A film student's recommendations, reviews and essays on motion pictures new and old
SPOIL: A-December 2nd, 2011 at Fri, 2nd, 2011 at 2:12 pm by samuelhwolfe
SPOIL is a spectacular film that I suspect will soon gather a lot of attention now that it’s finishing its run with the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour. Here is an excerpt from Banff’s website:
“The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour brings Banff to audiences around the globe. Immediately after the Festival ends in November, a selection of the best films go on tour across Canada, the United States, and internationally from Scotland to South Africa to China, Japan, New Zealand, Antarctica, and points in between. Each year, the films travel to 32 countries reaching more than 245,000 people at over 635 screenings.”
SPOIL tells the story of ten world famous photographers and videographers on a fourteen day expedition across the Canadian rain forest on a Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition (RAVE). The purpose of this RAVE (and the film as a whole) is to document the unspeakable beauty of the area’s natural surroundings and the richness of its ever present native culture. Their hope is that vivid images supplemented by disturbing information about the composition of oil at proposed drill sites will hault negotiations of a oil pipeline which would run through the rain forest. Such a pipeline would require enormous oil tankers to navigate the dangerous waters, and a catastrophic spill could potentially exterminate the native people’s way of life.
Multiple ships have already wrecked attempting to navigate the complicated and deceiving waters of the Canadian coast, including the Canadian ferry boat, MV Queen of the North. Two lives were lost in the accident and the toxins spilled from the vessel resulted in an extensive cleanup process and the loss of many native wildlife.
To get a feel for the type of photos taken by the photographers, here are a few of the photos taken during the RAVE. The following photographs were taken by Thomas P. Peschak:
The most fascinating element of the movie concerns an animal known as the Kermode Bear, or Spirt Bear as the natives call it. This bear is a white, Black Bear. Yes, a Black Bear whose fur is white. Their color stems from a recessive gene in the animals. However, they are not albino as many would seem to think at first glance. National Geographic estimates that only 400-1000 Spirit Bears exist today. The Native people of the Great Bear Rainforest wisely never spoke of the Spirit Bear’s existence to hunters or tourists in order to ensure its survival through generations. The team of photographers and videographers consider quality images of the Spirit Bear vital to the project because hey, who doesn’t love bears? Especially big furry white bears. The emphasis the filmmakers place on the Spirit Bear is a highly effective rhetorical strategy.
People from the Pacific Northwest will particularly enjoy this movie because of the justice it does to the beauty of the area they live in. SPOIL will also appeal to any fan of visual art because it is unique in the way it uses film as a medium to show photographers’ efforts to capture still images.We get to see the subjects through the video camera lens and then we get to see the final product from the still cameras. It’s pretty awesome, and certainly not you’re average nature film.
You can view the film online if you click on the link below: