Archive for the “Sundance Channel” Category


June 26, 2009
Sundance Channel
85 Minutes
Ian Connacher

Documentary about how human’s love and use of plastic, the world’s most versatile substance, is choking the planet. I thought it might make me feel bad about my water bottles, but it goes much deeper. The difficulty of recycling bottles which have different kinds of plastic used for their body and the cap. We look at pristine beaches that are clean, then the next day, covered in washed up plastic. The filmmaker head out to one of the earth’s five swirling ocean sights where plastic congregates due to the currents–something I’ve always wanted to see. It was a four day boat ride, and once they got there, they began collecting items. The actual area of trash is huge–about the size of Alaska, so the pieces were still one-at-a-time and not a huge pile like I may have been expecting. They do take a huge net and drag it behind the boat where it collects tiny pellets of plastic which fish mistaken for eggs. As one of the Greenpeace people say, the ocean looks crystal clear, but is completely full of plastic pellets that animals eat. We go to India where villagers make new items out of old plastic bags. There is a Himalayan village where plastic bags have been outlawed by a forward-thinking panel of elders.

There is some cause for optimism. A guy somewhere in America takes all kinds of trash, even the grossest stuff, and makes it into railroad ties, which last longer than wooden ones. These ties are the exact same size in every country on earth. Another man shreds stuff down into such tiny pieces that it becomes a mulch that plants can thrive in. Two men are shown “eating” a plastic they devised by using plant cells.

Much like the guys in KING CORN tested their own lives and bodies to learn the influence of corn in their lives, the filmmaker in this case gives us a tour of his small apartment and labels all the things made from plastic. I dare you to do it in your own homes. Yikes.

Link to film info is here.

Addicted to Plastic @ Amazon


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July 20, 2002

Sundance Channel



A film director imagines or remembers four stories involving partings between a man and a woman.

John Malkovich. Irene Jacob (RED). Sophie Marceau (BRAVEHEART). Vincent Perez. Jean Reno (THE PROFESSIONAL). Peter Weller (is ROBOCOP). Marcello Mastroianni. Jeanne Moreau.

Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni and Wim Wenders.

Beautiful and dreamy series of stories about love, both passionate and unrequited. Malkovich plays a filmmaker who observes the pairings going on around him and he gets to partake in one himself. The little scenes in between the stories were directed by Wenders and they have that beautiful, bird’s-eye-view, crane manipulation-type shot that he’s become famous for. Malkovich does the voiceover in English, but switches to French for his scene. Peter Weller who is best known for being Robocop, does his entire character in French. This is a truly international production using international actors speaking three different languages. This film also stars two of the world’s most beautiful women and one unknown to me, but who instantly rocketed to the top of the list. Irene Jacob plays a straight-laced woman who is followed by a hunky man to a church while they talk about love and satisfaction. Sophie Marceau is almost hard to look at, she’s so beautiful, and Malkovich finds that simply going into a clothing boutique will eventually get him in the sack with her. And as this is a European film, we see _all_ of Marceau in her love scene. There are arguments and infidelity and teasing and beautiful bodies and mistresses and passionate sex and tearful goodbyes. The music is great, the locations beautiful, though usually cloudy, and the photography stunning.

The first vignette starred an Italian woman named Ines Sastre, who is absolutely stunning. She’s like a more beautiful, thinner Cindy Crawford, with stronger eyebrows and Italian flair. Holy cow.

This is a good one to watch when you’re already sort of tired. It’s dreamy.

** Halliwell’s

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Written by Michael W. Cummins