Thursday, June 3, 2010

Babies - 1/2*

If raising babies is anything like watching Babies, I'm never having children. This wordless, pretentious-as-Hell documentary chronicles the first year of four new-born babies. For the first year, babies are really only interesting to the people that made them. We watch them come out, come home, stare at things, wriggle around, and take their first steps... for ninety minutes. It's assembled in no particular order, and shots last up to three or four minutes, sometimes showing absolutely nothing at all... a baby crawling around, playing with a wooden block, staring at a cat (though the cats are particularly adorable). The film follows four babies in four separate parts of the world, but has nothing to say about any of them, the babies or the countries, or raising a child in one of the countries, and it seems to bank on the assumption that all people gush and melt when they see an infant... I'm not one of those people.

Aside from some interesting music cues and some nice camera-work, the best thing I can say about this film is that the filmmakers seem to have opted to keep the crying to a minimum (many thanks), but it's all for nought, because there is absolutely no point. It's essentially a ninety-minute YouTube video... It should have been called "David Plays with the Cat!!1" or "ZoE HaTeS BaNaNaS!" Though maybe the title refers less to the subject matter, and more to the audience. I certainly felt treated like a baby, and that the filmmakers assumed that I would be entertained by anything. It's about as exciting as a set of keys being dangled over your head. But maybe the point was to make the viewer feel like a baby, staring blankly at a screen with all sorts of colors on it. I can't believe that someone found this worthy of theatrical release... must have been a new parent.

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