10 years ago

“The monumental opening dolly shot through a modern factory space has an almost Godard-like grandeur”.

There isn’t too much to say about Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky and Jennifer Baichwal’s 2006 documentary Manufactured Landscapes (CLIP) other than guaranteed it will take your breath away during its very first moments (OPENING SCENE). The opening tracking shot of a seemingly never-ending Chinese factory is one of the most awe-inspiring and mind-blowing sequences of film I’ve seen in years. The sheer size of the place so fantastical I was sure the whole thing had to be some sort of visual trick. Bear in mind that 97% of the world’s Rare Earths are produced by China, most from a single mine for example in inner Mongolia. These minerals are used in catalytic converters, aircraft engines, high efficiency magnets and hard drives, hybrid car batteries, lasers, portable X-Rays, shielding for nuclear reactors, compact discs, hybrid vehicle motors, low energy light-bulbs, fibre optics and flat-screen displays. China has begun to consider restricting the export of these minerals, as demand soars. With our planet slowly moving towards a No Tomorrow (VIDEO), the potential for a massive wakeup call lies in each and every one of the images Burtynsky carefully crafts. Unfortunately this film and many others like Charlie Chaplin’s Great Dictator (VIDEO), John de Graaf’s 1997 Affluenza (VIDEO)2004’s The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of The American Dream by Gregory Greene (VIDEO), Deborah Koons 2004 The Future of Food (VIDEO), Shaun Monson’s 2005 Earthlings (VIDEO)Erwin Wagenhofer’s 2005 We feed the World (VIDE0), Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s Unser täglich Brot (VIDEO), Paul Grignon’s 2008 animated films Money as Debt (VIDEO), Loretta Alper and Jeremy Earp’s 2007 War Made Easy (VIDEO)Peter Joseph’s 2007 ZeitGeist Series (VIDEO)Al Bartlett’s 2008 engaging talk about Arithmetic, Population and Energy (VIDEO), Larry Charles and Bill Maher’s 2008 Religious (VIDEO)Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s 2009 HOME (VIDEO), Michael Ruppert’s 2009 Collapse (VIDEO), Charles Ferguson’s 2010 Inside Job (VIDEO)Ross Ashcroft’s 2011 Four Horsemen (VIDEO), Godfrey Reggio’s and Ron Fricke’s Koyaanisqatsi (1982) (VIDEO)Atomic Artist (1982), Chronos (1985) (VIDEO)Sacred Site (1986)Baraka (1992) (VIDEO) et al are apparently not waking up anyoneAnd let’s not forget the most important motion picture made of 2011-2012, the recent released “visual feast extraordinaire" SAMSARA (2011). Despite all films can be find online and provide us with mesmerizing merits and power they really are the function of Art today. Filmmakers and Artists like Jennifer Baichwal, Edward Burtynsky and the like of many described above help us make some sense to the world we are living in. So we can make some changes and reflect of what we are doing. Art is not always about entertainment and having a good time. Sometimes we must affront our problems. The clock is simply ticking and no one can deny that the technological, economic, and environmental challenges the world faces are extremely daunting. Washington DC, London, Strasbourg, Brussels, Moscow etc. and the gross of Western consuming societies are continuing to sit by and twiddle their thumbs in misbegotten stupor. CLICK HERE for an impressive Stats & Facts about our current World overview….. And to end with Thomas Hardys words: “If a way to the Better there be, it exacts a full look at the Worst.” A-ONE-TO-WATCH Again…….