[Age-of-Stupid] "Let’s see how people are at their best"

Franny Armstrong franny at spannerfilms.net
Wed Jun 15 10:22:08 BST 2011

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Evening all, 

Lizzie pointed out the other day that it's been three years - three blinkin years - since we finished Age of Stupid. Since we finished actually producing the film, she means, obviously we've been going on about it - and its charming offspring, 10:10 - ever since. So I therefore felt both relieved and panic stricken at Sheffield doc fest last weekend, listening to renowned doc maker Albert Maysles, talking about his film Grey Gardens, thirty six years after he finished making it. 

Actually Mr Maysles might be on to something: “Enough of this war stuff. Let us, as I am hoping to do, film people who are ardently working for peace. Hollywood has always been, and still is, devoted to films where there is conflict. Let's see how people are at their best." 

Speaking of which isn't this collaborative consumerism idea a potential game-changer? Or is there an obvious flaw I'm missing?

Not that Team Stupid are paying much heed to the quest for positivity: the current crop of fantastic books'n'films made by former Stupideers has a decidedly not-exactly-upbeat bent. All hugely impressive, though. And lots of spunky launch events to go along to, should you feel so moved. See below. 

Greetings from sunny Camden Town, 

PS. 10:10 is recruiting for a new Head of Raising Loads of Cash

Written by Stupid's co-writer, Mark Lynas...
The God Species 
"We humans are the God species, both the creators and destroyers of life on this planet. As we enter a new geological era – the Anthropocene – our collective power now overwhelms and dominates the major forces of nature. In this controversial new book, Royal Society Science Books Prize winner Mark Lynas shows us how we must use our new mastery over nature to save the planet from ourselves. Taking forward the work of a brilliant new group of Earth-system scientists who have mapped out our real ‘planetary boundaries’, Lynas draws up a radical manifesto calling for the increased use of environmentally-friendly technologies like genetic engineering and nuclear power as part of a global effort to use humanity’s best tools to protect and nurture the biosphere. Ripping up years of environmental orthodoxy, he reveals how the prescriptions of the current green movement are likely to hinder as much as help our vitally-needed effort to use science and technology to play God and save the planet."
-> Launch event on July 6th in London, all welcome, reserve a place here. 
-> In shops July 10th. Pre-order from Amazon here

Distributed by Stupid's distributors Dogwoof...
Countdown To Zero 
"A fascinating and frightening exploration of the dangers of nuclear weapons, exposing a variety of present day threats and featuring insights from a host of international experts and world leaders who advocate the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Countdown to Zero is a chilling wake-up call about the urgency of the nuclear threat. It tells the striking story of uncertainty, exposing the real possibility of nuclear disaster and revealing the truth behind an issue on which human survival itself hangs."
-> Everyone invited to the premiere next Tuesday 21 (=Demand Zero Day) with a live event from BAFTA being broadcast to 65 cinemas round the country – panel includes Queen Noor of Jordan, Margaret Beckett, Valerie Plame-Wilson and the film’s producer Lawrence Bender (An Inconvenient Truth)

Directed by Stupid's exec producer Emily James...
Just Do It
"Emily James spent over a year embedded in activist groups such as Climate Camp and Plane Stupid to document their clandestine activities. Torpedoing the tired cliches of the environmental movement, Just Do It introduces you to a powerful cast of mischievous and inspiring characters who put their bodies in the way; they super-glue themselves to bank trading floors, blockade factories and attack coal power stations en-masse, despite the very real threat of arrest. Their adventures will entertain, illuminate and inspire."
-> Preview screenings at Glastonbury festival, June 23 & 25
-> Red carpet (recycled from extremely famous movie) premiere, July 9 (invite only, sorry)
-> In cinemas from July 15th. So far London, Belfast, Cardiff, Inverness, York have signed up. Please help persuade more cinemas to show the film here.  

Directed by Stupid's exec producer Bruce Goodison... 
Our War
Bruce has made the most fantastic film, "Our War", about a (very) young British's soldier's death in Afghanistan, made of stunning footage from the soldiers' own cameras. The Telegraph reviewer said - wait for it - that it's the best thing he's seen in 15 years of reviewing television. Cor blimey.  
-> On iplayer till June 28. Website here. 

Edited by Stupid's editor David Hill and produced by Stupid's assistant producer Lottie Gammon...
The Invasion of Lampedusa
"As tens of thousands of migrants flee north Africa in the wake of the Arab Spring, one tiny Italian island becomes the frontline for Europe's immigration crisis"
-> BBC2, Tues 14th June, 7pm and then on iplayer. Website here. 

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