manufactured landscapes



just visited this film, amazing scapes and insight in mass production processes and its results. unfortunately i sat a bit too close to the screen to get the sharp view these images deserve. we need to make a screening soon. someone told me burtynsky has an exhibition in Deventer this spring.

the IFFR notes the following:

Portrait of the wonderful photographer Edward Burtynsky, who records with striking beauty landscapes and deserted industrial sites throughout the world. The director manages to give his work topical and philosophical added value by placing his largely aesthetic work into the naked reality of workers and unnamed bystanders.

The famous Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky travels around the world recording industrial landscapes on a large format. While his work shows how people exploit nature, his photos also evoke admiration for the monumental beauty that he manages to extrapolate from mines, quarries, factories, offices buildings, dams and other huge human constructions.Jennifer Baichwal and her cameramen Peter Mettler (also an award-winning film maker) have not made a portrait of the artist as a person. They travel with Burtynsky to China and later Bangladesh, where he records the consequences of the enormous progress in modernisation and industrialisation. She records in moving images and comment on the approach and the photographs of Burtynsky, as it were, while also providing a human context using brief conversations with local bystanders. After a start that can be described as epic, in which breathlessly beautiful footage is used to take the viewer through an endless factory space, the film slowly but surely acquires a disconcerting relevance. Burtynsky pauses by the largest dam in the world, the Three Gorges Dam in the Yangtze River (see also Still Life and Dong by Jia Zhangke), where huge cities were abandoned to meet the energy needs of the new China. Also in the hyper-urbanisation of a city like Shanghai, Baichwal reveals her excellent eye for the issues evoked by Burtynsky’s photographs. As a result, a much more complex story emerges in which questions about our own responsibility are inevitable.

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Toon Verberg