New York Times Laments Enviros As Movie Villains, Wants More Climate Lectures

NewsBusters | 8/17/2019 | Staff
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The New York Times’s Cara Buckley (“a culture reporter who covers bias and equity in Hollywood”), complained Hollywood wasn’t embedding enough climate change messaging in their blockbuster movies in Saturday’s “Hollywood Sells Doom, Not Hope On Climate -- Critics say villains and dystopias obscure crisis-alleviating actions.”

Humans ruined everything. They bred too much and choked the life out of the land, air and sea.

Half - Monsters - Dwellers - Oceans - Depths

And so they must be vaporized by half, or attacked by towering monsters, or vanquished by irate dwellers from the oceans’ polluted depths. Barring that, they face hardscrabble, desperate lives on a once verdant Earth now consumed by ice or drought.

That is how many recent superhero and sci-fi movies -- among them the latest Avengers and Godzilla pictures as well as “Aquaman,” “Snowpiercer,” “Blade Runner 2049,” “Interstellar” and “Mad Max: Fury Road” -- have invoked the climate crisis. They imagine postapocalyptic futures or dystopias where ecological collapse is inevitable, environmentalists are criminals, and eco-mindedness is the driving force of villains.

Complaint - Environmentalist - Criminals - Concern - Buckley

One suspects that the complaint that “environmentalist are criminals” is the true concern here: Perhaps Buckley and company are just annoyed that left-wing environmentalists sometimes feature as movie villains, as opposed to the usual villain of corporate raider or military madman?

But these takes are defeatist, critics say, and a growing chorus of voices is urging the entertainment industry to tell more stories that show humans adapting and reforming to ward off the worst climate threats.

Buckley - Superhero - Movies - Lecturing

Buckley worried that superhero movies are not realistic enough and lack sufficient environmental lecturing.

But [writing professor] Svoboda sees [Aquaman character] Orm as part of a trend that moves the climate crisis into emotionally familiar and comfortable territory. The villain is defeated and the audience feels relief, he said, not least because they have been let off the hook: People may be doing real harm, but...
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