Monday, November 22, 2010

Manufactured Landscapes

Jennifer Baichwal, 2006 (8.4*)
Baichwal's visually riveting documentary follows photographer Edward Burtynsky around the world as he takes photographs of man-made landscapes of staggering immensity, from open pit mines to mountains of coal to seemingly miles long factories.

Though Burtynsky's individual photos are works of art, giant museum-sized prints with amazing detail, the landscapes they portray make a visual statement of how out-of-control civilization has threatened to become.

Perhaps the eeriest scenes to me are the giant tankers allowed to run aground in Bangladesh where workers break them up into giant slabs of iron for recycling. Think again where your recycled products end up, as we are shown mountains of recycled materials in China where workers in masks (due to toxins) basically pull out only a few metals, such as aluminum.

This is scary stuff to view, but something we need to deal with if civilization is to survive without turning our planet into a giant toxic refuse dump of unusable waste. The world of Wall-E is becoming a reality.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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