Archive for Films and Field Trips

Instant watch documentaries

The best advantage to the nominal monthly fee for netflix besides no late fees is the instant watch menu played on your computer.  They have countless amounts of documentaries including most PBS shows such as Nova and Frontline. So it’s instant gratification for no extra charge!  Going off the the documentary we watched in class about water privatization, “Blue Gold” narrated by Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange) is offered as instant watch and is riveting!   It immediately pulls you in with Mcdowell’s grainy, slightly cockney voice as it introduces a story of a man going without water for a week, and describing the physiological process…ending with a powerful quote, “whomever goes without water for a week cries blood”.  Yes, it is very biased, But it is a biased side that I’m on as long as it is backed up with facts and data.  Another good documentary on instant watch is “The Yes Men” which made me excited when I realized that fact.  I saw a prescreening of it when it came out in LA because I was involved in the street team promoting that movie.  It’s about two guys who set up a false website for WTO under the pretenses of being spokespeople for the organization.  They proceed to act as caricatures for the organization when they are asked to speak at different locations.  The caricatures are so absurd it’s amazing that people don’t catch on but it really hits on some deep truths.  I highly recommend it!  Other good instant watch documentaries include “King Corn” and “The Eleventh Hour”, as well as the Nova and Frontline episodes.


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Could a world like Pandora from “Avatar” have existed on Earth?

This is something I have to get off my chest since I have seen the movie Avatar.  Before anyone laughs at me; because yes, I have to say the movie moved the hell out of me; I would like to explain what I truly got out of it.  Despite James Cameron’s gimmicky techniques to draw his audience in with incredible CG effects, and the outcome of his many years of work on the special 3D camera, I took with me a strong message that can’t seem to be stated enough.  It is a pretty obvious theme throughout the movie that there is a lot to learn from nature around us if we just listen or tune in.  It reminded me of a lot of issues that have been discussed in our class last term, such as Jensen talking about getting rid of our technological world and living off our land again in a more primal form.  Well, I thought before that it would be impossible now to do what he suggests, and I still think that way due to the probable up-rise of overwhelming majority of people to keep the comfortable lifestyle they have achieved, or grown up with.  But the movie made me think; what if Cameron’s idea is to show us the future of mankind if we had chose to evolve with our world instead of separately from it?

I got choked up when I first saw the imagined world of Pandora and then continued to do so when it uncovered more glorious scenes of that world, such as the floating mountains.  Okay, so I’m a sucker for fantasy and pretty neon colors.  But what immediately came to mind with the concepts of the imagined world was that it was just fantasy and no world is that symbiotic.  And then it came to mind that we can think of this imagined world to be a lot older than Earth.  Maybe because the humanoid inhabitants decided to evolve with their world around them instead of separately, like we have chosen with man-made technology, that they and the nature around them evolved to the point of a seamless system.  Too far fetched?  I don’t know but I do wonder now hypothetically; if we as Earth’s inhabitants have continued to live like hunters and gatherers, could we and nature around us have evolved differently then we are now?  Maybe more fit and in right response to our fight or flight instincts, which cause so much anxiety in people today?  Could organic technology have evolved from our need for knowledge like it did on Pandora?  I would love to hear other people’s thoughts on this because I know that when I was watching the movie, a sense of nostalgia came over me as if I realized all of a sudden that I didn’t quite fit into my surroundings.  Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

Anne-Marie Aguilar

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The Meatrix

Hey here is a short cartoon film that sums up factory farming in a very understandable way.  It has also won numerous awards.  Then at the end it gives you websites to use to help you shop local and sustainable.  The film is a playoff of, The Matrix, so it is a little corny but it does a very good job of simplifying everything and makes it very understandable.

Mitch Gaulke

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Food Inc.

food_incI just finished watching the Film Food Inc. and it was truly one of the best films relating to what we have been discussing in class. I highly recommend that everybody goes and checks this video out. It is an hour and a half, but i wanted more when it was done. I found this movie very disturbing but in a good way. It not only showed us where our food comes from, but also what Americans can do to make the change that is needed. Basically, every time we go to the grocery store we are voting, so the more we buy the sugary foods, tv dinners, and soda the more companies will produce. Ultimately the change begins with us and our habits, the companies are just producing what the the consumers (us) wants. Every American needs to watch this video to see what our habits have done to the food system. Here is a link to some reviews that others have made about the video.

~Cody Males

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