Blee, G and I went to see Manufactured Landscapes Saturday afternoon at the Varsity. This documentary is based on the works of the very celebrated Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky. It speaks to the impact man is having on the planet due to industrialization, particularly in China. The film, directed by Jennifer Baichwal, starts with a fascinating extended shot (presumably done in one take) of a factory in China that goes on forever and forever and forever. From there, we get many frames of Burtynsky gorgeous and eerie photographs coupled with montages of himself at work in China and Bangladesh. The photographs, shown on the big screen, are worth the price of admission itself. Though Edward professes not to make judgements on what he is photographing (is industrialization good or bad?), many times the music Baichwal uses when showing images imply industrialization is bad. If nothing else, this film will get you thinking about your own impact here and will generate some discussion afterwards. My rating 7 out of 10.
This afternoon, we met up with willariah and Rock Star Cathy Dennis to see Little Children. Based on the novel by Tom Perrotta, this story of dysfunction in quiet-town America stars Kate Winslet, Patrick Wilson, Jennifer Connelly and a perfectly cast Jackie Earle Haley. Todd Field directs, finally doing justice to himself after the debacle that was In The Bedroom (I know it won Academy Awards, but, I’m sorry, just a plain terrible, awful film).
The story here is told quietly, artfully and disturbingly as the various characters collide in the repressed world that is American suburbia. An exceptional film. Haley and Winslet should get Academy nods. My rating 9 out of 10.