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Green Carpet Premiere For Age of Stupid In Vancouver


By Robert Alstead - Posted on 09 October 2009

Franny Armstrong's climate change movie The Age of Stupid had its green carpet premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival on Tuesday night, with a medley of local luminaries from political, film, and television worlds.

Two mayors were here - including City of Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson (pictured above left) who arrived by bicycle. It wasn't just a gimmick. He's a regular cyclist. I know from my film.

Former British Columbia premier Mike Harcourt (pictured, centre) who is coming up with a plan to make Vancouver, according to the mayor, "the greenest city on the planet" by 2020, was also here.

And DeSmogBlog author James Hoggan was signing copies of his new book "Climate Cover-up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming".

I also rubbed shoulders with actors Charles Martin Smith (also director of Stone of Destiny), Tyge Runyan, Cassidy Freeman (Smallville), Logan Huffman, Chad Willett, and Christopher Shyer.

Longtime green activist Tzeporah Berman, of PowerUp Canada, compered the evening, which included a discussion with the Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources and Opposition Environment Critic.

This was the first time I'd seen Age of Stupid having heard so much about it in advance and I was impressed by the finish. The little animations and graphics that interspersed the series of story segments were delightful, and the overall look of the film top notch.

I had reservations about the device before going into the film, but having Pete Postlethwaite as an archivist looking back at a world ravaged by climate change, was very effective in maintaining on-screen dynamism and helping us appreciate the enormity of the situation. Not to mention, that he has a particularly sympathetic on-screen presence.

Climate change is a nebulous concept to many. The science can sound complicated and the consequences of our actions difficult to grasp. Age of Stupid brings some clarity and hopefully will open minds to this important problem.

Sadly, the discussion after the film saw the usual dance around the issue by the two politicians. At federal level, Canada has been a stick in the mud over climate targets.

Blair Lekstrom, the provincial Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, also gave little sense that climate change is high on the government agenda in this province built on resource extraction. Lekstrom's argument was that there is no popular will or desire for the kind of changes advocated in the film to deal with climate change.

I don't know if he was throwing down the gauntlet, but those issuing fliers at the screening for a local event, involving taking over a city bridge, as part of the International Day of Climate Action, on 24th October, will be out to prove him wrong.

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