Monday, 16 March 2009

Sunday March 15th 09, Age of Stupid Premiere

A fairly quiet morning, noisy lunchtime, then a quick visit to Davids with LETS bank account paperwork. Collected some compostables from Freshways on the way back and then went to meet Lorna who had been visiting her sister this weekend, and she drove us up to Clifton Moor to see the Age of Stupid. Amazing film.

Pity it was at Vue at Clifton Moor, as it is almost exclusively served by cars... it is cyclable but takes an ordinary cyclist perhaps half an hour from the centre of York, and there is a bus service. However, Lorna had driven from Burton on Trent in her tiny car (so small the road tax is just £35 a year) so I was happy enough to be collected and spend some time with her before and after the film.

We arrived early and the other York in Transition volunteers arrived with the stuff for the info table, and the Friends of the Earth people arrived as their head of campaigns, Mike Childs, was doing the welcoming and hosting the discussion afterwards, and they had publications for the info table too. I was happily surprised by the numbers of people attending, over 100, and I was able to engage many of them and give them a Transition leaflet, and asked them if they'd like to go on the Green Festival mailing list.

The cinema had a live satellite link-up to the Premiere in Leicester Square, where their solar-powered cinema tent was attracting a lot of attention form celebrities and people connected with the film in some way. This Premiere had been carbon footprinted and was said to have a footprint of about 1% of an 'ordinary' Hollywood film premiere. The wind farm developer Piers arrived in the UK's only road-legal solar-powered car. Lots of folks came by bike.

The film was very accessible, a mix of newsclips from recent times and half a dozen interwoven stories of real people, including an 80 year-old French mountain guide, an Iraqi widow who's husband was killed by Americans, a Nigerian woman who wanted to be a doctor, caught fish in such polluted water she had to wash the oil off with detergent and found more money selling black-market diesel, a Hurricane Katrina hero who used to work on oil rigs, and the aforementioned wind farm developer. Oh, and animation too, to help explain various things. All held together in an archive run by Pete Postlethwaite in 2055, in a devastated world with deeply flooded London, Las Vegas over-run by desert, and the Sydney Opera House in flames. A very memorable film, arresting images. The real-life stories were good at getting to our emotions and I for one couldn't help crying during one bit... it is not a feelgood film but should leave people feeling like they want to do something to prevent the extinction of Humanity.

It opens on general release on Friday 20th March, and comes to the City Screen in the centre of York at the end of April. On April 26th, York in Transition is hosting a special screening with a Q and A afterwards, the film starting at 3pm, Q and A Panel discussion at perhaps 4.45 or 5pm.

There was an opportunity for a discussion after this film, but not many people wanted to do that, but I got in a plug (!) for Good Energy renewable electricity.

Lorna drove back through York and dropped me off before driving back down South. I felt quite quiet during the evening, full of what I'd seen. I hope that lots of the 'non-converted' go and see it, as it is something which could change the World.... but I've always been an optimist!

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