JWR Articles: Film/DVD - Plastic Earth | Orchestrator of Storms (Directors: Janice Overbeck, Jack Winch) - April 18, 2023 id="543337086">

Plastic Earth | Orchestrator of Storms

4.5 4.5

A pair of documentaries that will inspire thought and discussion

Plastic Earth
2022, 100 minutes
Janice Overbeck, Jack Winch
Four and one half stars

What’s a human to do?

Some things are designed to last forever: music, art, literature—hopefully—relationships. But garbage—notably plastics, worse still: microplastics—threaten to end the world as we think we enjoy it, one water bottle at a time.

Now in my 71st year, it probably won’t matter for me, but most certainly will for my two precocious granddaughters.

It’s not as if we haven’t seen this coming. The notion that all major rivers (notably the Yangtze) move tonnes of waste to oceans daily has been common knowledge for years. The hope that landfills would move the debris “out of sight out of mind”—with no chance to compost once the tarps have smothered the filth adding insult to injury around the planet, has only been partially alleviated by the recycling movement (of which some “fake” travesties have been documented).

So what’s the way forward?

In the film, suggestions ranging from stainless steel bottles (rather than plastic-lined ones), employing plant-based oils, shifting existing waste to containers via the Great Bubble Barrier, redesigning chemicals, implementing waste-to-energy strategies to removing plastics from clothing—or wearing them longer), all have their moment in the foggy sun.

But perhaps the most effective, worldwide response might be—to begin—putting cigarette butts in ashtrays and soft drink bottles in the trash, not tossed overboard. JWR

Orchestrator of Storms: The Fantastique World of Jean Rollin
2022, 122 minutes
Dima Ballin, Kat Ellinger
Three and one half stars

Dreams, memories and producers

I had never heard of French filmmaker Jean Rollin (1938-2010) until viewing this lovingly made tribute. With a catalogue of over 50 films, I was surprised, before learning that almost all of them were gothic horror, with much more than a smattering of pornographic sex thrown in at the behest of his producers (notably Sam Selsky).

Raised by an actor-director father (who fled the nest at an early age to seek the limelight rather than child-rearing) and a mother who then welcomed many literati into her bed, Jean was soon indoctrinated into the beguiling world of surrealism—1968 couldn’t come too soon.

After his first short, Les Amours Jaunes, was noticed by Maurice Lemaítre, a life in filmmaking was born.

Filled with dozens of clips (mostly bare-breasted women) and cheerleaders of both sexes (former stars and critics), the film soon lags with nothing more to say than “he’s great, why have you missed him?”

For me, I have no idea. JWR

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