Sunday, May 2, 2010


Pity the Focus Features marketing team behind “Babies,” a near-wordless French production directed by Thomas Balmès that follows four babies from disparate parts of the world from birth to the dawn of self-awareness. Surprisingly, the doc isn't as unbearable as that might sound: The HD images Balmès captures, breathtaking landscapes in Namibia and Mongolia shot from a tripod, visually cast the infants in the greater context of their surroundings. The director's attention to lighting and composition is painterly, the babies perfectly framed. But the result is a cinematic coffee-table book set to music and ambient sound, an aesthetic exercise that gets at no deeper truth than "babies are basically alike no matter the culture."

To read the rest of my review visit Slant Magazine.

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