Crude Impact James Jandak Wood

Crude Impact James Jandak Wood
James Jandak Wood's documentary Crude Impact, reaching DVD now after years of festival and television showings, is a documentary worth viewing despite its cinematic shortcomings. Centred upon mankind's reliance on (read: addiction to) fossil fuel, the message of the film is more important than the film itself, and so the message overcomes the limitations of Wood, a neophyte documentarian. The barrage of statistics permeating the film is astounding at first, but quickly the numbers will start to blur for ADD-generation viewers. The film is neatly divided into sections documenting the technological expansion leading to the over-consumption of natural resources, punctuated by talking-head interviews with a variety of analysts condemning the Western world's need for greed. What may have appeared as riding the coattails of the wildly popular An Inconvenient Truth — both were released in 2006 — now serves as a compelling reminder of what is essentially the same message. However, without Al Gore as a compelling host (note: I was not sure I would ever have to describe Al Gore as such), the film instead relies on cold yet bombastic narration and relentless imagery of general poverty. Such structural issues make the film a suitable entry point for those not quite realizing the full extent of the oil industry disaster, but certainly not the final word. Thankfully, at least more detailed interviews are provided with the DVD extras. Such driving planetary concerns deserve as much attention as possible; it's better to commend the filmmakers for their efforts than dwell on their faults. (Mongrel Media)