Friday, May 21, 2010

BABIES (2010)

Directed by Thomas Balmes

Where & When: The Landmark, West Los Angeles, CA. May 12, 2010 5:15PM

Who doesn't think babies are adorable? Well, if you love watching babies, then you may enjoy the new documentary, "Babies" by Thomas Balmes who spent two years and shot almost all of the four hundred hours of footage himself to make this eighty minute film.

We are introduced to four new born infants from around the world: first, Ponijao, who was used quite effectively in the opening of the film's trailer, is from Namibia, Mari from Japan, Baryajargal from Mongolia and Hattie is from San Francisco in the U.S.A.

We follow each child as they discover their new surroundings, learn to crawl and finally stand and walk on their own. In between we watch as each baby develop their personalities and we see the very big cultural differences in the way a child is raised.

There is no narration in this film so it is a documentary in the true sense of the word. We are simply watching each child as they slowly grow. Is that enough to make an interesting film? I'm sure it would be if you were a relative of one of the children but I found myself getting impatient and slightly bored after the first thirty minutes or so. It could be just because I'm a guy and not a father but I'm not positive that is the only reason. I just don't think putting together footage of cute babies being babies without any type of real story or direction is enough to make a compelling film.

While "Babies" is sweet and charming, unfortunately the film doesn't rise much above watching a friend's home movie of their precious little child and who wants to pay admission to see something like that? No baby is that cute.