23 November 2009

Moving Pictures to Provoke, Enlighten, Inspire

Selections from a compilation of movies/videos by Sophia van Ruth:

International/2009/Yann Arthus-Bertrand/93 minutes (online version) 120 minutes (cinema version) www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqxENMKaeCU

The film Home is almost entirely composed of aerial shots of various places on Earth. It shows the diversity of life on Earth and how humanity is threatening the ecological balance of the planet. Available free on the internet.

The End of Suburbia
Canada/2004/Gregory Greene/78 minutes http://icarusfilms.com/new2005/bet.html

The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of The American Dream is a 2004 documentary film concerning peak oil and its implications for the suburban lifestyle.

The Corporation
Canada/2003/Mark Achbar & Jennifer Abbott/145 minutes www.thecorporation.com

Based on the book The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power, by Joel Bakan, The Corporation explores the nature and spectacular rise of the dominant institution of our time. Taking its status as a legal "person" to the logical conclusion, the film puts the corporation on the psychiatrist's couch to ask "What kind of person is it?" The Corporation includes interviews with 40 corporate insiders and critics - including Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Milton Friedman, Howard Zinn, Vandana Shiva and Michael Moore - plus true confessions, case studies and strategies for change.

USA/1985/Ron Fricke/45 minutes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronos_(film)

Chronos has no actors or dialog. The soundtrack consists of a single continuous piece by composer Michael Stearns. Filmed in dozens of locations on five continents, the film relates to the concept of time passing on different scales - the bulk of the film covers the history of civilization, from pre-history to Egypt to Rome to Late Antiquity to the rise of Western Europe in the Middle Ages to the Renaissance to the modern era. It centers on European themes but not exclusively.

Koyaanisqatsi – Life out of Balance
USA/1982/Godfrey Reggio/87 minutes www.koyaanisqatsi.org

KOYAANISQATSI, Reggio's debut as a film director and producer, is the first film of the QATSI trilogy. The title is a Hopi Indian word meaning "life out of balance." Created between 1975 and 1982, the film is an apocalyptic vision of the collision of two different worlds - urban life and technology versus the environment. The musical score was composed by Philip Glass.

The Age of Stupid
UK/2009/Franny Armstrong/92 minutes www.ageofstupid.net

Oil & climate change cinema documentary, starring Pete Postlethwaite as a man living alone in the devastated world of 2055, looking at "archive" footage from 2007 and asking: why didn't we stop climate change when we had the chance?

The Story of Stuff
USA/2007/Annie Leonard/Free Range Studios/20 minutes www.storyofstuff.com

The Story of Stuff is an online fast-paced, simple look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns.

Money as Debt
USA/2006/Paul Grignon/47 minutes www.moneyasdebt.net

This simple online cartoon-style video explains in very simple terms the fractional reserve banking system that underpins our current economy. It highlights the fundamental unsustainablity of this system (that requires perpetual growth) and provides suggestions for alternative models. Available free on the internet http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2550156453790090544#

Mad City Chickens
USA/2009/Tashai Lovington & Robert Lughai/79 minutes www.tarazod.com/filmsmadchicks.html

Mad City Chickens is a sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical look at the growing movement of Americans returning chooks to the cities. From chicken experts and authors to a rescued landfill hen or an inexperienced family that decides to take the poultry plunge it’s a humorous and heartfelt trip through the world of backyard chickendom.

Powers of Ten
USA/1977/Charles Eames & Ray Eames/9 minutes www.powersof10.com

A scientific film essay, narrated by Phil Morrison. A set of pictures of two picnickers in a park, with the area of each frame one-tenth the size of the one before. Starting from a view of the entire known universe, the camera gradually zooms in until we are viewing the subatomic particles on a man's hand.

We Feed the World
Austria/2005/Erwin Wagenhofer/96 minutes www.we-feed-the-world.at/en/film.htm

We feed the world is a film about food and globalisation, fishermen and farmers, long-distance lorry drivers and high-powered corporate executives, the flow of goods and cash flow–a film about scarcity amid plenty. With its unforgettable images, the film provides insight into the production of our food and answers the question what world hunger has to do with us.

Garbage Warrior
UK/2007/Oliver Hodge/86 minutes www.garbagewarrior.com

Garbage Warrior is a feature-length documentary film telling the epic story of maverick US architect Michael Reynolds and his fight to introduce radically sustainable housing. An extraordinary tale of triumph over bureaucracy, Garbage Warrior is above all an intimate portrait of an extraordinary individual and his dream of changing the world.

Russia/2006/Julia Perkul/80 minutes www.intentionmediainc.com/water.asp

This film is composed of interviews with scientists, researchers and theologians on the subject of water. Among these is a Swiss chemist Dr. Kurt Wuthrich, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2002. Several other scientists and researchers of water from Russia and USA appear in the film. Many of them maintain the theory that water has memory.

The Money Fix
USA/2009/Alan Rosenblith/79 minutes www.themoneyfix.org

THE MONEY FIX examines economic patterning in both the human and the natural worlds, and through this lens we learn how we can empower ourselves by redesigning the lifeblood of the economy at the community level. The film documents three types of alternative money systems, all of which help solve economic problems for the communities in which they operate. Available to watch on the internet and registered under a creative commons licence.'

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