Friday, July 13, 2012

Film review of Snow white plus Sibera burns, ecosystem and intellect dulled to destruction

Linda says that it is the forests on fire in Sibera making the plume of smoke, turned by sun into a Maxfield Parish backdrop.
We were out, date night, to the film Snow White and the Huntsman. Pic from just before we went in.

In the trailers was a paid advert to ‘boost’ the new pipeline china wants to build through two national parks, nature reserves, some provincial parks and two sovereign native nations. It will run from the Alberta sands to the BC coast, where Chinese Supertankers will navigate hundreds of miles into deep winding ex glacial sea twists. The ‘easy’ part, around Hartley Bay, before navigation is really bad, which is still where the Queen of the North sank six years ago in the water deep and swift so the people lost were never recovered.

The rupturing of the side of a supertanker, or sinking of it is not a possible tragedy to the pipeline builders, it is an ‘acceptable loss.’

We have lost ourselves as Canadians and custodians of the animals in the land we cohabit. Two days ago I saw a heron flying at eve, roosting in the trees. Across the strait in Port Angeles, the lumber company, bought several years ago by a Japanese firm, is stocking and shipping to Japan the full trees, in order to rebuild the temples, houses, shrines and areas from the earthquake. They value the land, the customs, the way of living. We, on the other hand, treat non-renewable resources as a garage and boot sale. We don’t cut and develop the 800-1,000 year old trees, or the oil, the diamonds, the platinum, gold, silver, or other resources have (Canada is in the top 3 for almost every resource). Sell the whole fields to another country? Sure. Have them put a pipeline through preserves? Sure. Except that when that oil transport hits, and sinks, every species that migrates, that lives in the area (and many of the birds and wildlife in the area are endangered) will move or die.

There will be no more pods of killer whales through the strait every year, or humpbacks migrating from Hawaii, or the Grey whales or the whales from Antarctica in order to give birth where the pipeline comes out. Blue Whales, the rarest, can only give birth in our warmer waters and only to one calf. Three whales use Vancouver Island as permanent homes. What happens when oil saturates the water?

I live where there are pods of whales I see at least one a year. Most people are pleased to see one whale in a lifetime. I go out 4 times a week if lucky and I still see wild heron, blue heron, and a host of wildlife. I don’t need to see documentaries of Meercats, I need to go to the park three blocks away. I sailed to where the seals give pups and sun them with the disability sailing program. Killer Whales, otters, seals and deer are just part of the Mark Mallison - plus other area Orca pics

In all of the world, this is one of the few loci for animals, particularly whales and birds. They travel 20,000+ miles to get here, and the question isn’t ‘Are we going to screw it up?’ but ‘How long?’ How long until we find out if the humpbacks whales will be able to survive, or the Blue’s give birth?

But hey, at least the revenue from 2009 or 2010 will be good. China has already bought the oil, we get the disaster and cleanup for free. ‘Part of BC’s future’ the screen tells me. Yeah.

Good thing: The trailer for Hugh Jackson in Les Miserables played (sorry google seems to have tripled the ads, you need to mouse click the x, right corner if they appear).

It reminded me that I lived my life saying, ‘naked, shaved head, in a camp, I will remain.’ Such a simple view of life when the body is so out of wack that there is no control, from starvation eating 2 times what I eat now to swelling in a matter of seconds depending on the heat. The depression, Linda’s unemployment, the medical merry-go-round, and people like Fran the manager who still put so much effort into making other’s lives harder to live, have beaten me down. I thought that I would die but still have control in some way, as living without control is the terror of falling down an endless darkness, helpless. I have nightmares where I wake up screaming every day, where a giant man, made of darkness, stands at the end of my bed. Been a couple weeks of that.

Yet, knowing all I know: naked, shaved head, in a camp, I will defy, I will remain.

The film, Snow White, was sadly a combination of all the problems of a ‘writers room’ with a stack of symbols ripped from Ghibli, Russian and German films but failed to have a basic pre-story, story, minor climax, downfall, major climax, resolution, after story. At one point, after 20 minutes of ‘Dwarf Singing’, I whispered to Linda, “When did this turn into Lord of the Rings?”

She whispered back, “I was thinking the same thing??”

Coming home, we saw lighting strikes, and went to bed with the window open and sheets of lightning lighting up the room. ‘Like camp, or a sleepover’ after we had been, ‘See that one!’ for the latest sheet or deep rumble of thunder.

I have found cinema disappointing lately. There is a sad poverty of ideas being accepted as brilliant.

Every time there is a remake an angel gets beaten to death by kittens.

Knowing that, is a remake of Spider man, less than 10 years since….Spider Man, where it just tries to add in a Kick Ass style really worth it? And how does ’21 Jump Street’ the film rate a high as Hurt Locker (by a female director, winning 6 oscars and 87 awards?)? It is higher than Jarhead (the book was so…graphic that I avoided the movie for a long time – turns out long term illness and war has a lot in common: the daily routines, the bizarre humor, the rules that often make no sense, the emergencies when time slows down and speeds up, the stuff that simply can’t be talked about or described and the way it places you outside society).

The top US TV shows like Homeland don’t bother to tell you they are an American simplified version of Isreali TV show called Prisoners of War. But then, when ‘The Killing’ has to be redone, asian films have to be redone, and even British series like Being Human or Little Britain get remade for the lowest common denominator, what should I expect?

I am tired of ‘The Lowest Common Denominator’, aren’t you? In the same way, I was tired of Hollywood having the Queen in Snow White TELLING me what I had just SEEN in the film, on the assumption that I was too stupid to figure it out, then telling it to me AGAIN. Please, please, let the mavericks out! Then I can watch North American shows again (though the most popular right now happen to be Canadian, like Rookie Blues or Murdock Mysteries), instead of having to watch only Nordic Noir, French series, Korean, Japanese, and UK shows. When I watch a UK series like Silk, complexly layered, I feel the brain engaging. I am EXPECTED to think in order to view it. It almost makes me cry from relief, the idea that any viewer or reader is expected to match the writer and actor in understanding the complexities and the human emotions which come with that.

Please, to the writers, the directors, producers: don’t dumb it down, don’t remake it. Accept that we think, and like thinking, and take that as a challenge.


Linda McClung said...

Great post, Beth. I keep hoping that the Native population will be able to exercise their Section 35 rights in the constitution to prevent the pipeline from happening.

I think it would be a tragedy to lose so much of our precious nature - especially the whales. You're right - how many people have actually seen one?

I'm glad we were able to go out last night to see the movie. Seeing the lightening and hearing the thunder later was a bonus.

Neil said...

Acceptable losses? Acceptable to whom? First Nations may have rights in the Constitution, but who's going to take the point of view of the whales, otters, sturgeon, etc.?

Then there's the earthquake that is going to take out your area sometime, sooner rather than later. Have the pipeline people figured out what to do if Vernon and Prince George are major Canadian seaports?

I don't know anyone who actually likes mosquitoes (except maybe the author of the Wikipedia entry on moqitoes!); some people hate ALL insects. But without insects, humans wouldn't last a year on this planet.

I hope the entire theatre booed loudly for the oil ad!

Lightning: we've had our share too, and strange clouds known as mammatus. Look up mammatus in Wikipedia, and you'll find Regina from June 26 this year.

I will not go to a theatre to watch a movie; the soundtracks are too loud, and I have already lost some of my hearing. At home, I lower the volume for the music, and raise it for the dialogue - or just turn on the subtitles and leave the volume on low.

The American remake of The GIrst With The Dragon Tattoo looks depressingly good in the trailers. I can't imagine it making money though, since the American film industry tries so hard to be politically correct, and Larsson wasn't writing for the American market.

Time for us to head out to the local farmer's market! I'll try to take photos for you!

Love and zen hugs,

Elizabeth McClung said...

unusual indeed. I felt foolish at not identifying the suffix, literally multiple breasts, else the cloud would not have surprised me so. the part unseen which was over the north, deep pink, was the more common anvil type. - how typical, if only vulcan, not thor threw bolts.

Kate J said...

I'm not Canadian and don't live there, but I've always loved Canada, and have been shocked, saddened and angered by the short-sighted squandering and destruction on Canadian natural resources, and the way that the First Nations and their traditions - not to mention their land claims - seem to be treated by the Canadian government and some of the Provincial governments. I've got a couple of (Canadian) cousins, pretty radical young guys, who keep me up to date with these issues via facebook. But I was so pleased to read your opinion of it all, and to know that even with your own problems and struggle for survival every day - or maybe even because of them - that you feel so strongly about damage to the natural world. I've seen those orca and pacific grey whales, as well as seals and sealions on the BC coast. I've seen some of the unspoilt forest that remains, and the bears that live in them. Experiences and memories of visits to Canada that I'll never forget. Thank you for putting it into words!

As for 'Snow White' I saw it too and think you summed it up perfectly. Because I work in a community cinema, I see lots of movies and yes most of them are disappointing, However, looking forward to the new Ken Loach movie 'The Angels Share' this week - apparently something of a feelgood film. KL never made a bad film yet, so I'm looking forward to it!

Love & peace

Neil said...

Pah! You've nothing to feel foolish about, m'dear!


GirlWithTheCane said...

I think that you're right about Canada losing itself. My friend from Japan says that we're pigs - we've got all this wonderful natural space, and we fill it with our garbage.

TV and movies are a wasteland these days. If it weren't for "The Daily Show" and "The Big Bang Theory", I wouldn't miss my TV at all.

I'm glad that you're getting out, even if it's to bad movies...

Much love,


Devi said...

"Killer Whales, otters, seals and deer are just part of the landscape."

- and may it remain so!

Thank you for this post.

Lorna, Bob and Liam said...

Insightful post, as always... glad you were able to get out too.

Much love,

Lorna, Bob and Liam