Happy Earth Day! (It's April 22 where some of you are, still.)
Andrew here. Isn't it s a shame that even though the earth is made up of so many natural, renewable resources we tend to get so few films about characters who are particularly interested in it? Lawyers, doctors, nurses, writers - those jobs tend to roll of the tongue easily from movie scripts. Environmentalists? Umm, not so much. When you think of how to celebrate Earth Day through film there doesn’t seem to be a large pool of cinematic options to choose from. Every now and then an An Inconvenient Truth type film will appear tackling earth related issues, but it’s not just the films completely devoted solely to the earth that telegraph the message of caring for our environment best. Oftentimes, an incidental character trait revealing an appreciation for the earth can do wonders.
Here at The Film Experience we all worship the deity that is Actresses (we're not very picky, good actresses all are welcome) and what better way to celebrate Earth Day, original Mother Earth Day than by recognising three women to celebrate both our Actressexual urges and our love for the Earth which the live on?
1. Julia Roberts in ERIN BROCKOVICH
three (plus) more divas after the jump
An excellent popcorn thriller/workplace drama/ et al, Erin Brovkovich benefits form successfully merging various aspects of itself – it’s a s semi-biopic, something of a legal drama, and a fine example than when left unaddressed the film’s heart is in the right place re the environment. Even though at Erin’s major hurdle is the more mercenary aspect of attaining a settlement for her clients it's a battle which emanates from an awareness of the way PG&E is distorting natural resources for sinister reasons. Part of Erin's appeal is that only happenstance leads her to the problem, but just the simple fact of Erin’s highlighting of the harmful effects of the company’s pollution on the water ways is the best endorsement for Earth Day we could hope for.
Sigourney Weaver in GORILLAS IN THE MIST
Animal’s role in Earth Day celebration sometimes tend to be downplayed. The term Earth day itself seems more devoted to appreciation of the flora than the flora and Dian Fossey in Gorillas in the Mist has more to worry about than whether all groups are well represented by the celebrations. Still, from her devotion to finding a better life for her primates to her research in Rwanda Fossey is a fine indication that in caring for the earth appreciation for animals is as much a part of earth day as is caring for pants. Nature encompasses both aspects of natural life, and assisting in animal conservation and protection is as worthy of Earth Day accolades as much else.
Barbra Streisand in ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER
"Hey buds bellow, up is where to grow. Up with which below can’t compare with…”
Does this choice seem to be something of a head-scratcher? Chain-smoking, clairvoyant Daisy Gamble finds former iterations of herself while in therapy and at once little of the film seems analogous with Earth Day celebrations. And yet, the opening title track is the perfect recitative for the day. For capricious Daisy has the ability to make plants grow remarkably well and in the opening track she urges them to sprout – “Hurry, it’s lovely up here” she tells them. On a Clear Day You Can See Forever directed by Vincente Minnelli isn’t a much remembered outing, but it’s especially memorable. Daisy’s easy innocence in urging plants to grow is notable, especially when – regardless of where you stand on issues like climate change – one realises that it’s not all “lovely up here” for the things and creatures of the earth.
And what a gift package of shower, sun and love
You'll be met above everywhere with,
Fondled and sniffed by millions who drift by,
Life here is rosy - if you're a posy
Hurry it's lovely here!
It’s an especially innocent turn of phrase, and it’s a shame that appreciation for the environment is not a character trait more characters don’t exercise as readily. Sometimes being an Earth Day ambassador could be as easy as helping flowers to grow, even if you can't talk to them.
And, here are three other versions of the plant loving track – Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth and original performer (Tony nominated performance) Barbara Harris.
To celebrate Earth Day at The Film Experience, take a page out of any of these ladies books - let's call them Champions of the Earth in their own ways or find an actress Earth Day Ambassador of your own. Which character from the actressexual within you would you choose to celebrate Earth Day?