April 18, 2006

There Will Be No Snows







Honestly, I was hard pressed to identify “better” or “worse” images from the “An Inconvenient Truth” trailer.

The film, hosted by Al Gore, is like a global warming nightmare roller coaster ride.  There is great use of black-and-white.  I love that rising, glowing temperature indicator ball.  With the Katrina disaster fresh in mind, the hyper-spinning hurricane on the thermal weather tracker was pretty nerve wracking, as were the pinned back palm trees and the slamming, crashing wave shots.  Of course, watching huge chunks of Florida, Shanghai and Calcutta suddenly turned into swamp is also quite alarming.

Still, after taking the ride about four or five times (each time, getting a little more creeped out by all that drying up, cracking earth), I’d have to say I’m still partial to the Kilimanjaro sequence.

Maybe it is winter in the first shot and summer in the second, as one person commented on the trailer’s discussion thread.  Even so.  The film has the acumen to play on any number of visual images (and, in this example, visual phrases too) that have been imprinted in us since grade school — all toward a vital end.

Most interesting of the three frames, however, is probably the last one.  I read it as the lone scientist, verifying a disaster that we really could have handled back, say, in 2006.

Watch “An Inconvenient Truth” trailer here.  Climate Crisis website.

(images: “An Inconvenient Truth”)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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