Sunday, July 12, 2009

Movie Recs
Last week, I caught Food, Inc. My earlier fear about being too grossed out to be effective did not bear out. Certainly there are unpleasant images, but nothing as graphic as I expected from the NYTimes review. In general, it's a good film - but not a great one. If you haven't read Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma, and feel confident you never will, perhaps there will be more new perspective here for you than there was for me. If you have read it, some of the images and interviews will reinforce the book (including extensive screen time with Joel Salatin, who runs Polyface Farms, the focus of about 1/4 of the book). There were a few new and horrifying things - or at least I had forgotten them if they are in the book - emphasized here, especially discussion of Monsanto's vigorous - no, ruthless - enforcement of seed patents. For me, that was the emotional apex of the film.

Recommended. But it's not a great, great documentary like, perhaps, the material desperately needs. I have to say, too, that it's pretty depressing. As I've told others, I came out of it in many ways more hopeless than I did walking out of the Al Gore movie, which was pretty darned scary. I had a real sense of having nowhere to honorably turn, just competing bad options to varying degree.

Second, I saw "Moon", which was fascinating and well done as a sci-fi film on a budget. If you can get past a couple of front-end implausible things, it's a compelling story. If anything, I wished it was longer, to spend more time on some of the psychological issues raised which really should have been more intensely explored by the character(s?) in question. As it is, much of that is left to us.

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