Sustainability is about ecology, economy and equity.- Ralph Bicknese

Film & Sustainability Series: The Day After Tomorrow and Climate Change


The movie that brought environmental issues to popular film — The Day After Tomorrow (2004). Though nearly a decade old, The Day After Tomorrow still reverberates in cinematic and the American psyche. This movie was one of the first blockbusters ever to center around a man-made ecological disaster.

Though it tends towards the didactic, this film greatly impacted our cultural awareness of global warming, and made the topic open for public discussion without political interference. Though The Day After Tomorrow does contain ideological points that are influenced by politics, the main concern is our impact upon the environment. Continue reading

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Film & Sustainability Series: The Great Gatsby and Greed

the-great-gatsby-official-trailer-2-videoHey guys, remember when we talked about The Pursuit of Happyness in April, and asked if wealth actually brings joy? Well hold onto your bucket hats, because today we’re examining the same question through the lens of The Great Gatsby, a tale of the other side of the mirror.

Chris Gardner and Jay Gatsby have startlingly similar backgrounds; poor men who struggled their way up to the 1% through hard work and a burning determination. Perfect examples of The American Dream. But while Gardner’s tale seems plausible, Gatsby’s story ventures into the extraordinary — probably because Gatsby is an extraordinary man Continue reading

Film & Sustainability: The Hunger Games

the-hunger-gamesLast spring The Hunger Games set off a new wave of fantasy movie buzz with it’s tidal wave of popularity and financial success. The second film installment, Catching Fire, is sure to be even bigger when it premiers Nov. 22, 1013.

This post will look at the film The Hunger Games as well as the book trilogy which birthed the movie series. So, be warned, mild spoilers lie ahead.

To start, I love the series’ social commentary on starvation, poverty, and oppression. Though other films and books have tried to discuss the same issues, not many have found that incredible balance of subtle-but-powerful that Suzanne Collins created. The Humer Games’ fictional pseudo-kingdom of Panem, a dystopian North America that doesn’t shy away from violence, mirrors problems of the real world in an accessible way only fantasy can project. Continue reading

Sustainability & Film Series: WALL-E & Waste

wall-e-and-plant1Using tried and true techniques that the company has mastered in the past decade, Pixar creates cute, comic movie characters to access serious themes that relate to the real world. Marlin the clownfish displayed the trials of single parenthood, Woody and Buzz witnessed the painful process of growing up, and, most recently, Merida must navigate the volatile nature of mother-daughter relationships.

In Wall-E, Pixar raises environmentalist awareness with a particularly sympathetic main character, and – in my opinion –  the most adorable robot since R2-D2.

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Popular Film and Sustainability Part 1: The Dark Knight Rises

imagesThough this film has been out for quite a while now, I must still warn everyone that spoilers await them here.

The Dark Knight trilogy begins and closes with the question of human sustainability. During its 7-year run, Director Christopher Nolan has peppered the films with the issues of clean water, the poverty gap, urban corruption. Nolan makes his loudest comment on conservation, however, by ending the series with two of the biggest concerns to human existence: the economy and the environment. And Nolan symbolizes these with his focus on nuclear energy. Continue reading