Logo Utrecht University

Green Media Studies

Green Media: Film Series 2019

In September and October 2019, the Green Media course lecturers organized a film series that exhibited some of the most influential ecocritical cinematographic works of the past 25 years across a variety of genres. All seven screenings and the corresponding films are described in detail below.

The films were shown in the MCW Lab at Muntstraat 2a and, during two weeks, at the Drift 21 in room 0.32.

For further questions, contact j.raessens@uu.nl.

Independent Film

1) 9 September: Captain Fantastic (2016, Matt Ross, USA, 178 min.) Introduction by Elize de Mul MA (Utrecht University) – Language: English; Subtitles: Dutch

Time: 15.30 – 18.00 TRAILER
Location: Entrance at Muntstraat 2A, MCW-LAB (Grote zaal KNG20)
About the film:
Ben Cash, his wife Leslie and their six children live in the Washington wilderness. Ben and Leslie are former anarchist activists disillusioned with capitalism and American life, and chose to instill survivalist skills, left wing politics, and philosophy in their children – educating them to think critically, training them to be self-reliant, physically fit and athletic, guiding them without technology, demonstrating the beauty of coexisting with nature and celebrating Noam Chomsky’s birthday instead of Christmas…

Mainstream Hollywood

2) 16 September: Avatar (2009, James Cameron, USA, 162 min. [regular edition]) Introduction by Prof. dr. Joost Raessens (Media Theory, Utrecht University) – Language: English; Subtitles: Dutch or English

Time: 15.30 – 18.00 Trailer
Location: Entrance at Muntstraat 2A, MCW-LAB (Grote zaal KNG20)
About the film:
When his brother is killed in a robbery, paraplegic Marine Jake Sully decides to take his place in a mission on the distant world of Pandora. There he learns of greedy corporate figurehead Parker Selfridge’s intentions of driving off the native humanoid “Na’vi” in order to mine for the precious material scattered throughout their rich woodland. In exchange for the spinal surgery that will fix his legs, Jake gathers intel for the cooperating military unit spearheaded by gung-ho Colonel Quaritch, while simultaneously attempting to infiltrate the Na’vi people with the use of an “avatar” identity. While Jake begins to bond with the native tribe and quickly falls in love with the beautiful alien Neytiri, the restless Colonel moves forward with his ruthless extermination tactics, forcing the soldier to take a stand – and fight back in an epic battle for the fate of Pandora.

Documentary

3) 23 September: An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (2017, Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, USA, 98 min.) Introduction by Dr. Stefan Werning (New Media & Game Studies, Utrecht University) – Language: English; Subtitles: Dutch or English

Time: 17.15 – 21.00 TRAILER
Location: Drift 21, room 0.32
About the film:
A sequel to The Inconvenient Truth, the follow-up documentary addresses the progress made to tackle the problem of climate change and Al Gore’s global efforts to persuade governmental leaders to invest in renewable energy, culminating in the landmark signing of 2016’s Paris Climate Agreement. In June 2017, the filmmakers told TheWrap that following President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, they would re-edit the film to expand Trump’s role as antagonist, before its release.


4) 30 September: This Changes Everything (2015, Avi Lewis/Naomi Klein, Canada, USA, 89 min.) Introduction by Prof. dr. Joost Raessens (Media Theory, Utrecht University) – Language: English; Subtitles: Dutch or English

Time: 15.30 – 18.00 TRAILER
Location: Entrance at Muntstraat 2A, MCW-LAB (Grote zaal KNG20)

About the film:
What if confronting the climate crisis is the best chance we’ll ever get to build a better world? Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and five continents over four years, This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change. The film presents seven portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond. Interwoven with these stories of struggle is Naomi Klein’s narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. Throughout the film, Klein builds to her most controversial and exciting idea: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.

Animation

5) 7 October: Moana (2016, Ron Clements and John Musker, USA, 107 min.) Introduction by Dr. Dan Hassler-Forest (Media Studies, Utrecht University) – Language: English; Subtitles: Dutch or English

Time: 15.30 – 18.00 TRAILER
Location: Entrance at Muntstraat 2A, MCW-LAB (Grote zaal KNG20)

About the film:
Moana Waialiki is a sea voyaging enthusiast and the only daughter of a chief in a long line of navigators. When her island’s fishermen can’t catch any fish and the crops fail, she learns that the demigod Maui caused the blight by stealing the heart of the goddess, Te Fiti. The only way to heal the island is to persuade Maui to return Te Fiti’s heart, so Moana sets off on an epic journey across the Pacific. The film is based on stories from Polynesian mythology.

Science-Fiction

6) 14 October: Snowpiercer  (2013, Joon-ho Bong, South Korea, Czech Republic, 126 min.) Introduction by Prof. Dr. Gerald Farca (Macromedia University, Leipzig) – Language: TBD; Subtitles: TBD

Time: 17.15 – 21.00 TRAILER
Location: Drift 21, room 0.32
About the film:
Snowpiercer is based on French graphic novel, “Le Transperceneige” and a dystopian vision of how climate change may affect humankind. After a failed attempt to cool down Earth, temperatures have fallen and plunged the planet into an ice age. To survive, humankind constructed a train, the Snowpiercer, as their last escape. With 1001 wagons in length, harboring the last of us, the train is set on an endless course around the planet, but also exposes its passengers to the most sinister outbursts of human nature. Whereas the rich and noble live in the in luxury and in the train’s front, the poor and wicked find themselves in the back. As a microcosm of our capitalist system, then, cramped into the confines of a train, this state of affairs naturally evokes revolution and the attempt to bring down the status quo.

Anime

7) 21 October: Princess Mononoke [Mononoke-Hime] (1997, Hayao Miyazaki, Japan, 134 min.) Introduction by Rik Spanjers (Languages, Literature & Communication, Utrecht University) – Language: English and Japanese; Subtitles: English

Time: 15.30 – 18.00 TRAILER
Location: Entrance at Muntstraat 2A, MCW-LAB (Grote zaal KNG20)
About the film:
While protecting his village from a rampaging boar-god/demon, confident young warrior Ashitaka is stricken by a deadly curse. To save his life, he must journey to the forests of the west. There, he is embroiled in a fierce campaign that humans are waging on the forest. The ambitious Lady Eboshi and her loyal clan use their guns against the gods of the forest and a brave young woman, Princess Mononoke, who herself was raised by a wolf-god. Ashitaka sees the good in both sides and tries to prevent bloodshed; yet, he encounters animosity from both sides as they both see him as supporting the enemy.