After a night-long of binge drinking Friday (seriously, 6pm-2am, go me/my liver), and waking up on a friend’s couch, I decided it was time to get my life in order and do something good for my mind: sit around all weekend watching movies.
Actually, this was more culturally and mentally stimulating because I drug my ass off the couch and to the National Museum of Natural History to see movies both Saturday and Sunday at the Environmental Movie Festival. I thought I had missed all the “good” movies aka movies about the ocean and dolphins, whales, turtles, any type of sea creature naturally. So I settled on seeing “The Legend of Pale Male”.
Here is the summary for this movie:
This is the true story of how one hawk lays claim to Central Park and sets in motion a chain of events that will unite New York City behind his cause. He inspires a young man to become a filmmaker and together they set out on a 16-year journey through life, death, birth, hope and redemption. Known as “Pale Male,” the hawk becomes a magnificent obsession and a metaphor for triumph against all odds. His nest, perched on a posh Fifth Avenue co-op, becomes an international tourist destination – a place of pilgrimage. Then, without warning, the residents of the building decide to dismantle the bird’s nest. New Yorkers discover just how deep their connection to nature really is and how much they are willing to fight for it.
Eh, a story about a little bird...it'll have to do, I supposed. But. OMG. I fell in love with this hawk and this whole movie. Although a niche topic, I could so see this movie in a mainstream theatre (note: my all time favorite movies are Pretty Woman and The Little Mermaid, if that says anything about my taste in CLASSIC movies, I don’t know what else does!) But this movie has it all: a lost soul searching for himself, camaraderie and friendships born out of random events bringing people together, NYC!, nature, love/sex, baby birdies(!!), Mary Tyler Moore, drama, protests and scandalous jail time—what Oscar winning movie combines all that? I am such a cheeeball, I was laughing and then suppressing tears moments later (CANNOT.CRY.AT.A.MOVIE.ABOUT.A.BIRD, unless it is Scuttle, of course).
The movie was directed and produced by the cutest little Belgian man, Frederic Lilien, who was there to introduce the movie as well as answer question after the screening. I sorta fell in love with this man, who as a lost young man of 23 found himself in NYC through nature. His annoying accent (at first) really grew on me throughout the movie and when he came up to answer questions at the end, I was smitten’ (Sorry ladies, he is taken and about to become a Dad himself….collective “awww”).
But bottom line: See this movie. I was dismayed to find out they don’t even have a DVD of this movie available for purchase!?! But you best believe, I’ll be first in line when it does come out.
I also saw another movie on Sunday called Poisoned Waters: Puget Sound. Now nothing can take the place of Pale Male in my heart, but this documentary showed how polluted our waters are (frogs with six legs and male fish morphing into females, whaaa?). According to the documentary, although industrial and agricultural polluters are to blame, so are everyday citizens, using everyday products, cleaners, etc. While the current regulations purify water for old toxins, they are out of date for the new and possibly more dangerous chemicals that have recently emerged.
It was interesting to find out that in Europe, companies must prove that a new chemical or product will not cause harm to environment and humans before it is approved. In America, we do the opposite – we use a product and don’t find out for 20-30 years after the damage has been done that a product is unsafe and dangerous. Europe seems to be ahead of the logic game here, time to step it up our rational thought process there, USA.
Poisoned Waters stresses the importance of having regulations change at the federal government level, which can only be achieved through advocacy and pushing our elected officials to protect not only our environment, but the health and well-being of our generation and generations to come. I mean male fish changing into females is not a good sign. Let’s stand up and take some action to stop water pollution!
And give my future husband, er, this dude*, some props.
*Upon future researching/stalking, I discovered Mr. Lilien edited a TV program called The Dolphin Defender. I knew this man was a godsend.