Whole Life Magazine

April/May 2013

Issue link: https://digital.copcomm.com/i/118686

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Page 33 of 43

art & soul Even though the movie is nearly two years old, there is no reason to believe that anything has changed. So perhaps it's time to take another look at a ilm that is sure to make you mad as hell. It should also scare you—and serve as a call to action. —Jacquelin Sonderling GArBAGe wArrior directed by oliver hodge As you head out of Taos over the Rio Grande Gorge on Route 64, you'll see lots of open scrubland and an increasing number of housing developments, but the tracts out this way look nothing like the subdivisions we're accustomed to. There are scattered traditional homes and lovely Spanish-style haciendas, and eventually you'll notice a series of structures that seem to push up directly from the ground, some in the shape of beehives, some long and low set halfway into the earth, others with jewel-like circles lashing in the sun, that turn out to be colored glass-bottle bottoms. These are sustainable homes, rammed-earth and recycled trash dwellings designed by architect Mike Reynolds. Reynolds is an irreverent, dedicated visionary. As much as he'd like to save the planet, he also admits, "I'm trying to save my ass." The climate is changing and we're rendering Earth uninhabitable, and all the government can think about, in terms of housing, is regulations—rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Reynolds could've sat back with a smug grin, but instead he slogged through the state legislature pushing a bill that would allow him to develop something truly useful. Living off the grid is in some ways a luxury—no mortgage, no utility bills, the freedom to live your life as you please. But for Reynolds it is also a mandate to develop and share ideas for sustainable housing, for which the Greater World Earthship community (www.earthship.com), thanks to the new bill, now legally serves as a test site. Here he continues to develop innovations, such as building houses made from plastic bottles. With a dedicated crew he taught this skill to survivors in the Andaman Islands after a disastrous 8.2 earthquake and tsunami destroyed nearly everything and reduced the population to a quarter of its former size. This ilm will educate and inspire you. It's a powerful proile of a visionary, and the music composed and produced by Patrick Wilson is beautifully attuned to each segment. Reynolds' message is urgent, distraught, begging us to pay attention before it's too late. You can learn more at the Earthship Academy, an international school dedicated to teaching off-grid living and construction techniques. But the man himself will be in LA spreading the message this month. Go hear him; you'll be inspired. —Abigail Lewis ConneCted: An Autoblogography about love, death & technology directed by tiffany shlain When I sat down to watch Tiffany Shlain's Connected, I expected a ilm about the hazards of our cultural addiction to technology, and the highly relatable irst few minutes reinforced that impression. However, I should have paid more attention to the subtitle. Shlain states that her ilm is about what it means to be connected in the 21st century, but it is at least as much about her personal connection to her father, an author and brain surgeon who died of brain cancer in 2009. The film presents other connections over nearly a century in time and several continents—connections between human behavior and nature, connections with her unborn child, and connections of body parts to one another—but primarily we're torn between family home movies (some archival) and important environmental issues, including China's eradication of the locust-eating sparrow, leading to starvation for millions; the gyres, islands of floating plastic detritus that comprise the largest man-made structure in the world; and the demise of the honeybee. We do get to the technology of connections in the last quarter of the ilm, but it's not enough to web the entire ilm. Connected has endearing elements and plenty of truth, but is somewhat connected in so many directions that it leaves the viewer feeling deeply connected nowhere—exactly the opposite of the ilm's message. It's a noble effort but it's just too dificult to do justice to the history of the modern world, the environmental crisis, the functioning of the brain and technology, and a personal memoir and eulogy in 80 minutes. —AL SUmmER'S cominG! consider placing Your Ad in our JUnE/JULY iSSUE tRAVEL WitH SpEciAL SUppLEmEntS SEction! close: may 21 • Release: June 1 • 310.425.3056 34 A&S.indd 34 wholelifetimesmagazine.com 3/26/13 6:13 PM

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