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October 29 2009

Screen shot 2009-10-28 at 23.45.32

Yesterday, at a sparsely-attended film festival in Kuwait (there were some impressive young Kuwaiti scientists and ecological volunteers there today; here are some of them at kuwaitturtles.com), I saw Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s film Home.

Arthus-Bertrand was behind La terre vue du ciel (1999), Earth from Above, first a book, but also a film. His new film is not for profit and has no copyright restrictions attached to it. It is also shot from the air. He wants it to be seen by as many people as possible in the weeks leading up to Copenhagen.

I railed against fake beauty in relation to a historical documentary. I’m not taking that post back. This film is worse.

It has a sequence about the invention of agriculture from which I snapped the picture at the top of this post. The filter that has been applied to it looks shop-bought and is probably called “Van Gogh”. Rather childish.

There are photographers’ ethics, based on what the equipment is and how they use it, that can define, at any given moment in technological history, what a real photograph is, relative as these realities are. I’d make a much rougher film. But roughness can end up being an act of will too.

On Dubai: “Nothing seems further from Nature than Dubai, although nothing depends on Nature more than Dubai. Dubai is […] the culmination of the Western model.” Questionable last-ditch use of term Western.

Toynbee did not see the environmental problem in the scientific terms in which we see it, but he knew what was coming.

Warren Buffett (Fortune, November 10 2003), quoting Herb Stein: “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”

Some in the audience sat texting as the message was given to them. If I were painting a crucifixion, I’d have the soldiers texting.

Here is the film.

8 Responses to “Home”

  1. judithweingarten Says:

    Sorry, it’s a pretentious Junior High School script (“the earth is a miracle and life remains a mystery”; too true). The photoshopping of every single image is unbearable (though perhaps less so on a big screen). Sure, this may be the only way to reach large numbers of people — I don’t know — but it makes me want to grab my mobile and text message, too. Instead, I’ll surf a bit.

  2. davidderrick Says:

    Sure, this may be the only way to reach large numbers of people unquote

    That is why I was not harsher on it. [Note: I have made the post a bit harsher since Judith posted her comment and since I posted this reply.] It does have power for many. I was being too polite, true. Perhaps compensating for being so rude about Mr Wood. I conceded the word beautiful with misgivings. Do you think Al Gore’s film is that good? Or Leonardo di Caprio’s? Do we accuse even Attenborough of fake beauty? Gore and Di Caprio go for alarmism rather than seduction.

  3. davidderrick Says:

    And even if it has power, it does a poor job at recommending actions or specific changes in behaviour.

  4. davidderrick Says:

    Other eco movies of 2009:

    Robery Murray’s The End of the Line
    Franny Armstrong’s The Age of Stupid
    Disney’s Earth
    Laura Gabbert’s and Justin Schein’s No Impact Man
    Robert Stone’s Earth Days
    Bill and Laurie Benenson’s and Gene Rosow’s Dirt! The Movie
    John Maringouin’s Big River Man

  5. davidderrick Says:

    The more I see that image at the top the more I detest it.

  6. davidderrick Says:

    Son et lumière, Maurice Béjart, Jean-Michel Jarre, this … French spectaculars.


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