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Code 46 - the next film by Michael Winterbottom


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#1 Overstreet

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 04:12 PM

Ain't It Cool has an intriguing report on the next film from the maker of In This World.

#2 Persona

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 10:23 AM

Thanks for posting that Jeffrey, i very much appreciated that article! With hit and miss Winterbottom, it's cool to see enthusiasm for his upcoming project.

The only thing that disturbed me was the film he talks about working on after Code 46. Winterbottom has made films (like Wonderland and In This World) in which he comes across as such an artist, and then to dive into the solacious sex pool for his next project just seems so cheap.

Then again, what was Butterfly Kiss if not cheap.

-s.

#3 jrobert

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 01:16 PM

Here's what I wrote up after Toronto last fall.

I was so impressed with Michael Winterbottom's In This World, opening this week in the U.S., that Code 46 suddenly leapt to the top of my must-see films. Of course, this futuristic, sci-fi drama is nothing like In This World's gritty neo-realism. Still, I had hopes that a director's skill can cross genres.

And those hopes are somewhat realized. There seemed to be a lot of grumbling after the screening, but I had a nice time. I was particularly impressed at how Winterbottom creates his futuristic world. The elements of science fiction mesh nicely with the realistic moments. This feels like a future world. And that a world ruled by something called The Sphinx isn't a complete dystopia is satisfying. The relationship between Tim Robbins and Samantha Morton isn't as good; we never really believe these two could fall for each other. But Winterbottom's exploration of memory, love, and guilt is thought-provoking; and the production design is top notch. Solid.

The movie has faded somewhat from my memory since then, but it's still worth seeing.

J Robert

#4 Persona

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 03:12 PM

Thanks for the additional nod, JRobert! I had read your capsule at the time you'd written it but since forgotten that you'd seen this one.

QUOTE
The relationship between Tim Robbins and Samantha Morton isn't as good; we never really believe these two could fall for each other....


Judging from how many times Winterbottom has reportedly cut and recut it, perhaps the relationship factor will have more appeal by the time it gets its mainstream release.

When you see a film before it gets that mainstream release and then find out its been edited since you've seen it, do you feel obligated to see it again in its final form?

-s.

#5 jrobert

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 05:39 PM

QUOTE

When you see a film before it gets that mainstream release and then find out its been edited since you've seen it, do you feel obligated to see it again in its final form?
-s.


Definitely. The funny thing is that I sometimes psyche myself out. I know there are changes, so I see them everywhere on the second viewing, when in fact there aren't many changes at all. I just didn't remember the movie that closely. I won't mind seeing Code 46 again, even if there aren't many changes. I think it can stand up to another chance.

J Robert

#6 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 11:50 PM

stef wrote:
: The only thing that disturbed me was the film he talks about working on
: after Code 46. Winterbottom has made films (like Wonderland and In
: This World) in which he comes across as such an artist, and then to dive
: into the solacious sex pool for his next project just seems so cheap.

I remember thinking the sex scene in Wonderland showed us just a wee bit too much, myself, but whatever. I believe Winterbottom (or the reporter) says this next film will be done in the style of one of Catherine Breillat's films, in which case it might be cheap, but it might be not -- at any rate, it WILL come across as the work of "such an artist", even if we find the art in question rather sinful or exploitative. (I say this as one who definitely did not care for Romance, but did find a fair bit to appreciate in Fat Girl and Brief Crossing.)

#7 Persona

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 02:59 PM

I actually have no recollection of a sex scene in Wonderland. Maybe you're referring to something that took place in a salon, is that what it was?

-s.

#8 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 02:21 AM

stef wrote:
: I actually have no recollection of a sex scene in Wonderland. Maybe you're
: referring to something that took place in a salon, is that what it was?

Remember the son/brother who never hooked up with his family, but spent all his time in the hotel room with his girlfriend?

#9 Persona

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 02:40 AM

Yeah, now that you mention it i do remember that. And it showed a little much, you're right. But it's been a month since i've seen it, and the sisters were really what stuck with me the most, to the point that i didn't even think of the brother as being in the story. He was the sub-plot that i forgot about. But i loved the fact that he chose to leave a message on his parents' answering machine. That was a good move on his part.

-s.

#10 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 02:26 AM

So, has anybody else seen this film yet? D and I caught it tonight and found it interesting, though what was perhaps most striking was how increasingly creepy and exploitative the Tim Robbins character seemed to us the more we thought about it.

I really, really wish I had seen this film before I did my "Memory at the Movies" seminar at Cornerstone. Good heavens, yet ANOTHER movie about memory deletion.

#11 Darrel Manson

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 09:11 AM

Maybe you had seen it, but the memory had been erased.

So far I've only seen the trailer that gives the impression that it's almost a remake of Minority Report (although what I've read is otherwise.)

#12 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 12:53 PM

Darrel Manson wrote:
: Maybe you had seen it, but the memory had been erased.

smile.gif

: So far I've only seen the trailer that gives the impression that it's almost a
: remake of Minority Report (although what I've read is otherwise.)

Well, it's got that no-privacy thing, plus it's got Samantha Morton, but otherwise, yeah, it's a different movie.

D and I were both reminded of Gattaca, actually, because it gets into genetic codes and the idea that a day is coming when so many children will be acquired as frozen embryos that no one will know who their genetic parents are any more, and therefore the government will institute a program to screen, forbid, prevent, and punish anyone who knowingly or unknowingly mates with a close genetic relative, especially if an embryo is created through that sexual union. It's pretty chilling, but it's not hard to see how our society could end up going that route.

The film also has the feel of recent Winterbottom films like In This World, in that it has a very global, international, multi-ethnic kind of feel. D and I also liked the way the characters' speech is peppered with words from other languages, not in the stylish "droog-ish" way that we see in A Clockwork Orange, but in a more casual, naturalistic way.

Come to think of it, it's actually very, very impressive how this film incorporates some nifty digital effects into what LOOKS like a typical low-budget semi-documentary social-issues movie like In This World. I would never have pegged Winterbottom as a sci-fi or special-effects kind of guy, and yet he obviously knew what he was doing here! On the one hand, I can't help wondering how much of this required him to get out of his "comfort zone", as a filmmaker, and on the other hand, I can't help wondering if maybe he's always had a secret desire to make a flick that would pose all these technical challenges.

BTW, I really appreciate jrobert's remark above that the world depicted in this film is NOT an out-and-out dystopia like the worlds that are depicted in SOME sci-fi cautionary tales. It does seem that SOME people could enjoy living in this world, SOME of the time, even if there would be all sorts of pressing moral issues concerned that they would have to ignore.

#13 Darryl A. Armstrong

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 01:51 AM

Just saw this...

Peter:

QUOTE
I really, really wish I had seen this film before I did my "Memory at the Movies" seminar at Cornerstone. Good heavens, yet ANOTHER movie about memory deletion.


Yeah, I kept thinking how this might pair as a double feature with Eternal Sunshine. And although it's been debated as to whether or not Eternal Sunshine's ending was optimistic or not, I think it would be put into sharp contrast by this one's ending.

QUOTE
Come to think of it, it's actually very, very impressive how this film incorporates some nifty digital effects into what LOOKS like a typical low-budget semi-documentary social-issues movie like In This World. I would never have pegged Winterbottom as a sci-fi or special-effects kind of guy, and yet he obviously knew what he was doing here! On the one hand, I can't help wondering how much of this required him to get out of his "comfort zone", as a filmmaker, and on the other hand, I can't help wondering if maybe he's always had a secret desire to make a flick that would pose all these technical challenges.


Actually, the sci-fi elements reminded me a lot of Wim Wender's Until the End of the World, which was in some ways a meandrous mess, but I thought managed to make a future, sci-fi world "real" in ways I haven't seen elsewhere until I watched this.

It's almost habit for me these days to think of how I'd film the books I read. Not often do I find myself thinking how I'd write the novel of a film. This one really made me wish it was an adaptation so I could read the novel.

#14 opus

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 11:12 PM

Apologies for resurrecting such an old thread, but I finally saw this a few days ago, after having it on my Netflix queue for almost a year (it seems).

As a love story, the film fell pretty flat for me. That may be due in part to the fact that, since getting married, I've perhaps become more sensitive to the portrayal of affairs in movies. But even so, I just didn't feel any chemistry between Robbins and Morton's characters.

What I did find, however, find very fascinating was the world that the film suggested. How it managed to look incredibly futuristic, and yet totally believable and "lived in" at the same time. The blending of cultures - having people in Shanghai pepper their speech with bits and pieces of Spanish, etc., was so simple, and seems so cliched and contrived, and yet it really works here, creating a true sense of multiethnicity, globalization, etc.

And while I don't think this was necessarily Winterbottom's intention, but I thought the movie did a good job of raising questions about how morality will be impacted when cloning, genetic research, IVF, etc. become so widespread. What becomes of the concept of infidelity when people take "empathy viruses" as part of their job that cause them to have strong emotional connections that may not be able to control. I found the final scene between Robbins' character and his wife quite chilling as a result. She's fully aware of what's done, and yet they're having this very intimate moment. What must be going through her head? What was going through her head
Spoiler
?

And like Peter said, I found this all chilling because it doesn't seem at all unbelievable. When genetics become this integrated in daily life, what will be the impact? I like the touch that Robbins' character is an insurance investigator, as insurance policies and the way they are maintained would most certainly be impacted by the knowledge that might be gained through genetics. If your genetic makeup indicates that you have a likelihood to get heart disease, how does that impact your insurance? Your job? Your ability to buy a house? It's not this pie in the sky, apocalyptic scenario, but one much more down to earth - and as a result, much more frightening.

Edited by opus, 03 January 2006 - 11:12 PM.


#15 MichaelRay

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 09:09 AM

QUOTE(opus @ Jan 3 2006, 11:12 PM) View Post

And like Peter said, I found this all chilling because it doesn't seem at all unbelievable. When genetics become this integrated in daily life, what will be the impact? I like the touch that Robbins' character is an insurance investigator, as insurance policies and the way they are maintained would most certainly be impacted by the knowledge that might be gained through genetics. If your genetic makeup indicates that you have a likelihood to get heart disease, how does that impact your insurance? Your job? Your ability to buy a house? It's not this pie in the sky, apocalyptic scenario, but one much more down to earth - and as a result, much more frightening.

I haven't seen this one yet, still in my queue, but your observations are similiar to my thoughts after seeing Gattaca. How close would you say these films are thematically?

#16 opus

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 10:11 AM

QUOTE(MichaelRay @ Jan 4 2006, 08:09 AM) View Post
I haven't seen this one yet, still in my queue, but your observations are similiar to my thoughts after seeing Gattaca. How close would you say these films are thematically?

I hang my head in shame... I have not seen Gattaca.

#17 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 12 January 2008 - 04:20 PM

Couldn't help but be reminded of this movie, on reading this:

- - -

Court annuls marriage between twins separated at birth
Twins who were separated at birth and later married each other without realising they were brother and sister have had their marriage annulled by the high court's family division, it emerged yesterday.
The pair, who were adopted by separate sets of parents, were granted an annulment after a high court judge ruled their marriage was invalid because of their close blood relationship. . . .
Their story was revealed to the independent peer Lord Alton in a conversation with the high court judge who annulled the marriage. The peer used it to back up a call for children conceived by donor insemination to be told the circumstances of their conception, during a debate on the human fertilisation and embryology bill, currently going through parliament.
Alton first raised the case in a House of Lords debate on December 10. He said such a case was more likely to occur with IVF, in which it was legally possible to father up to 10 children. Although a donor's right to anonymity was abolished three years ago, there is no obligation to tell the resulting children how they were conceived. . . .
Guardian, January 12