Genre Movie #6: “Children of Men” (2006)
Genre Movie #7: “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964)
We caught Alfonso Cuarón’s “Gravity” yesterday. It is a stunning technical achievement, and should be seen in the theater, on the biggest screen you can find, but it doesn’t quite reach the transcendence it is seeking to find. For that, you need to go back to Cuarón’s last movie, “Children of Men,” an exhausting tour de force that will leave you both enraged and exhilarated. Set a few decades in the future, when women have lost the ability to become pregnant, the film explores dissolution, loss, and the persistence of hope even in the face of despair. Showcasing Cuarón’s mastery of the single-take shot, “Children of Men” is relentless even in its quiet moments. (It also gets major points for making Michael Caine a dope-smoking editorial cartoonist, who brings levity and grace to a movie about the end of the world.)
But for pure Apocalyptic fun, you have to go back to 1964 and “Dr. Strangelove,” Stanley Kubrick’s dark comedic masterpiece. Eminently quotable, this deadpan doomsday romp is still a cultural touchstone, long after the Cold War ended. While Peter Sellers chews the scenery — in three different roles — with his usual aplomb, it is George C. Scott and Slim Pickens who go all in, achieving a level of ridiculousness that has not been seen since.