In today’s Wall Street Journal, critic Joe Morgenstern discusses his picks for the “Best of 2007: For This Year’s Movies, Small Was Beautiful.” His short list includes “MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES,” a documentary by filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal. Morgenstern states: “Including a documentary that almost no one has seen may seem like an affectation, but my hope is to get you to see “Manufactured Landscapes,” not to impress you with the fashionable obscurity of my tastes. Discovering Jennifer Baichwal’s film at the New Zealand Film Festival earlier this year – it also played briefly in this country – was a perception-changing experience. Inspired by the work of the Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky, “Manufactured Landscapes” starts with an eight-minute tracking shot down one aisle of a Chinese factory the size of a small town. Then it follows Mr. Burtynsky on a tour of industrial Asia in order to show – without polemics – the scale of man’s activities, and the impact they’re having on our planet. I thought I had some sense of that impact until I saw this astonishing doc.”
This award-winning film is available on DVD; click here for information.
And don’t miss the NYT’s special series on China’s industrial revolution “Choking On Growth” – the facts, and the images, like Burtynsky’s, are staggering.