The planet on screen


By Karen Fredericks

Anima Mundi, the latest work from Godfrey Reggio, writer, director and producer of the unforgettable films Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi, will screen at the Sydney Film Festival's special "Green Screen" event on June 25.

Together with composer Philip Glass, Reggio has produced a breathtaking 30-minute tribute to life on our planet in three movements, a representation of the unity and diversity of life which fills the senses and proceeds directly to the spirit.

The film was produced as part of the World Wide Fund for Nature's biological diversity campaign, thanks to a donation from the international jeweller, Paolo Bvlgari.

Also screening at Green Screen is Werner Herzog's dark portrait of Kuwait after the Gulf War. Lessons of Darkness is an impressionistic look at the ecological and human devastation left by war. It contains images which appear to be of another world, but are, sadly, of this — a world set on fire and burning at a temperature in excess of 1000 degrees celsius.

The third Green Screen film stands in stark contrast to the other two. Saviours of the Forest is the true story of two Californian "camera guys" who are sick of the tacky video jobs they are doing in LA and want to use their skills for good instead of evil. Following a run-in with (US) ABC News, which threatened to sue them for infringement of copyright over their use of environmental news stories in educational packages, they head off to Ecuador to do their bit to save the rainforest.

Saviours is a very likeable, homey film about very likeable guys trying to find the ways to do the right thing about the environment. Their commitment and honesty lead them, and hopefully their audience, to some pretty radical conclusions.

Green Screen takes place on Friday, June 25, at 11 p.m. at the State Theatre in Sydney. Tickets are $21, or $45 for all three special festival screenings (Including Spinal Rap and Secret Love). Ring 660 3844 for bookings.

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