The Age Of Stupid

  • Year:2009
  • Rating:M
  • Director:Franny Armstrong
  • Cast:Adnan Bayyoud, Jamila Bayyoud, Alvin DuVernay, Piers Guy, Pete Postlethwaite
  • Release Date:August 20, 2009
  • Distributor:Hoyts
  • Running time:89 minutes
  • Film Worth:$12.50
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

By aiming at the disinterested through a sci-fi inspired future, this documentary effectively gets across its urgent message.

a612bb685ba7c7b59474.jpg

This cleverly framed eco-doc from McLibel's Franny Armstrong postulates a dystopic 2055 in which a lone archivist (Pete Postlethwaite) holds up in a container tower high above the ravages of apocalyptic doom, sending beams of information into deep space in order to explain what the human race has done to itself (hint: all bad stuff). Documentary vignettes of Shell Oil-ravaged Nigeria, upwardly mobile and consumption-oriented India, environmentally super-conscious middleclass England, post-Katrina New Orleans, and the melting Alps are framed by Postlethwaite's dry, defeated introductions, which humanise familiar problems and imbue the proceedings with an admirable urgency. His explanations, though plaintive, are hardly whiny, and the sci-fi aspects of the framing story add a hyper-realistic element.

The Age Of Stupid is at its best when detailing the failure of good intentions, rather than demonising the politicians and oil companies that serve as its major villains and specific targets. In India, for instance, an entrepreneur attempts to democratise air travel for the country's poorest classes, while a family in the UK swears off aeroplanes for the environmental devastation that they cause. Meanwhile, in New Orleans, an ex-oil man and hurricane hero explains the legitimate and myriad benefits of petroleum, subtly and honestly defending the very corporations that are simultaneously destroying West Africa. In Postlethwaite's container tower, contradictions necessarily abound, which is truly a relief from the reductive slogans and asinine corporate defences trotted out in many environmentally conscious documentaries.

While there is a touch of television amateurism in The Age Of Stupid's pithy humour and animated interludes, its short, interconnected segments are accessible to any audience. Moreover, by speaking directly to the disaffected and disinterested, its light tone successfully disguises an intent that could not be more serious or more urgent, which is no small feat.

follow us on twitter
like us on facebook

latest categories

DVD

latest issue

Filmink latest issue

latest news

‘Around The Block’ Opts For Alternative Release Route
‘Around The Block’ Opts For Alternative Release Route

The Australian drama starring Christina Ricci and Jack Thompson opts for a small theatrical release before hitting home platforms.

St Kilda Film Festival Forges Prestigious Partnership
St Kilda Film Festival Forges Prestigious Partnership

The short film festival has partnered with Palm Springs International Shortfest.

Brad Pitt Recruits David Michod For ‘The Operators’
Brad Pitt Recruits David Michod For ‘The Operators’

With buzz building around ‘The Rover’, the Aussie filmmaker has reportedly already been nabbed to helm a new pic for Plan B, with Pitt rumoured to also star.

Film Festivals Australia Launched!
Film Festivals Australia Launched!

The film festival calendar is an increasingly busy one, and Metro Screen has launched a new resource to keep audiences looped in, and aid festival patrons.