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Manufactured Landscapes

Jennifer Baichwal

Manufactured Landscapes
Manufactured Landscapes showcases and examines the art of internationally acclaimed Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky. Burtynsky’s body of work has focused on documenting landscapes that bear the results of urbanisation, global industry and massive consumption. The film begins with the images and like the photographs themselves, becomes an extended meditation on the large-scale impact human beings are having on altering the geography of our planet. Adjectives such as "beautiful,” "evocative” and "mesmerising” are regularly applied to describe Burtynsky’s work. Highlighted by his commentary is the artist’s acute awareness of the desire to sustain a balance between form and content, of purposefully drawing viewers in while simultaneously implicating him in what they see. Director Jennifer Baichwal both respects and furthers this intent, creating a film that shows rather than preaches, that is neither didactic nor argumentative but continually demands reflection and inquiry. The special features are substantial; the DVD includes six additional scenes (with optional director’s commentary) that not only further showcase Peter Mettler’s suburb cinematography but also allow you to see footage — to the regret of many — that was left out. A gallery of his work dating back to 1981 includes Burtynsky’s commentary and gives a comprehensive, linear overview of his body of work. A discussion with director Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky, and an interview with cinematographer Peter Mettler allow all three to comment on their intent and process in making this film. The theatrical trailer is also included. (Mongrel Media)
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