Category Archives: Film/Documentary

Turtles are cute, and it is freezing.

Just you try to deny it. To start with the turtles, the NZIFF* is currently on in Christchurch, so if you feel like getting the warm fuzzies, go see Turtle: The incredible journey. It looks like a feel good film, just in case anyone tries to accuse me of constantly posting depressing news. If you’ve miss(ed) the screenings and need to acquire it through, er…other means, then you can donate to the Save Our Seas Foundation that appears to have commissioned it. You don’t even need a credit card. Yay. Unfortunately I can’t find info about a DVD release date. Anyway, the trailer really did warm the cockles of my heart.

Speaking of warmness (which the living room is currently not), the Greens are currently campaigning for a “Warm Healthy Rentals” bill that calls for minimum energy performance standards for houses. I’ve emailed Gareth and asked him what the Greens would support in terms of specifics, but the basic idea is to legislate basic housing requirements for rental properties. This is not to vilify all landlords, but it is meant to address the HUGE number of unacceptably insulated houses. It’s a real problem in the South Island, where temperatures get below zero quite often over winter. If you’re a fan, send the e-card and join the facebook page to show your support and join in the discussion.

*I forgot to blog about Inside Job, which was a pretty funny doco about the 2008 financial crisis that included interviews with some of the key players. Their faces are so funny when they realise the doco maker is not on their side. Its screenings have finished in Christchurch, but it should come out later in the year again (not as part of a festival probably). Interestingly it’s paid for by Sony, and that means the film is slick and looks totally professional. Cheers to the Dim Post for the heads up.

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Filed under economics, Film/Documentary, Government policy

Story of stuff expands

The first time I watched Annie Leonard’s “The Story of Stuff” I almost cried with joy. Finally, someone was communicating the most important issues of our time with a clear, simple message which also didn’t bore. The cartoons in The Story of Stuff really do justice to the phrase “a picture paints a thousand words,” without leaving you scratching your head about what the pictures really mean, thanks to Annie’s succinct commentary, complete with excellent analogies that give her arguments a common sense vibe. Best yet, she anticipates a lot of the “but what about x” questions that people are likely to have, and offers practical solutions.

Recently I caught a glimpse of “the story of cosmetics” which was great for people who see cosmetics as a necessity because it didn’t just advocate complete boycotting. The story of cap and trade however is probably the most pertinent to all of us, in the US and NZ, because National has implemented the “free permit” scheme too. ┬áLastly there’s the story of bottled water, which really does present some alarming figures about how big the problem of bottled water has become, and looks at the wider effects of picking up that pump bottle.

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Filed under Climate Change, economics, Film/Documentary, media, Products


I may be a little late to this, but Vodo is a site which allows content creators (video at this stage) to distribute their work for free download and then let users decide whether and how much to donate back after they’ve watched the film. It’s an idea that I’m sure plenty of people have had, but so far I’ve only seen one major company smart enough to really promote themselves on the major P2P sites like Mininova and The Pirate Bay. Currently they’re promoting a film called In Guantanamo, which offers viewers a glimpse of the prison from the inside, but obviously with restrictions. Sounds interesting, but what’s more impressive is the list of films they’ve got already.

Also interesting is that VODO is funded by Channel4 BritDoc Foundation, the Emerald Fund and Arts Council in England, so there is a commercial interest in the mix.

On a related note and in the name of sharing, here’s a wee essay written by me for my COMS305 Media and Social Change paper at the University of Canterbury, titled “Did you copy right?: The influence of copyright protection on media content in the realm of the Internet“. Feel free to debate it etc. I’m thinking of posting any well graded (preferably at least an A) University essays you want to send in that are related to any of the blog posts. Alternatively if you have an essay that is relevant to a particular issue, write up something and attach the essay with it (like I’ve done here).

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Filed under Film/Documentary, media

The Age of Stupid

From the director of McLibel Franny Armstrong is a film about why the world needs to act now to address climate change. It’s part dramatisation, part documentary, and part call to act, based on topics of oil, war, politics and consumerism in their relation to climate change.


New Zealand Screening dates and locations have been confirmed, mostly it’s just the times that are TBC. If you’re in Auckland, there’s also a “green carpet” premiere you can head along to, but tickets are exclusive and available only through Oxfam and Greenpeace. Visit the “not stupid” page and watch the pop up, it’s actually quite informing. There are some interesting resources on that page as well, including guides on how to talk to skeptics, and how to organise an indie screening if you feel so inclined (which I may, and will of course let you know if I do).

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Filed under Events, Film/Documentary, media