Thursday, May 27, 2010

Iron Baby... and Other Babies

Have you seen this Iron Baby trailer? Kids these days. They got tech skills in diapers.

Confession: I went to see Babies last weekend while I was in Boston. My girl Amy suggested it.

Amy and me in NYC --->

We tried not to weep copiously into our popcorn bucket since we are both barren through circumstance (i.e. single or gay). Babies wasn't exactly a documentary so much as four parallel home movies without commentary other than perhaps what you're projecting on to it. I have nothing to add to the New Yorker's review which is brill. This moment David Denby singles out had us roaring:
I detected only one satirical sally: The San Francisco baby, Hattie, and her mother attend some sort of New Age group-parenting session. The mothers, raising their arms in supplication, sing a ghastly hymn to the earth, at which point Hattie heads for the door.
Boy did Hattie want out of the room! Boston audiences approved.

Our other favorite shared bit in the movie was the Japanese baby Mari's absolute hissy fit whenever she so much as looked at the pieces of a peg and hole game. So so funny... a total drama queen in training. Have any of you seen it yet? It's already one of the most successful docs ever. But maybe you'll avoid it like the plague. The Boyfriend mock screamed when the trailer played in front of a movie some months ago. Dramatically placed title cards "BABIES... ARE... COMING" will sound like a threat to the child averse.

When Amy and I exited the theater we spontaneously began quoting Holly Hunter by way of Raising Arizona.
You go right back up there and get me a toddler.
I need a baby, Hi. They got more than they can handle.
I want that baby, Hi.
Holly Hunter is magic. The End.


Robert Hamer said...

Say that reminds me, how'd you get that kid so darn fast? Me and Dot went in to adopt on account a' somethin' went wrong with my semen, and they said we had to wait five years for a healthy white baby. I said, "Healthy white baby? Five years? What else you got?" Said they got two Koreans and a negra born with his heart on the outside.

Slayton said...

Not on topic, but I just saw Applause which, I recall, you mentioned a while back! Steen was excellent. The film's a bit flimsy storywise but that's fine by me as it is basically an excuse for Steen to Act for 80mins. Seems like the kind of performance that could get out-of-left-field awardage at NSFC or LAFCA or something later in the year, assuming it gets a US release this year.

Kind of reminded me of Assayas's "Clean" in subject matter, tone and visual style, although I think Steen's performance beats out Cheung's.


yay! I'm so glad to hear that someone else saught it out. She really is fantastic in the movie. She's been good before but... wow.

Alexa said...

Thanks, Robert...with a 9-month-old in the house, I find myself quoting Raising Arizona every day....I never tire of it.

Slayton said...

Ooh, I just saw a performance that beats out Steen's. Nina Ivanisin in the 2009 Slovenian film "Slovenian Girl" - I think it is available on a FilmMovement DVD under the title "A Call Girl". Probably available on Netflix as most other FilmMovement titles are.

Sort of echoes "Vivre sa vie" in its themes and arc, although I'd wager that it is smarter and a bit more mature. Ivanisin has a very Huppertesque way of showing tortured emotion through the cracks of a composed exterior.

Andrew R. said...

Since I have three younger sisters, and I had to deal with their babyhood for far too long, I will not be watching Babies. Ever.

Christine said...

"Give me that baby, you warthog from hell!"

Hee. Not even many years of grad school with multiple people dressing up as H.I. every single year can spoil this movie for me.