Cinema classics: the best energy & environment films, by Richard Smith (The Conversation, 7 January 2014)
The motion picture was born of industrial revolution, the first image in history whose base materials were electrical and chemical energy. Cinema exhibited the laws of motion on a white rectangle for all to see and experience. Some of the most thrilling special effects of motion play with our vestibular system, with our inner sense of direction, our sense of up and down, of left and right, and of course our position in space. Remember Jake Sully’s first moment of flight in Avatar (2009)? Films such as Babel (2006), by Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu, reinforce the idea that we belong to one environment, natural and artificial, by exploiting the relatedness of distant events. What then are the best films about energy and environment?