Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Opening: An Inconvenient Truth

"An Inconvenient Truth, based on a slide show Gore developed and has given for years, is part documentary, part dark comedy and part horror thriller."
"The temptation to reject the truth and try to manufacture your own reality is what got us into Iraq—it’s what got us into these deficits. At some point, reality has its day."
-- Al Gore, Newsweek, Apr. 28, 2006
It isn't happening here in Pensacola. Not yet, anyway.

But the David Guggenheim documentary An Inconvenient Truth, opens today in major cities across the nation. Here are some comments among the multitude who have seen the film in previews and at Cannes this past week:

Andrew O'Hehir in Salon, Tuesday, May 23: "'An Inconvenient Truth,' the striking and surprisingly endearing film about Gore's global-warming crusade made by director Davis Guggenheim, in a day or two."

A. O. Scott, New York Times movie review:
"[T]he movie is not about [Al Gore]. He is, rather, the surprisingly engaging vehicle for some very disturbing information. His explanations of complex environmental phenomena — the jet stream has always been a particularly tough one for me to grasp — are clear, and while some of the visual aids are a little corny, most of the images are stark, illuminating and powerful.

"I can't think of another movie in which the display of a graph elicited gasps of horror, but when the red lines showing the increasing rates of carbon-dioxide emissions and the corresponding rise in temperatures come on screen, the effect is jolting and chilling. Photographs of receding ice fields and glaciers — consequences of climate change that have already taken place — are as disturbing as speculative maps of submerged coastlines. The news of increased hurricane activity and warming oceans is all the more alarming for being delivered in Mr. Gore's matter-of-fact, scholarly tone."

Margaret Carlson of Bloomberg News Service:
"[M]uch of what Gore said in his 1993 book, 'Earth in the Balance,' has proven prophetic. His prescriptions -- increased mileage standards, wind power, appliances rated by the energy efficiency, hybrid cars -- are more practical than anything the government has done lately and are now widely accepted, even by the industries that fought them.

* * *
"Translated to film, 'An Inconvenient Truth'' -- part slide show, part home movie, part freshmen lecture hall -- is never going to be confused with 'The DaVinci Code' with which it shared billing at the 59th Cannes Film Festival this weekend. But it is important, if not always entertaining. It doesn't have the polemics or histrionics of Michael Moore's 'Fahrenheit 911.'' It's NPR, not 'CSI Miami.'

* * *
"It's short and pithy, what Gore's speeches often weren't. The visuals are simple. He drives home the point that there's no factual dispute over global warning. A Science magazine survey of all peer-reviewed studies on climate change showed that of the 928 independent studies done to date, (those not paid for by industry) all concluded that global warming is a real and growing threat.

"There are no independent studies saying otherwise. Yet stories sampled from newspapers, television and magazines, show that 53 percent suggest global warming is unproven.

"In that way, global warming is much like the evidence that tobacco caused lung cancer. For decades it was greeted by the industry, politicians, doctors paid to do ads and the media with unwarranted skepticism -- until everyone accepted that smoking makes you deathly ill.

* * *
"The movie comes at a time when some pundits (including me) might wonder if we should give a rest to that old saw about likeability. Maybe Americans prefer to have a beer and burger with the charming frat boy to the student who always does his homework. But is that a wise basis for choosing a president?

"With all the needless death from a ill-conceived war, the wasteful corruption of sweetheart contracts in Iraq and New Orleans, debt and deficits as far as the eye can see, gas prices through the roof with no energy policy in sight, and with a president who delegates to incompetents and cronies, I'm ready to give the class nerd his due and raise a glass to a serious man. Here's to you, Al and a huge box-office gross."

Related Links

Eleanor Clift's Interview with Al Gore

Post-Ivan Civic Recovery

The Alliance for Climate Protection


Reel Fanatic said...

Thanks for posting those reviews .. Mr. Gore's movie has finally somehow made it to my little corner of the world this week . I'm going to see it today and really looking forward to it

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