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Full Review: ANTHROPOCENE: THE HUMAN EPOCH (Canada 2018) ***1/2

Anthropocene: The Human Epoch Poster
Filmmakers travel to six continents and 20 countries to document the impact humans have made on the planet.

ANTHROPOCENE – the current proposed geological epoch in which humans are the primary cause of permanent planetary change.

Filmmakers filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier return with their latest and third of their trilogy after MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES and WATERMARK, entitled ANTHROPOCENE: THE HUMAN EPOCH.  The doc, written by Baichwal and narrated by Swedish actress and Oscar winner Alicia Vikander is a disturbing doc that demands to be seen for it explores human’s impact on the Earth.  The term for this impact is terraframing – the resurfacing of land due to human needs.

Scientists believe that human beings have left the Holocene epoch (which started 11,700 years ago when the last ice age receded) and entered the Anthropocene (because humans 

now change the earth and its systems more than all other processes combined).  The film examines this awful age where the planet is altered for its worst.

Baichwal’s films are always stunning to look at, even when displaying the ugliness of the earth.  This is most evident with the landfill segment where the entire screen is composed to human garbage.  One can only imagine the stench of the place.

The film’s first scene is that of molten metal  The site on display is north of the Arctic Circle in what Baischwal describes as Russia’s most polluted city.  This is where the world’s largest metal smelting industry is located.  

Baichwal and her crew travel the world documenting evidence of human domination – from concrete seawalls that cover 60% of China’s mainland coast, to psychedelic potash mines in Russia’s Ural Mountains, to vast marble quarries in Italy, to surreal phosphate tailings ponds in Florida.  In each country, the voiceover is in the country’s languages (in English, Russian, Italian, German, Mandarin and Cantonese with English subtitles) so as to add to the segments’ authenticity.

Baichwal’s film provides a bit of distraction in the form of the segment on extinction.  She shows as well as educates on the extremely endangered species including the white cheek gibbon, the white rhinoceros, the Egyptian tortoise, the chicken frog and the okapi.  I never knew what a okapi was till now.

Baichwal does not provide solutions to the problems nor offers much hope to the saving of the planet.  Perhaps she hopes this document on film might serve the purpose.

Still, ANTHROPOCENE: THE HUMAN EPOCH is a spectacular film – Baichwal’s best of her trilogy.  She has spent an immense amount of time on research and travels resulting in this magnificent educational documentary.

The film is part of The Anthropocene Project that also comprises complementary exhibitions premiering simultaneously on September 28 at the Art Gallery of Ontario and National Gallery of Canada, new Burtynsky photographs, new film installations by Baichwal and de Pencier, experiences in augmented and virtual reality, a book published by Steidl, and education program.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44RYqgKwfSQ

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TIFF 2018 Review: ANTHROPOCENE: THE HUMAN EPOCH (Canada 2018) ***1/2

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2018. Go to TIFF 2018 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

Anthropocene: The Human Epoch Poster

 

Filmmakers filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier return with their latest and third of their trilogy after MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES and WATERMARK, entitled ANTHROPOCENE: THE HUMAN EPOCH.  

The doc, written by Baichwal and narrated by Swedish actress and Oscar winner Alicia Vikander is a disturbing doc that demands to be seen for it explores human impact on the Earth.  The film’s first scene is that of molten metal.  

The site on display is north of the Arctic circle in what Baischwal describes as Russia’s most polluted city.  This is where the world’s largest metal smelting industry is located.  Baichwal and her crew travel the world documenting evidence of human domination – from concrete seawalls that cover 60% of China’s mainland coast, to psychedelic potash mines in Russia’s Ural Mountains, to vast marble quarries in Italy, to surreal phosphate tailings ponds in Florida.  

ANTHROPOCENE: THE HUMAN EPOCH is a spectacular film – Baichwal’s best of her trilogy.  She has spent an immense amount of time on research and travels resulting in this magnificent educational documentary.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44RYqgKwfSQ

 

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Film Review: TOMB RAIDER (USA/UK 2018)

Submit your Screenplay to the Festival TODAY

Tomb Raider Poster

Trailer

Lara Croft, the fiercely independent daughter of a missing adventurer, must push herself beyond her limits when she finds herself on the island where her father disappeared.

Director:

Roar Uthaug

Writers:

Geneva Robertson-Dworet (screenplay by), Alastair Siddons (screenplay by) |2 more credits »

 

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TIFF 2017 Movie Review: EUPHORIA (Sweden/Germany 2017)

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2017. Go to TIFF 2017 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

Euphoria Poster
Sisters in conflict travelling through Europe toward a mystery destination.

Director:

Lisa Langseth

Writer:

Lisa Langseth

Stars:

Alicia VikanderEva GreenCharles Dance

When sisters Ines (Alicia Vikander) and Emile (Eva Green) are greeted at an institution (for the dying) with the standing figure of Charlotte Rampling wearing an overall, one can immediately tell what will happen is not going to be good. Ines is about to die of cancer and she wants to find closure with her sister as to the past.

EUPHORIA marks the English-language debut of Sweden’s Lisa Langseth and it is simply terrible. This is new age stuff that many will just gawk at.

The written dialogue is also plain awful. The kind of words Emile uses, the swearing and all is also used by Ines’ character. The words or ideas of different characters should be distinct. The film could do with a bit of humour – as dealing with death is a topic ripe for some black humour. Whenever Ines coerces Emile to talk about an incident in the past, she will later use that against her and lose it.

If Emile could not see this coming, the audience certainly can, for the script is too predictably cliched. Charles Dance puts a bit of life into the film as a dying man who organizes his own farewell party. The film turns out to be a muddled look on death mortality.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMX3Dw-GjIA

Film Review: TULIP FEVER (UK 2016) **

tulip fever.jpgAn artist falls for a young married woman while he’s commissioned to paint her portrait during the Tulip mania of 17th century Amsterdam.

Director: Justin Chadwick
Writers: Deborah Moggach (screenplay), Tom Stoppard (screenplay)
Stars: Alicia Vikander, Dane DeHaan, Jack O’Connell

Review by Gilbert Seah

The press is having a field day with the news of the new film TULIP FEVER based on a scandalous affair set in 17th Century Amsterdam. When the film critics were asked to sign an embargo for their reviews to appear no earlier that 1 pm of Friday, the film’s opening day, something must be afloat. The film was expiated to be awful. In addition, rumours were going around that TULIP EVER had been siting on the shelves for 3 years.

To be fair to the film, the film was in production in 2014 and the film was scheduled for a 2016 release. So, the film was on the shelf for a year and not 3. As for the embargo, the studios have their reasons. The film is not that bad, though it is not that good either. Despite the film’s flaws, it is quite watchable and pleasant viewing.

For one, the film has an impressive cast that includes Oscar Winner Judi Dench, hardly recognizable in cloister apparel. She is the Abbess who specializes in growing tulips. The film also stars rising start Alicia Vikander, Dane DeHaan, Jack O’Connell and Christoph Waltz. This is Waltz in his strangest role not as an antagonizer but as a victim of various plots. DeHaan, who has become quite the household name now with this third big expensive flop in a row after A CURE FOR WELLNESS (in turn quite a good film despite flopping at the box-office) and the same could be said for VALERIAN.

The film is told from the point of view and voiceover of a maid, Maria (Holly Grainger). She works hard for her mistress Sophia (Vikander) who was bought from the orphanage for a wealthy Cornelis (Waltz) who is desperate to have a son. Maria has an affair with a fishmonger (O’Connell) who delvers fish to the household. Sophia has an affair with a painter, Van Loos (DeHaan) behind Cornelis’ back. When Maria becomes pregnant ,s he blackmails her mistress as she knows of Sophia’s affair with Van Loos. Sophia decides to have Maria’s baby as her own to fool her husband. Complications arise in this complicated tale of deceit, with tulip truing brought into the picture.

It is are to market a film in which those who plot and have various affairs flourish and the poor faithful and believing husband doesn’t. He ends up, forgiving his transgressors and even grating them his residence.

The film is set in Holland, in the 17th century when tulips were the talk of the town. Business people were trading on tulips, very similar to the stock market at present. As expected, while many may make their fortunes, oner less fortunate ones stand to lose everything.

TULIP FEVER benefits from an interesting though hardly credible story. The period setting in Amsterdam helps too, despite the film shot totally in English with largely English and European actors. TULIP FEVER ends up an interesting failure. It costs only $25 million to make, so it might just make a little profit.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RpGTBnf158

Happy Birthday: Alicia Vikander

aliciavikanderAlicia Vikander

Born: October 3, 1988 in Gothenburg, Västra Götalands län, Sweden

[The New York Times – February 9, 2016] During production of The Danish Girl (2015), the filmmakers were obsessed with me not looking Scandinavian and I was like, ‘I’m the only Scandinavian in the whole film.’ They paled my skin, to make me lighter. People say that I’m tanned, but that’s my natural color.

THE SEVENTH SON
2013
dir. Sergey Bodrov
Stars:
Ben Barnes
Julianne Moore

MOVIE POSTERANNA KARENINA
2012
dir. Joe Wright
Stars:
Keira Knightley
Jude Law

 

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