The groundbreaking film The Age of Stupid will receive a special showing at the Albany Twin Theatre on Solano Avenue on Sunday, March 7, 2010 at 11:30 a.m. Transition Albany has organized this one-time-only showing to stimulate both discussion and action to address the challenges of climate destruction and the imminent end of the age of cheap oil.
Writing in Britain’s The Guardian, George Monbiot called The Age of Stupid “a captivating and constantly surprising film: the first successful dramatization of climate change to reach the big screen.” Grounding the film is a fictional character who looks back upon our time with full knowledge of the environmental and social upheavals of the first half of the twenty-first century. This device distinguishes the film from more conventional documentaries and arguably provides a drawing card for the film.
In the film, Academy Award-nominated actor Pete Postlethwaite stars as the Archivist, the lone caretaker to the collected knowledge of humanity. In the year 2055, the Archivist looks back upon video clips of the early years of the climate crisis from within his tower in the now-melted Arctic, his refuge from a world devastated by storms, starved by droughts, and consumed by violence. As he views the videos, he seeks answers to the question that haunts him: Why did humanity fail to save itself?
Postlethwaite, whom Steven Spielberg named “probably the best actor in the world today,” delivers a strong performance, but it is the lives of real people from our time whom he observes in videos in his archives that make the film so compelling. Through these videos, director Franny Armstrong follows the struggles and aspirations of several intriguing people in often uncomfortable relationships to oil and global warming. From Iraqi refugees to a British wind farm developer, from an Indian airline founder to a French mountaineer, we see the emerging possibilities of humanity’s future with all their complications and contradictions.
Amidst resistance to change in countries such as the U.S. and U.K. and growing aspirations elsewhere to “live like Americans,” can we avoid the fate that the film depicts? Or is our time destined to be remembered as the “Age of Stupid” for our failure to heed repeated warnings?
It’s been said that the best way to predict the future is to create it. Consider this showing an invitation from Transition Albany to begin doing just that.
This theatrical showing of The Age of Stupid is expected to be the only one of its kind in the San Francisco Bay Area in the coming months. Tickets will be available for purchase at the box office of the Albany Twin both in advance and on the morning of the 11:30 a.m. showing on Sunday, March 7, 2010.
Update: You can help publicize this special showing of The Age of Stupid when you download the poster shown here in PDF format to print and display at your workplace and other suitable locations.