Thursday, December 20, 2007

Winged Migration

I'm a bird. I will keep writing about geese as long as they fly low over my house calling me to the window to go with them, to peck at the corn fields or swim in our polluted Salt Creek or brave the snow storm just to get somewhere, soon. I do not understand why there are so many geese here this time of year, and all flying east to west or west to east, but they provide me real live action on the order I've only experienced in...

...the film Winged Migration. Amazing, AMAZING close ups of birds all over the world, well, migrating. Stunning. STUNNING (does repetition help you get the picture?). I'm sure they use plenty of zoom lenses, but it's said nothing at all was doctored, which is incredible when you are essentially flying in formation with these birds, hearing their wings, traveling thousands of miles to get somewhere as soon as possible. It's a real hunger we can only aspire to, even though theirs is a physical necessity; it's something humans identify with as we stubbornly stay put, but yearn to be moved and move toward some deeper spiritual and emotional balance in order to correct our physical inbalance.

Surprisingly, and thankfully, there isn't much of an overt message here--i.e. stop destroying the earth, think of yourself as smaller, as connected. It just happens through the art, through simplicity. You see one bird get stuck in sludge in some industrial area near water, another get caught in that pop can plastic ring stuff, but that's about it. The ultra close shots make you FEEL a part of something larger and essential (and surprising that in some way, it seems the film is saying, the birds let or invited such closeness, but I could be projecting here), which is my big gripe with environmental movements and literature and eco conscious whatever: we don't FEEL it, we get beat in the head, force fed stats and stories that act to distance us, obviously not the intent. I'm still pissed at Al Gore's powerpoint and the hollywood political bandwagon that ensued. I could digress, but I won't.

Go see this impacting piece of real environmental art if you haven't.

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