Filmmaker Jonathan Browning, who turned the labor market inside out with his clever and funny film The Job (Mountainfilm 2007), is back with another short about one corporation’s understanding—or, rather, misunderstanding—of the term “going green.”
Sluice Box and a Rocker
Dawson, in Canada’s Yukon Territory, was once a thriving mining outpost with three competing steamship companies, prospecting miners in search of wealth, and dancehall girls collecting their own fair share of the earnings. A 13-hour drive north of Whitehorse—back then a distance that translated to 13 days of hard travel—Dawson’s early history mirrors that of Telluride’s. Sluice Box and a Rocker is an artfully shot film of Dawson’s ruins, overlaid with a narration by old-timers who instill a strong sense of the poignant allure of the past.
One of the most humble, yet immortal, characters to ever grace the screen is the star of this poignant and original short film. We are introduced to Plastic Bag on a nameless beach, where he is trying to end it all by joining the rumored Pacific Vortex. We follow Plastic Bag—voiced by the indubitable Werner Herzog—from his first breath, through an existential quest for his maker and then for the elusive end: death. Award-winning filmmaker Ramin Bahrani (Man Push Cart, 2005) skillfully creates—with an inanimate object as unobtrusive and ordinary as a plastic bag—a character with emotional complexity. He also manages to weave in an environmental message that resonates on a level only possible through fiction. —EL
SquidShow Theatre Presents War of the Words
SquidShow Theatre has made a name in Telluride with original productions, play readings and professional stagings of contemporary work. Company members collaborate to build new shows with elements of music, dance, art and comedy. The Squids are partnering again with Mountainfilm (they produced Voices of a People’s History in 2009), this time with the creation of an original production called War of the Words about the extinction of languages across the planet.
Ninety percent of the world’s languages are likely to be lost this century. Whodunnit? As languages die like the dodo, a special court convenes to find out who is responsible for the new boutique crime of “languicide.” Is it globalization? Simple goodwill? Or is the English language itself the culprit? SquidShow’s first criminal justice event premieres at this year’s Mountainfilm—and you’re the jury.
War of the Words is written by Reilly Capps and Sasha Cucciniello and performed by the company.
In Person: SquidShow Theatre Company