turning you onto a cool movie.
At the beginning of my oldest daughter’s summer vacation (Our district is a modified schedule; short summer break, longer fall, winter, and spring breaks. She just started her Fall break on Monday). It was early afternoon; I’d just gotten the baby down for her nap (Which is a rarity unless she isn’t feeling good) and I was in my office working. I work standing, pacing between the desktop and laptop, bouncing around to whatever music’s keeping me motivated—Lately it’s been punk, doom, and weird hip-hop. Death Grips is kind of a combo of Kool Keith, Slayer, and a solid wall of noise that has no right to work as a beat or sample. It all blends together, though. Here’s some Death Grips if you haven’t heard them before.
They’re an acquired taste, along the same lines as Kamasi Washington and Lamb of God, they’re genius, but intense. I keep them to myself, though, Mrs. Rawson and the oldest child would yell at me if I tried to put them on in the car.
By the way, this all about the oldest child.
My darling 12-year-old daughter, who, right now, is composed entirely of smarm, sarcasm, and smelly feet.
Oh, and she’s constantly embarrassed, mostly of me.
I was the coolest when she was a wee lass, not anymore.
I am not funny.
I am not witty.
I am not even remotely interesting
I am, however, a ripe target for ridicule and scorn.
You’ve gotta love teenagers, or whatever we’re calling 12-year-olds this week.
Anyway, the Big Kid mostly sticks to her room and occasionally pops out to use the john and grab some chips and a coke. She’s a ninja, you barely notice her. But that’s every 12-year-old’s trick, the ability to become invisible to parents. They wonder where the fuck you are all the time and then do nothing but bitch at you the minute you see them. I don’t do it, but Mrs. Rawson was starting to get a little antsy and depressed about the Midget not being as much of a fixture around the house. They have a close relationship, as mothers and daughters should have, and suddenly their nights of TV watching and gossiping about silly shit. Her sudden absence, was overwhelming her emotionally.
I felt for Mrs. Rawson (The big kid and Mom have patched things up since this writing, or at the very least, they’re enjoying one another again.), but I gotta admit, I went through a long silent phase like what Mrs. Rawson went through, the difference is I kind of enjoyed it. Two-year-olds are fucking brutal and full of constant noise. So are 12-year-olds, but only with their friends. I’ll admit it, I liked the quiet. I did not like her ninja abilities, mostly because on the day I was pretending to be Michael Caine from Children of Men and bouncing around to Death Grips.
I turned around, bouncing, banging my head, walking back to my laptop to work on whatever article I was hacking at, and there was the big kid, mouth open, her face red with embarrassment. It was like she’d caught me jerking off instead of dancing. Before I could even say hi, she went bounding off upstairs, her bedroom door slamming behind her. She didn’t talk to me the rest of the day.
And that’s it, not everything has to be a thing, no lessons need to be learned.
Oh, except you should watch Children of Men, it’s scary as shit and perfect for Halloween.
And, I absolutely love the scene with stoned Michael Caine.