Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Movies: Peak Oil Double Feature

There are some who believe that America's interventions in the Middle East are a result of our dependence on their oil. Notwithstanding the truth of that premise, today's two documentaries paint bleak portraits of what will happen to the U.S. when world oil production hits its peak...and then starts to decline...

Collapse



"Collapse" is essentially one long monologue delivered by Michael Ruppert, a former LAPD officer who has written about politics and energy crises for decades. Ruppert is filmed as if he was in an interrogation room: harsh lighting, a single lonely chair, and a skeptical inquisitor (the director, Chris Smith). During the course of the film's 82-minute runtime, Ruppert ruminates about ethanol, social unrest, and government debt, but mostly lays down his case that declining oil production will lead to the collapse of modern society.

It's a lot to swallow, of course, but that's part of the appeal - Ruppert senses that this will be the largest audience he'll ever have, and he packs several years worth of newsletter/blogpost alarmism into the documentary. If humanity really is doomed, at least we've doomed ourselves in the most thorough, complete way imaginable.

Rating: 6/10

Blind Spot



"Blind Spot" is a documentary about the modern world's inability (or unwillingness) to examine peak oil. The strongest moments of the movie come in the beginning, with stark shots of hundreds of cars and trucks gliding along busy freeways. If you know anything about the premise, it's a rather chilling opening.

Unfortunately, the movie somehow finds a way to make the total collapse of modern civilization boring; it dwells too much on the sociological aspects of why people ignore the world's dependence on fossil fuels, and doesn't spend enough time on the aftermath. Recommended for only the most hardcore, face-colander apocalypse-heads.

Rating: 4/10

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