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.