Change in the air

My Blog; Your Guide to What's New

Published: Oct 22 2014, 01:01:am

Wednesday, October 22, 2014.


     The good news is that people want to hear what Naomi Klein has to say. Her previous books — 1999's No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, exposing multinational corporate malfeasance, and 2007's The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism — shed much needed light on the way our modern world works.

    Her just-published book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, is a call to action to deal with the single greatest crisis facing mankind. Her message is resonating with ever more people, and the turnout for tickets to her Vancouver talk was impressive, guaranteeing that every one of the Chan Centre's 1,369 seats will be taken.

    The bad news is that I was too far back in the line to be among them. Ah, well, perhaps one of the evening's sponsors (a group of organizations that includes the Vancouver Institute, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and the University of B.C.'s interdisciplinary Green College) will publish a transcript.

    In the meantime, I'll work on additional postings to Reeling Back. My ten most recent were:

HANNAH AND HER SISTERS — Writer-director Woody Allen's 1986 domestic comedy featured a fine supporting performance from Hollywood princess Carrie Fisher, an author and screenwriter who, like Allen, mines her own life for dramatic inspiration.(Posted October 21)

THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME — Never once during my 1979 interview with international producer Harry Alan Towers did we discuss this Canadian-made science-fiction feature, inspired by, but hardly true to, the novel by H.G. Wells.(Both posted October 19)

HEARTACHES — Margot Kidder gave a bravura performance in director Don Shebib's 1981 comedy, a feature that received criminally shoddy distribution in the dying days of Canada's "tax-shelter" movie boom.(Posted October 17)

BIG — When she turned to directing in the mid-1980s, actress Penny Marshall became an inspiration to all creative women in the Hollywood system. Tom Hanks starred in her boxoffice hit from 1988.(Posted October 15)

1492: CONQUEST OF PARADISE — Director Ridley Scott suffered a rare career setback in 1992 when audiences showed little interest in his expensive retelling of the story of the Italian mariner historians once credited with the "discovery" of America.(Posted October 13)

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS: THE DISCOVERY — The first of two 1992 features marking the 500th anniversary of his arrival in the new world, this indifferent historical epic is remembered as the party to which nobody came.(Posted October 12)

METROPOLIS — Even before the movies learned to talk, they had things to say about social issues. In his epic 1927 meditation on our urban future, Germany's Fritz Lang looked ahead to the inevitable conflict resulting from a growing gulf between the super-rich and an impoverished working class. (Posted October 5)

SILENT RUNNING — The first day of Reeling Back's second year on the Web recalled one of the first feature films to sound the alarm about the great issue of our time, environmental collapse. Director Douglas Trumbull's 1972 special-effects show was a mytho-poetic take on unintended consequences. (Posted October 4)

QUIZ: STAR CAPTAINS — On the opening day of VCON 39, Reeling Back offered this quiz, inviting science-fiction film fans to test their knowledge of the many Canadian actors who have commanded starships on the big theatre screen. (Posted October 3)

THE FANTASTIC PLANET — Originally titled La planete sauvage, this imaginatively alien 1974 animated feature was among the European contributions to the flowering of "adult" animation that made cinema so interesting in the mid-1970s. (Posted October 3)