Thursday, December 20, 2007

Manufactured Landscapes

Last night, we watched Manufactured Landscapes. It's out of the theatres already, so we had to rent it.

From the opening truck shot, it is a masterpiece.

For me, it is on the same scale of importance as Coppola's Koyaaniquatsi . And if you thought that Coppola's film with its Phillip Glass music was boring, then rent a Diehard movie instead.

Landscapes is based on the work of Edward Burtynsky, an internationally acclaimed photographer who is known for his large-scale photographs of nature transformed by industry. The award winning director Jennifer Baichwal follows Burtynsky to China as he captures the effects of the country’s massive industrial revolution.

Like Koyaaniquatsi, this film leads us to meditate on human endeavour and its impact on the planet. Many of the scenes are simply too surreal to fully comprehend. The waste, the wreckage, the monumental scope of our impact on our landscape is captured through the lens of this Canadian photographer with a dignity and candor that is rare and powerful.

In looking for reviews, I didn't find any that captured the importance and dark beauty of this superb movie. Perhaps just as well.

Here is the opening scene.

And here is another segment with Burtynsky describing his work.

We're going to watch it again tonight I think.

Watch it when you can.




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