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31 Days of Horror 2017: Soylent Green

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Sometimes, real horror stories come true, and sometimes, it’s we humans that make it happen. Soylent Green, the 1973 science fiction thriller, has always been on my list of most frightening films. There are no vampires, serial killers, or aliens to deal with in this film, but in my opinion its horror goes unmatched. Why? Find out after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

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TIFF 2015: This Changes Everything

Naomi Klein narrates Avi Lewis’s documentary based on her book This Changes Everything

Baubles and energy. That’s what our modern lives revolve around. Our beautiful distractions and the juice that makes them go. Technology has revolutionized our lives a thousand times over in the past few centuries. It’s also given humanity a sense of indomitability, that this world of ours is a machine to be manipulated to our brilliant ends. Thing is, the world is big, and yet surprisingly fragile. We’re just inches away from pushing this planet irrevocably over an existential cliff. Of course, the planet itself won’t be gone. Just most of the things we recognize living on it. Us and the polar bears. All the cars and clothes and smart phones won’t make a whit of difference when there isn’t enough arable land to grow food for everybody. Think the Dark Ages with twisters and typhoons thrown in for good measure.

But that’s a future that hasn’t happened yet. This Changes Everything (2015) marks our momentous present, circuiting the globe to capture the intense environmental fights unfolding in places from Canada and the U.S. to Greece, India and China. Naomi Klein narrates the film based on her book and directed by her partner Avi Lewis. Klein has a knack for hot button issues, from burgeoning corporate advertising (No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies) to ethically appalling corporate exploitation (The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism). She’d probably dislike the comment, but her brand is anti-globalization. Fortunately she brings a tone of wry observation along for what really is the most stridently urgent issue of our time. She herself remarks in the film’s opening that she’s always hated films about climate change. It’s a disarming start, but it calls quick attention to our own stifling inaction. It’s not that it’s too hard to care. The problem is just so numbingly big.

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