Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Collapse: The First Great Feel-Bad Movie of 2010

“Imagine the most sincerely encouraging, feel-good movie you’ve ever seen. Then imagine the 180-degree opposite — the most sincerely helpless-making, devastating movie you could ever see. Then imagine not being able to look away.”
—S.T. VanAirsdale, Movie Line.

In this interview with Movie Line, director Chris Smith talks about the making of his terrifying, darkly hypnotic documentary, Collapse, the challenges of preparing for a debate with someone with thirty years more experience, and the lessons he took away from the experience.

How did you meet Michael Ruppert?
In the ’70s Michael became a whistleblower in terms of a connection between the CIA and drug trafficking. Consequently his life sort of fell apart. The story that we had heard about came up just while we doing another project. We had just finished a film and were researching new things, and this was one of the ideas that we thought would be interesting to pursue, just to see if anything would come of it. It was really born out of just trying to have him talk about that project. When we contacted him and set up a meeting at his house, he had just finished writing a book basically about what he sees happening — the things that have led to the point in history where we are now — and what he sees coming our way. When we went there we realized very quickly that he wasn’t interested in talking about the past, but he was very much consumed with what he sees happening around us.

So we just kind of went with it. We spent two or three hours at his house, and it was this incredible sort of train-of-thought monologue. We left not quite sure what to make of it or Michael or anything else we thought of doing with him. But we kept coming back to it over the next couple weeks; we kept thinking about what he said and the way he said it, and kind of came to this conclusion to see if anything was there. So we organized to shoot with him for a few days in March 2009. That kind of started the beginning of the process.

How did you conjure and create this setting — this dark, empty space where Michael holds forth?
Our goal was to not do it in a studio. I was much more interested in trying to get the audience into Michael’s head — the world he lives in every day, the way that he looks at the world. We decided we wanted to film him exclusively in a setting that was visually engaging and interesting. We originally started looking for locations that had a postapocalyptic feel; the idea there was to put him in a place that would be representational of the world that he’s describing. Then we moved away from that because the more we got into the project, it seemed more appropriate to film somewhere where it felt like an interrogation could take place, and also played up his past connections to this underworld between the CIA and drug trafficking. It felt like some secret, hidden bunker where you’d take someone to transfer information that was perceived to be dangerous or top secret. It was a combination of those ideas that led us to that place. And also, cinematically, it felt like it was from that world.

Read the whole article here.

 

Related Articles:


Why Modern Wheat Is Making Us Sick

Why is modern wheat making us sick?  That’s the question posed by author Eli Rogosa in her new book Restoring Heritage Grains.Wheat is the most widely grown crop on our planet, yet industrial breeders have transformed this ancient staff of life into a commodity of yield and profit—witness the increase in gluten intolerance and ‘wheat […] Read More

A Dictionary to Survive the Future

When British economist David Fleming died unexpectedly in 2010, he left behind his great unpublished work, a masterpiece more than thirty years in the making—an intellectually evocative and inspiring dictionary, Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. In it, Fleming examined the consequences of an economy that destroys the very foundations—ecological, […] Read More

Overshoot, Collapse, and Creating a Better Future

In 2016, Earth Overshoot Day happened on August 8—the day when we’ve exhausted the planet’s resources for the year, and are essentially borrowing from future years to maintain our existence today.Perhaps you celebrated this day with a counter-solution: a vegetarian meal, telecommuted, or turned off the air conditioning. There’s a lot more you could be […] Read More

Plants & Pests: Will Bonsall’s Advice on “Wee Beasties” in the Garden

“From a plant’s point of view there is little difference between a cutworm, a woodchuck, a blight spore, and, for that matter, us.”“These are all things that in one way or another prey upon it. It is an inevitable constraint of all living things: We escape one peril only to ultimately succumb to another,” so […] Read More

To Create Climate-Secure Foodscapes, Think Like a Plant

The techniques and prophetic vision for achieving food security in the face of climate change contained in Gary Paul Nabhan’s Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land may well need to be implemented across most of North America over the next half-century, and are already applicable in most of the semiarid West, Great Plains, and […] Read More
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com