Thursday, September 1, 2011

Manufactured Landscapes, renowned artist Edward Burtynsky's view on urban beauty

video topic: art,urban,landscape
entry type: documentary

video title: Manufactured Landscapes

artist featured: Edward Burtynsky
director: Jennifer Baichwal
producer: Foundry Films
run time: 90 min
size: 690 mb
release date: 2006


description and preview:
(click "read more" below)

Photographer Edward Burtynsky travels the world observing changes in landscapes due to industrial work and manufacturing.

MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES is the striking documentary on the world and work of renowned artist Edward Burtynsky. Internationally acclaimed for his large-scale photographs of “manufactured landscapes”—quarries, recycling yards, factories, mines and dams—Burtynsky creates stunningly beautiful art from civilization’s materials and debris. The film follows him through China, as he shoots the evidence and effects of that country’s massive industrial revolution. With breathtaking sequences, such as the opening tracking shot through an almost endless factory, the filmmakers also extend the narratives of Burtynsky’s photographs, allowing us to meditate on our impact on the planet and witness both the epicenters of industrial endeavor and the dumping grounds of its waste.

In the spirit of such environmentally enlightening sleeper-hits as AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH and RIVERS AND TIDES, MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES powerfully shifts our consciousness about the world and the way we live in it, without simplistic judgments or reductive resolutions.

This film comes at a time when we as a population have become so great in number that we have begun to transform the landscape of the earth that we were born to. This film is so abstract that it allows the viewer to comprehend the veracity of what our industrialized society is today. A lot of the focus is on China and their manufacturers.

It boggles the mind to just sit in silence as the film just continues to display landscape after landscape of assembly lines, mines, dams, trash, quarries, tedious robotic work, work...that looks like slave labor, and piles of industrial trash and e-waste.

One of the segments where there was a bit of narration explained how most of America's recycled electronics and goods end up back in China. Images of IC (integrated circuits) chips piled mountain high for the extraction of the precious metals from the pins of the chips. Its a process where they heat up the components which give off a smell that can be detected from 5km to 10km away, according to the film. This scene alone poses a feeling of dread having to be the person to inhale fumes that are certainly not healthy for anyone.

Since so much of what people in America buys is made in China I feel that the film was correct in its focus on China. I believe that we can all agree that the emerging economies of China and India will create an exponential demand for resources similar to the demand the United States has. This demand will strip the earth of all its resources; and when resources become scarce...the end result is war. Even though most of the film has very little dialogue or narration, I believe the point is to strike you with feelings and images that will be imprinted in your brain. It then is up to the viewer to decide how they feel about the images they have seen. The feelings that one attains from watching this film are ones of disgust.

It made me feel that anything I choose to throw away feels as though I am committing a heinous crime. The film has changed my perspective on waste and waste management.As an environmentalist myself, I already re-use and recycle everything I can...but this documentary really makes you analyze the waste you throw away in a more deeper demeanor. For everyone who has seen An Inconvenient Truth...I extend a promotion for this film. It is such an eye opener that it will at the very least change your opinion about our modern society. This film is all about showing you the landscape of what exists today...and poses a question about what the future will be in 20 or 30 years from warming aside.
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Part 1 and 2 ~ Part 3 and 4
Part 1 and 2 ~ Part 3 and 4
Part 1 ~ Part 2 ~ Part 3 ~ Part 4



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