Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Disconsolate Desolate

I saw these movies on Tuesday while I was volunteering.

Little Birds

Let's do a slow clap for Elgin James.
This is his first film, and it is good. 
But I don't plan on ever seeing it again.
It broke my heart.

This guy went from homeless to Sundance. Cool. 

I want to learn more about this Salton Sea, where the first third of the film is shot. This is what I found out so far. Thanks wikipedia:
The Salton Sea is a  saline, endorheic rift lake located directly on the San Andreas Fault in California's Border Region. Like Death Valley, it is below sea level. The sea is fed by the New, Whitewater, and Alamo rivers, as well as agricultural runoff drainage systems and creeks. The lake's salinity, about 44 g/L, is greater than the waters of the Pacific Ocean (35 g/L), but less than that of the Great Salt Lake; the concentration is increasing by about 1 percent annually.
The creation of the Salton Sea of today started in 1905, when heavy rainfall and snowmelt caused the Colorado River to swell, overrunning a set of headgates for the Alamo Canal. Over a period of approximately two years these two newly created rivers sporadically carried the entire volume of the Colorado River into the Salton Sink. The lack of an outflow means that the Salton Sea is a system of accelerated change. By the 1960s it was apparent that the salinity of the Salton Sea was rising, jeopardizing some of the species in it. The Salton Sea currently has a salinity exceeding 4.0% w/v (saltier than seawater) and many species of fish are no longer able to survive. Fertilizer runoff combined with the increasing salinity have resulted in large algal blooms and elevated bacteria levels.
Chris McCandless visited the lake in the early 90's, which was featured in the 2007 film "Into the Wild".  

The director said that 

fish would basically suffocate from the algae 
and die. 

Then birds would eat the fish,
get sick,
can't fly. 

Hence the name of the movie.

I've always been drawn to desolate, abandoned places. I think that began with my weekend trips over the salt flats to West Wendover. 

Sometimes we would go on walks through the rocky hills behind my house. You could find seashells hidden in layers of sediment leftover from the ancient sea. My dad said guys from the air force would throw parties in caves in the hills during World War II. They left behind shells too. Bullet shells, that is. 

If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front

Another version of desolation. 
This movie was mildly interesting. It traces the history of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and their classification as a domestic terrorist "organization". I think in the battle between people and trees, the trees will eventually win.

1 comment:

  1. may we please plan a trip into the wild? i love desolate places best.