Thursday, January 21, 2010

Payap Reel schedule

At Payap Reel on Thursdays at 5 pm – Room 419, Pentecost Building

At Payap Reel on Thursdays at 5 pm – Room 419, Pentecost Building.


The Film Series Payap Reel is a community project which screens films/documentaries on regional issues, social awareness, and international topics.


"Payap Air": A Season of Five Free Films on the Atmosphere, Biosphere, and Society – starting today!

Every Thursday from today, 21January, through 18 February at 5 - 7:30 pm.

"Payap Air" is a Payap Reel film series to be shown in Room 419, Pentecost Building(formerly the Graduate and International Studies Building), at Payap University, Mae Khao Campus (behind Carrefour). It’s a presentation of the Office of Global Awareness at Payap University, in collaboration with the Northern Climate Crisis Network (NCCN). Organized by Steve Green and Ricky Ward.Telephonefor further information at084-985-9668.


Each screening will be followed by an opportunity for discussion, facilitated by a member of the NCCN.




The films: Home – Jan 21 (this afternoon);

Crude Impact – Jan 28;

The Power of Community – Feb 4;

Blind Spot – Feb 11; and

What A Way To Go – Feb 18.


At Payap University Thursday, January 21, this afternoon, 5 pm:  Home (2009) by Yann Arthus-Bertrand – 93 mins – France, Documentary. Narrated in English by Glenn Close.


An ambitious documentary project meant to bring awareness to the plight of our planet. Belgian aerial photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand [see picture below] and his team traveled around the planet over 18 months to make this film217 days of shooting in 54 countries. All of the footage in the film was captured using gyro-stabilized Cineflex HD cameras mounted on helicopters. The portrait of the Earth presented here is uniformly, gorgeously mesmerizing. The script, narrated by Glenn Close, is an accessible guide through no less than a concise history of human civilization.

“The movie carries a message for humanity: to become aware of the full extent of humanity’s spoilage of the Earth's riches, and to change our patterns of consumption. We are living in exceptional times. Scientists tell us that we have only ten years to change the way we live and avert the depletion of the planet’s natural resources and the catastrophic changes in the Earth's climate. The stakes are high for us and our children. Everyone should take part in the effort, and Home has been conceived to take a message of mobilization out to every human being. 


       Rotten Tomatoes: Narrated by Glenn Close and featuring the provocative and uniquely jaw-dropping aerial photography of famed photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, this soaring trip across planet Earth allows viewers to experience their home as never before.


       DVD Verdict, Franck Tabouring: Home is a visually stunning look at what makes our planet so beautiful and what eventually threatens to destroy it. Featuring marvelous footage from more than 120 locations in fifty-four countries, the film draws an alarming portrait of the rapidly changing conditions that imperil everything we love about the gigantic place we call home.


DVD Talk, Tyler Foster: Home is mainly about human wastefulness. The Earth is a gigantic natural resource, and we're using it up at an alarming rate, and using old-fashioned techniques to produce energy that pollute the atmosphere and environment. It's this section above all that gets repetitive: the planet is stressed to be a perfectly-engineered system of cause and effect, and many of the things we do interrupt the flow of nature, but Arthus-Bertrand shows us example after example of this happening with little variation. Luckily, the visuals come to the rescue. Cinematographers Michel Benjamin and Dominique Gentil have found all sorts of dazzling sights, from bright green circular crops in the middle of the desert to dizzying reveals of impossibly tall skyscrapers in foreign lands.


We also get a look at some distressing things, including a look at cattle farms where grain is carted in in tons via gas-guzzling trucks just to produce a small amount of beef, at deforestation and overpopulation, at rapidly sinking rivers. The most infuriating thing about the situations the movie presents is that people are generally just hardened in their ways. If we stopped and re-evaluated the entire scenario, I'm sure we could find a way to make the world keep turning that was both efficient and environmentally friendly, but it's easier to maintain the status quo. We know we're doing it wrong, but it's too challenging to change. 



At Payap University Thursday, January 28, 5 pm:  Crude Impact (2006) by James Jandak Wood – 97 mins – US, Documentary/ History. 


Crude Impact is a powerful and timely story that deftly explores the inter-connection between human domination of the planet and the discovery and use of oil.


This documentary film exposes our deep-rooted dependency on the availability of fossil fuel energy and examines the future implications of peak oil — the point in time when the amount of petroleum worldwide begins a steady, inexorable decline. Journeying from the West African delta region to the heart of the Amazon rainforest, from Washington to Shanghai, from early man to the unknown future, Crude Impact chronicles the collision of our insatiable appetite for oil with the rights and livelihoods of indigenous cultures, other species, and the planet itself. It is a thought-provoking story filled with discovery, sorrow, outrage, humor and ultimately, hope.


Rotten Tomatoes: Crude Impact takes an unflinching look at the human race’s dependence on fossil fuels--and at the future that lies in store for us when those fuels run out. The engaging, aggressive documentary discusses the notion of peak oil and investigates the efficacy of various alternative energy sources. 


Chicago Tribune, Tasha Robinson: CrudeImpact goes deep and expansive on the political, environmental, and cultural costs of American dependence on oil. Arguing that we’ve reached the point of “peak oil,” where the amount of petroleum that can be drawn from the Earth will inevitably start to decline, a handful of authors and activists illustrate the negative impact American oil drilling has had domestically and overseas. As oil becomes harder to find, they explain, the oil companies will become even more ruthless and profit-driven, and their track records of economic and political exploitation offer no hope of moral restraint.


Some of Crude Impact's message comes via the inevitable animated charts and graphs, plus broad, simple statements, and some of it feels like pandering, with its cutesy use of vintage cartoons and jokey visual juxtapositions. But the message is earnest and sincere, and Wood argues it well, with chilling case studies of Texaco’s wholesale pollution in Ecuador and Shell’s fatal interference with politics and protests in the Niger Delta. Using an unsettling clip of an indulgent TV “news” piece about Ronald McDonald that could double as a corporate commercial, he illustrates how news and entertainment have merged, and shows how viewers need to be actively involved in their world if they want real information about the damage being done in their name, and real information about how to fight back.


At Payap University Thursday, February 4, 5 pm:  The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil (2006) by Faith Morgan – 53 mins – US, Documentary. 


In Cuba there is a recent era which is called “The Special Period in Peacetime.” The term refers to an extended period of economic crisis that began in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The economic depression of the Special Period was at its most severe in the early-to-mid 1990s. It was defined primarily by the severe shortages of hydrocarbon energy resources in the form of gasoline, diesel, and other petroleum derivatives that occurred upon the implosion of economic agreements between the petroleum-rich Soviet Union and Cuba. The period radically transformed Cuban society and the economy, as it necessitated the successful introduction of sustainable agriculture, decreased use of automobiles, and overhauled industry, health, and diet countrywide. People were expected to live without many goods.


The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil is an American documentary film that explores the Special Period in Peacetime and its aftermath; the economic collapse and eventual recovery of Cuba following the fall of the Soviet Union. Following the dramatic steps taken by both the Cuban government and citizens, its major themes include urban agriculture, energy dependence, and sustainability. The film was directed by Faith Morgan, and was released in 2006 by a non-profit organization called The Community Solution.


The film is a reflection of the peak oil scenario advocated by oil industry experts and political activists. The Cuban economy, heavily dependent on economic aid from the Soviet Union, suffered tremendously following the end of the Cold War. The nation lost half of its oil imports, and 85 percent of its international trade economy. Cuba began a slow recovery focused not on finding new energy sources, but on rejecting consumption in favor of sustainable growth. Director Faith Morgan, together with the non-profit group The Community Solution, seeks to educate audiences about peak oil and the impact it will have on transportation, agriculture, medicine, and other industries.

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