Film Review: ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ is one nasty, vulgar film about nasty, vulgar people– for 3 hours!
December 26, 2013
Despite his status as a big time Hollywood director, Martin Scorsese deserves consideration as an auteur who can still assert his independent ethos to produce work that does not neatly fall into the category of classical Hollywood cinema. Sadly, his latest work reveals what can go wrong when such a talent goes unchecked. There’s something rather soulless and harrowing about his latest picture, The Wolf of Wall Street. It reveals the travesty of self-indulgence on many levels, and the ultimate victim is the viewer.
The news in advance of this film was it needed to be cut back from an original four-hour run-time. Recently Scorsese’s longtime editor, Thelma Schoonmaker, participated in an interview where she revealed Scorsese had considered releasing the Wolf in two parts (read the interview). One can only wonder how much easier to swallow the film might have been in two doses and whether there had been some subtlety lost in cutting out an hour’s worth of material for the endurance test that ultimately saw release. Might the repetitive Bacchanalia seemed less redundant? Could there have been some actual character development that allowed you to care for the asshole dweebs that constantly rampage across the screen?
The film follows the rise and fall of coke-snorting, lude-popping, prostitute-fucking, slick-talking king swindler Jordan Belfort (a kinetic, unrelenting Leonardo DiCaprio). His talents are revealed during orgies and phone conversations, not to mention several speeches to his crew. For three grueling hours, the Wolf of Wall Street agonizingly drones on toward an inevitable conclusion that just does not come soon enough. Why did this film have to carry on so long and feature so many monologues by such a despicable character? I just wanted to see this asshole jailed already. Instead of feeling moved by the slight crash down to earth for this character, by the end, all I felt was relief that this mean movie had ended.
The film is a satirical affair based on a real human being and his autobiography, also titled The Wolf of Wall Street. Belfort was one of those late ‘80s masters of the universe who eschewed any sense of principle for maximum profit. “Was any of this legal?” he says. “Absolutely not.” He worked his way toward the big fish investors by offering penny stocks in unreal shiny packages of bullshit. The slimy con man reels them in using only words and enthusiasm. It doesn’t matter what junk he peddles, they buy it (Belfort has since moved on to become a motivational speaker). The investors invest in crap, and Belfort reaps the commission.
Soon, Jordan has created an industry using just a telemarketing script and a stable of petty drug dealers eager to learn the language that will sucker almost anyone to give up their money. Over the course of the film, we only watch Belfort grow richer. He upgrades his car, his house, his boat and even his wife. All the while, the film gives him nary a redeeming moment to even give one shit about him.
The decadence of after-work parties that include orgies in the office as soon as trading stops are complexly choreographed affairs that will leave you reeling in disgust or delight as horror and humor collide with a reckless sense of tone. Cocaine and Quaaludes freely flow, as does degradation of humanity, particularly to women. Greed is the ultimate motivator for both the wolves and the prey. Early in the film, during one party at the office a woman takes center stage to have her long hair shaved off for $10,000, which she plans to spend on breast implants. It’s a moment of stark depravity that has a rather tragic resonance for any sense of pity for these characters.
For much of the film, you follow Jordan at the height of his most unsympathetic. One cannot even call this man a misanthrope. He’s just an asshole. There is never a moment where he struggles with his conscience. The film never seems to consider the victims. All we know of them are their muffled voices on the other side of a telephone lines. Jordan speaks to them of the riches they are bound to gain while giving the phone receiver a stiff quavering middle finger and silently mouthing the words “fuck you!” while his lackeys gather around and snicker. Jordan seems to hate his customers for their greed, despite how much of his own greed he is satisfying.
It’s a smart depiction, but after seven or eight similar examples featuring gimmicky, jokey scenes that includes cocaine snorted off ass cracks, Jordan’s right-hand Donnie (Jonah Hill) whipping out his dick in the middle of a party to beat off to Jordan’s future next wife (Margot Robbie) and Jordan experimenting with a dominatrix who sodomizes him with a candle, the point is made. It doesn’t matter whether you change the music, the setting or vary the speed of the film. There needs to be a sense of something beyond the greed preying on the greedy to merit this film’s languorous duration of indulgence, otherwise it all just feels voyeuristic, inane, cruel and pointless.
One of the film’s few interesting moments happens way too late to redeem this film. After OD-ing on Quaaludes at a country club, Jordan crashes so hard he calls it a “cerebral palsy high.” Just then, an emergency that could incriminate his racket arises, and he must drag himself to his Lamborghini during a moment of drawn-out slapstick. When he arrives at home, after crawling down the street, he feels some pride at having driven the car the one mile without even scratching it. The following morning, however, it’s another story.
That duality of perspective is essential to contrast the often romantic presentation of the character’s slash and burn ride to his mountain of millions. It’s a shame Scorsese cannot present enough moments like this. When the final scene arrives, offering a hint of a more grounded world featuring more common men, it’s just too late. You have to wonder where these people were throughout the entirety of much of this high-pitched movie, which screeches along like some speed metal album without any dynamics.
There’s just hardly any sense of humanity in The Wolf of Wall Street. The film feels like watching voracious garbage disposers noisily grind up refuse. You’re just glad when the noise finally stops and all that trash has run its course. All you’re left with, in the end, however, is a greasy residue of emptiness. One should expect more from the director who gave us Taxi Driver and Goodfellas.
The Wolf of Wall Street runs 180 minutes and is rated R (beyond unchecked Scorsese, there’s lots more to be offended by). It opened pretty much everywhere in the U.S. yesterday, Dec. 25. Paramount Pictures hosted a preview screening for the purpose of this review.
December 24, 2013
I don’t think I realized how much I loved the new film directed by Ben Stiller, the Secret Life of Walter Mitty, until I read the final draft of my review and handed it over to Hollywood.com. It was quite a ride to that final punctuation mark of the piece.
When I first sat through the film, I was first turned off by the contrived, over-the-top fantasy sequences where our titular hero (played by Stiller) escapes when he “zones out.” It felt as though the filmmakers were going for the easy, stupid laughs many of Stiller’s films often seem to lean on. However, something really brilliant was happening here. Stiller means to offer up some of the silliest moments early in the film to transcend them with a rather grand statement on escapism.
And it’s not just escaping into fantasy land Stiller aims to satirize, it’s also escaping through technology or taking short cuts in life or even following dumb fashion trends that subvert a sense of self (look to Adam Scott‘s nefarious bully of a boss for that example). After a cute fantasy sequence where a lonely Walter, stuck in a godforsaken bar in Iceland, conjures up his work crush (a sweet, low key Kristen Wiig) to sing him David Bowie’s 1969 hit “Space Oddity” (which Walter refers to as “Major Tom”), there’s a tonal shift that adapts to Walter’s new outlook on life.
The film seems to have left critics mixed, some cite that tonal shift as a problem (see the Rotten Tomatoes rating here). But it’s actually a strength of the film, which requires that shift to stay true to the growth of the character. You can read my review for a more positive take. Jump through to Hollywood.com for the full review:
Here’s the trailer:
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty runs 114 minutes and is rated PG (I can’t recall anything offensive about it). It opens pretty much everywhere in the U.S. tomorrow, Dec. 25. My Hollywood.com review also appears on Movietickets.com, where you can enter your zip code to find the closest theater hosting screenings. Fox Searchlight hosted a preview screening for the purpose of this review.
With their new film Inside Llewyn Davis, the Coen Brothers show a profound understanding of the existential quandary of musicians. As a longtime chronicler of the local Miami music scene, I have met many talented musicians who have fallen on one side of the fine line of recognition versus the other. In between there are many levels of accomplishments that defy such black and white notions as success versus failure. Whoever thinks becoming a recognizable musician defines success will miss out on the divine subtlety of Inside Llewyn Davis.
One could think of musicians as inter-dimensional travelers. They can move between two distinct worlds: the world of music and the conventional world non-musicians known. With their latest film, the Coens take the viewer Inside Llewyn Davis with only one special effect: the music. Actor/musician and Miami native Oscar Isaac does a stunning job of playing the titular character, a folk singer on the famed Greenwich Village circuit of the early 1960s whose blossoming talent seems doomed to ruin at every turn.
The film opens with a close up view of the bearded Llewyn, softly singing “Hang Me, Oh Hang Me,” a traditional folk song that has never been attributed to a writer. The camera closes real tight, as he strums an acoustic guitar and sings the entire, dreary song to a darkened, crowded, yet silent cafe. Something almost religious is happening as Llewyn sings and strums. The lyrics speak of a life rich in experience but destined to be cut short by an executioner.
They put the rope around my neck, they hung me very high.
The very last words I heard them say, “It won’t be long ’til you die, poor boy.”
I’ve been all around this world.
The Coens have admitted to modeling Davis’ character on Dave Van Ronk, an obscure folk artist essential to the Greenwich Village folk scene (just look at this album cover). Van Ronk was known for a purist’s interest in the oral history of folk songs such as “Hang Me.” It’s an example of music that has so overshadowed its composer, no definitive record of its songwriter exists, an ironic touch that’s no accident in the detailed world of the Coens.
The Coen brothers’ interest in a musician who sings such a song foretells what sort of man, outside the music, Llewyn is destined to become. What follows is a journey both pathetic and sublime. It’s sublime in those moments the filmmakers allow for the songs, affectionately produced by T-Bone Burnett, to unfold, always in their entirety, as Llewyn dives into the realm of music and seems to exist in another almost divine world that has a different language and sense of time. Then there are the moments outside the music that reveals a rather sad and sometimes angry life of the homeless folk singer, who must spend much of his energy in search of a friendly couch to sleep on during the snowy winter of the Northeast while also peddling his musical talents.
Llewyn has an incompetent manager who seems far from invested in Llewyn’s music and an irascible sister (Jeanine Serralles) annoyed with his pursuit of art instead of a more practical career. Then there’s Jean (Carey Mulligan), one half of the married sunny singing duo Jim & Jean. She has two-timed Jim (Justin Timberlake) with Llewyn, and she’s angry with Llewyn for maybe getting her pregnant. She flings “fucking asshole” at him like it’s his first name, and Llewyn takes it with hangdog pathos.
Meanwhile, Llewyn tries to eke out a living from his art, which includes a sincere, almost virtuous repertoire of folk songs, including one song that dates back to the 18th century (“Fare Thee Well”). He’s a Luddite musician who hates the idea of selling out yet aspires for some level of success. He’s so haunted by his desire to make an honest, authentic mark, even vandalism in a toilet stall has resonance. “What are you doing?” the universe seems to ask him, adding another heavy ounce of pressure to the matter.
It’s not accidental that Llewyn’s name sounds like Lou and Davis, something belligerent, misanthropic jazz musician and heroin addict Roland Turner (John Goodman doing a harrowing impression of Doc Pomus) so casually notes. Llewyn is a man missing his other half, as is revealed literally early in the film, when he looks at a corny record cover featuring him and another musician, who has met a rather sad, untimely demise. Beyond a literal sense of Llewyn existing as one half of a duo, he is also figuratively half a man when not performing, incomplete without the music. He’s the ideal noble warrior for the purest reason of artistic expression.
Between naps in the backseat of a car, Roland pokes at Llewyn, shaving down his esteem with insults that Llewyn shakes off with annoyed, quiet resentment. He puts up with the troll of a man, as he is providing the ride to Chicago where he hopes to audition for an important manager named Bud Grossman (F. Murray Abraham). Once again, the Coens offer a shadow of greatness as this manager shares a name and an implied history of the impresario who became Bob Dylan’s manager, Albert Grossman. When Llewyn makes an opportunity to audition for Grossman, it’s a reference to how close he has come to achieving the success he so yearns for. So often the line between success and failure depends on being at the right place at the right time, and no other film captures this with so much melancholy and depth.
Besides a subtle and distinctive sense of humor and pathos to the narrative, the Coens again prove they know how to create an absorbing cinematic atmosphere. Art director Deborah Jensen and costume designer Mary Zophres have worked together to achieve this sepia-toned world of a lost time (and lost opportunity) that is both vintage chic and ghostly somber. Then there’s the cinematography by Bruno Delbonnel. The image often looks soft and the gray area in which this man exists never blended so well between the black and white. It’s the perfect complement to the muted vision of a world that revolutionized popular music at the time. It befits the unlucky Llewyn, who merely seems a passenger on this ride to near glory. After all, we all know there’s someone else besides him waiting in the shadows to transcend this scene.
Inside Llewyn Davis runs 105 min. and is rated R (for cussing and sexual references). The only art house that has it in South Florida is the Coral Gables Art Cinema, where it opens this Friday, Dec. 20. As for the multiplexes in South Florida showing the film, they include:
AMC Sunset Place
Regal South Beach
Cinemark Boynton Beach
Paragon Jupiter 18
But the best seat to see to see the film in South Florida, as ever, is the Coral Gables Art Cinema. CBS Films invited me to a preview screening for the purpose of awards consideration. Those living in other parts of the U.S. can insert their zip code here for nearby theaters hosting this film.
(Copyright 2013 by Hans Morgenstern. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)
December 12, 2013
More than two years, since it took the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film, Aleksandr Sokurov’s Faust finally arrives in Miami theaters. The film lost steam soon after its somewhat controversial win, beating such hyped films that as Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, the George Clooney-directed The Ides of March and David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method. Thankfully, the obscure film distributor Leisure Time Films has stepped in to present the film in U.S. art houses. As the years passed, while Faust remained in limbo, Sokurov’s film remains one of the most unusual cinematic experiences adventurous film lovers can expect from 2013’s crop of movies.
The latest and supposedly final film in his tetralogy exploring the corrupting effect of power, Sokurov’s take on Goethe’s classic version of the German legend is a visually stunning work. The story has never been depicted with as surreal a touch as this film, yet it never forsakes the morality of the classic tale, making the struggle between good and evil feel visceral and innate to a disturbing degree. Despite the dark theme, Sokurov, best known for his one-take epic at the Hermitage, Russian Ark, does not forget the beauty of life, for this film offers rich instances of beguiling imagery in juxtaposition to the horror Dr. Faust must face in his quest for evidence that the soul exists.
Despite its rapid-fire dialogue, Sokurov knows better than to use words as substitute for the literature. There is no rhyme scheme in the chatter as with Goethe’s source material. Though Sokurov still places the film in the time and place of Goethe (Early 19th Century Germany), there are dramatic compromises in the story that emphasize the director’s interest in looking at the duality of man. As with any film adaptation based on literature, changes are inevitable, but what matters is how true to the theme the director maintains his film version. In Sokurov’s Faust, evil does not come from the outside in the form of the devil but from within. In the place of Mephistopheles, Sokurov introduces a scraggly old man called Moneylender (Anton Adasinsky) to seduce Faust in his quest for knowledge of the ultimate understanding.
Heinrich Faust is played with an edge-of-madness desperation by Johannes Zeiler, a man on a zealous quest for a sense of transcendence beyond the physical world. We meet him after a close up of a rotten penis, as he disassembles a corpse. He is not as interested in rotting guts as much as the place in the body that might harbor a man’s soul. He loses sleep over this obsession. His father, who is also a doctor and is treating a patient for back pain by strapping him to a rack, shrugs off his son’s concerns, saying, “It’s all matter.” Then the Moneylender wanders into his life, showing invincibility to hemlock. Intrigued, Faust tags along with him, and a great dialogue unfolds across bizarre adventure of murder, lust and greed.
Sokurov is interested in creating a cinematographic compliment to the literature of Goethe. The art of cinema meanwhile lies in the visuals, and what a lush, florid film Sokurov has created. The tight, 4:3 aspect ratio, with rounded corners enhance the film’s claustrophobic quality.
The cinematography by Bruno Delbonnel proves essential to the film’s mesmerizing quality. This is a talent who brought a certain flavor to films by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amélie and A Very Long Engagement) and Tim Burton (Dark Shadows). Most recently he worked with the Coen Brothers on what’s sure to be one of the great films of 2013, Inside Llewyn Davis (my review is coming next week). The lighting is sometimes so expressive, some frames look like a Brueghel painting. Beautiful newcomer Isolda Dychauk plays Faust’s love interest Margarete. She is so ideally shot, she sometimes looks like a wax figure.
The camera work feels as important to the film as the dialogue. It enhances the film’s surreal atmosphere with a soft, shallow focus and a seemingly random use of shifting aspect ratios within scenes. There are moments when the characters are warped diagonally, pulled from one corner to another, as they are squeezed into the academy aspect ratio of the frame. It’s a hyper-realized version of the Dutch angle that not only shows something wicked may be afoot, but also spiritually wrong from within these people.
The film may challenge some. The subtitles slip by sometimes as fast as the banter. The stunning imagery, including costumes and set pieces, are so luscious they may pull your attention from the dialogue. In the end, as Faust travels down a spiral toward a discomforting realization of evil that may be in contrast to what you think you see on-screen, you may feel as if you stepped out of a two-hour version of Mad Hatter’s Tea Cup ride at Disney World. But it’s so worth it.
Faust runs 134 minutes, is in German with English subtitles and is unrated (note: it’s gory, sensual and dark). It opens in our area at the Miami Beach Cinematheque, Cinema Paradiso-Hollywood and Cinema Paradiso-Fort Lauderdale this Friday, Dec. 13. The following Friday, Dec. 17, it opens at the MDCulture Art Cinema at Koubek Theater in Miami. The Miami Beach Cinematheque hosted a preview screening for the purposes of this review. Faust only recently began its U.S. run and will continue to open in other theaters into 2014, for screening dates in other parts of the U.S., visit the film’s official website.
November 29, 2013
Though it would have found a fine home on this blog, I was able to write a review for the new Alexander Payne film, Nebraska for Hollywood.com, a gig I haven’t really announced on this blog, as I have mostly written reviews for pop culture films. They include the following films (all titles link direct to those reviews, where I am required to give scale ratings in the form of stars [halves count, so it's a 1 - 10 scale], so I’ve added the ratings to the titles):
- Frozen ****
- The Fifth Estate * 1/2
- Rush *** 1-2
- Insidious: Chapter 2 ***
- Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 ** 1/2
- The Butler ****
- Disney’s Planes ***
But Nebraska was the first true indie-oriented film I’ve had a chance to write about for the pop culture site. It follows Woody Grant (a brilliantly subtle Bruce Dern playing cantankerous and vulnerable) on a Captain Ahab-like journey to claim a million-dollar prize he may or may not know he has even won.
You can read the review by jumping through the website’s logo below (and see what rating I gave it):
But this is about Nebraska, a nice, low-key film I think has not generated the attention it really deserves, as it opens only in one multiplex in South Florida and not a single art house. It’s not a perfect film, but it features some amazing performances by Dern, Will Forte and June Squibb. Stacy Keach also appears, who Payne taps for his signature menacing quality. He also becomes an easy sort of bad guy as Woody’s family grows more endearing despite the continued appearances of their shortcomings, like one surprising matryoshka doll after another.
Nebraska is rated R (there’s only some common cussing) and runs 115 minutes. It opened in South Florida Thursday, Nov. 28, at the Regal South Beach Stadium 18. Meanwhile, in other parts of the U.S., it may already be playing at a theater near you; visit the film’s website and enter your zip code to find out here.
November 27, 2013
Paolo Sorrentino’s new film, the Great Beauty, Italy’s entry for the foreign language Oscar competition, follows Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo) a celebrity writer learning to come to terms with his own irrelevance, as he reaches his 65th birthday. It has been decades since he wrote his only book, the pretentiously titled “Human Apparatus.” People still ask when he will follow it up. Meanwhile, he stays busy with celebrity interviews and parties.
Early in the film, a motley crew of party goers gathers to line dance, drink and laugh to pulsing electro beats and perky pop dance songs in celebration of Jep’s birthday. Lorena (Serena Grandi of Tinto Brass fame) bursts from a cake in the shape of the Coliseum with a number six on her right breast and five on her left. When one party goer cannot recognize the aged, rotund and boisterous woman, another party goer explains, she’s “an ex TV showgirl now in full physical and mental decline.” Both young and old mix together with a unified aspiration to both live it up and cover up their inadequacies. A group tosses a well-dressed older, female dwarf in the air.
Anyone familiar with the filmography of Federico Fellini will find it hard to resist comparisons. Many a surreal scene peppers the film, and the transitions between scenes feel associative, as if following dream logic. Jep could easily be seen as an older version of Marcello of La Dolce Vita, who travels circles of debauchery in Rome to come to his own sublime revelation at the end of that 1960 classic, which gave popular culture the accursed term “paparazzi.”
But as the Great Beauty moves along, a sense of humanity and even dignity overshadows the decadence. We soon learn the dwarf is the wizened editor of Jep, Dadina (Giovanna Vignola). Her short stature has only allowed her a better perspective for noticing the charms of life with humor and humility. Indeed, the Great Beauty in the title of the film is not so much a reference to the opulent imagery as what lies in the gaps. It’s a tremendous film rich not only in visual splendor but also existential angst.
Sorrentino has no interest in picking up where Fellini left off. He injects his characters with a raw yearning for fulfillment and purpose. His choice to focus on older characters is far from incidental. These people don’t only want to live. There is something much bigger at stake: they want to matter.
Ironically, the set pieces are vibrant with color and life. The ever-drifting camera of cinematographer Luca Bigazzi practically swings through the air, zooming in and pulling out, dancing to an unheard rhythm, as if it were the film’s virtual heartbeat. It does not hurt that the ancient city of Rome, where the ruins of the Coliseum make prominent appearances, is such an inherently beautiful site to see. On an intimate level, over his bed, the recurring image of Jep’s ceiling as a vast, undulating ocean stands as symbol of rebirth, as Jep’s thoughts often drift off to find memories to reconsider his life.
Jep drinks, parties and philosophizes with fellow sixty-something celebrities and sycophants. Along the way, he refines his appreciation for those he loves and those he loathes. All around him, time seems to creep along. Nostalgia for the past bubbles up and the pressure of following up his only novel haunts him. Cornered by both the past and the future, he must ultimately come to terms with loosening control of destiny so he might find the grace he pines for.
Servillo does a splendid job harnessing Jep’s conflicting traits of jaded, free-wheeling and vulnerable, as the film trudges along across a dynamic two-and-a-half-hour runtime that ultimately earns one of the most significant end title sequences ever committed to film. As a celebration of the visual form of cinema, this unassuming final note achieves a moment of transcendence that should be savored to the last second of its eight minutes by anyone who has learned something from the film’s brilliant finale: It is in the moments when we live, everything else is “blah, blah, blah.”
The Great Beauty runs 142 minutes, is in Italian with English subtitles and is unrated (there’s drugging, drinking, fucking, loving and living). It opens in our area at the Miami Beach Cinematheque, Bill Cosford Cinema in Coral Gables, MDCulture Art Cinema at Koubek Theater in Miami and Cinema Paradiso-Hollywood this Friday, Nov. 29.
Note: The Miami Beach Cinematheque hosted a preview screening for the purposes of this review. The MBC’s screening marks the beginning of its Italian film series “Cinema Made In Italy” that continues into April. An opening night rooftop party kicks it off at Highbar (click here for more information, including how to get into the party for free).
For screening dates of the Great Beauty in other parts of the U.S., visit the film’s official website and enter your zip code.
November 15, 2013
Life emanates from the smallest component. This is the premise of the new documentary Symphony of Soil, where even the most minuscule organisms are shown to have a big impact on our health, environment and the planet. The documentary is a well-researched thoughtful piece directed by Deborah Koons Garcia that presents a slew of passionate scientists unraveling the complex processes that make planet earth thrive. The focus is on soil and how this seemingly small and overlooked component is the basis for environmental success.
The documentary is a master class in the science and practice of sustainable farming. While we learn a lot, the information is not presented in a preachy, you-should-feel-guilty-for-how-you-are-currently-living kind of way. Indeed, unlike many of the environmentally aware/advocacy documentaries, A Symphony of Soil is informative without being heavy-handed. It is a well-organized piece that will also be quite enjoyable for those with a curious mind.
Cast as the protagonist, soil appears as something more than just dirt. Soil is the foundation from which life emanates. When one scientist takes an auger to one lush piece of ground it almost feels as though he is cutting into the fleshy skin of a giant animal. Koons Garcia’s accomplishment stems from the fact that she can create such a bond with an inanimate organism. The slew of experts and practitioners also are cast in the same passionate light about soil. Though the subject could easily induce boredom in some viewers, Koons Garcia’s treatment is uplifting and inspiring.
Through this documentary, Koons Garcia makes a point to show that the future is wide open; we can either continue to squander resources or try the various alternatives presented in the film. As it turns out, Koons Garcia does not tell us what to do but shows us what others are accomplishing. The alternatives are exciting, from a farmer in North Dakota who grew up in a farm and realized what traditional farming does to the earth, to an Indian farmer (Jaspal Singh Chattha) who waxes eloquent about the need for natural, sustainable compost and rails against the Green Revolution.
This is Koons Garcia’s second piece on the importance of environmental conservation. Her previous work The Future of Food was released in 2004, where she depicted the move towards genetically modified foods by agribusiness and the resistance from organic farmers.
Symphony of Soil runs 104 mins. Shotwell Media provided a DVD screener for the purposes of this review. You can catch it on DVD or catch one of the special screenings available near you. It is set to screen in Palm Beach, on Sunday, Nov. 17, at 3 p.m. at ArtsMuvico Parisian 20 & IMAX. Tickets can be purchased here. For a complete calendar of screenings around the country go here.