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Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Film Buff: Coochie Coochie Coo

I have mentioned Babies before: the innovative documentary that follows four babies in different parts of the world from birth through first steps. 
What's interesting about the film (by director Thomas Balmes) is that it's about a lot more than just four babies.
It's about parents and grandparents, neighbors and teachers, older siblings and cousins, house pets and livestock, toys and food, crime and punishment, playing, working, shopping, teaching, curiosity, discovery, and boundaries.
Who knew a movie about four little rugrats could be so thought-provoking? 
The babies are Hattie in San Francisco, Mari in Tokyo, Ponijao in Namibia, and Bayarjargal in Mongolia, and the film paints a fascinating portrait of what it is to be a human being on planet earth.
The similarities are touching: every baby in the world is captivated at the discovery of their own toes. 
She's just happy she wasn't born to the
hippie couple in San Francisco.
The differences are poignant: one segment cuts back and forth between Mongolia and Tokyo as Bayar is delighted at his discovery of a roll of toilet paper while Mari is literally bored to tears in a room full of toys.
What I think is most interesting about this film is that I was only watching the babies for the first ten minutes or so. After that, I was watching the world through the eyes of the babies.
If you think it's going to be 79 minutes of just cooing at little cherubs, then you haven't spent much time around actual babies. Babies are pretty funny little people. I laughed harder at this movie than I did at the last five intentional comedies I've seen.
And just wait until you see the most Zen housecat in all of Mongolia.
I enjoyed it. I think you will, too.


Ekwoman said...

I thought it sounded interesting, but realized there would be babies crying...a sound I can't stand: uncomfortable for me, and the baby! Also, the tagline is: Everyone Loves: BABIES. Not fact most of my friends can't stand children...I like them okay, but don't get all squidgy over them...just my thoughts...your mileage may vary!

Brady Darnell said...

You know, babies crying is a "nails on the chalkboard" sound for me, too, and there just wasn't so much of it that it really bothered me.
"Everyone Loves Babies" is the idea of a distributor wanting to sell the movie. While there is no shortage of "cute" in this movie, I wouldn't call it "cutesy." It is, at its heart, an anthropological documentary. It's kind of a "Powaqqatsi" with a wink.

Ekwoman said...

But. It. Has. Babies. I'll skip this one...