Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Film 2 - Disney - Wall E

Question: what is it?


  1. The tobacco industry gives me hope that we can change our unsustainable culture. With assistance from Madison Avenue and the entertainment industry, it made a convincing case that tobacco is something to be valued. It took many years for the evidence that tobacco was deadly to reach the crescendo that would change the way that smoking is seen in our society. Finally the view of smokers has gone from the sexy Marlboro man to office workers huddled under umbrellas in a cold, pouring rain feeding their addiction.
    So how do we accomplish the same thing with our planet damaging conspicuous consumption? If the warning labels on cigarette packages were effective then maybe we should be forced to watch videos of the environmental and human cost of diamonds when buying an engagement ring. In the movie the box was worth more than the diamond. If we learned to only appreciate what is good for us and the planet we would see an enormous restructuring of our value systems. We need to figure out how to get the same reaction to diamonds, MacMansions and Suburbans as we do to those freezing, dripping wet smokers.

  2. Wall-E was a very touching film that challenges us to look poignantly at what our society has wrought through its technological advancements by revealing a true destination into a path of our own demise. The details of our commercialized culture built upon a throwaway society that refuses to consider the stark ramifications of its actions are vividly portrayed through the hovercraft mode of human mobility, with full screen viewing communicators and easy access buttons. I can’t help but make a strong parallel to today’s generation that walk into traffic while texting on their smartphones. Are we that tuned off to the world around us that we ignore obvious warning signs? It’s sad, and somewhat scary, but I think we are. As adorable as this Walt Disney adaptation into “Stop, what are we becoming?” with its hero, Wall-E, the trash compactor robot depicted as the most evolved creature in the film might seem, the connection to our future is unnerving.

    The first thing we as designers ask ourselves is, how can we prevent such destruction to our planet and better serve the community of subjects within it? With strong lobbies of support against better judgments of responsibility, one often becomes frustrated, and may even give up or join the disconnected naysayers. As dedicated designers of the next generation, we owe a conscious effort to be true to our education and apply practical reason into all our future projects. We are called to observe the challenges of our times and devise complementary solutions to practical problems of waste, energy, proper use of resources, as well as functionality and comfort. We must be prepared to defend the reasoning of our design, how we arrive at our solutions, and why this solution maybe the better path. We should continue to educate ourselves to the world around us and open our eyes to the possibilities and the consequences of our actions or inaction. Most importantly, we must remain within the community of design professionals and engage one another.

  3. The hidden beauty in Disney films is that they age with you. As kids you learn to love the warm and fuzzy endings, but as adults you watch them again and a whole new store of underlying messages are revealed to you. From a sustainable point of view, I will share with you what I noticed during my second viewing of Wall E.
    Perhaps my most significant finding was the message hidden in the ships name in correlation with the actions of its captain. The space ships name was the Axiom- you know, a fundamental principle. Through out the film a number of powerful signals make it clear to us that the earth is precious to us is that fundamental principle worth fighting our current “Auto” pilot externalizing behaviors for. The Captains epiphany illustrates perfectly the switching of these two mind sets- a crucial moment. While nursing the withering plant he says to it, “You just need someone to look after you that’s all…” suddenly realizing they had to go back because that’s what they should have been doing with earth the whole time they lived there.
    It would “just be easier” for the people of the Axiom to “never return to earth.” To continue to make earth the object of our externalized responsibilities. It’s time to reclaim earth as our home. As designers we can help be the captains of industry that help lead the world back to our ‘base landing’ values. In today’s world of ‘yo-yoing’ weather patterns, air quality warnings, and trash trading we need to “look after” earth so we don’t have to just “survive”, we can “live”. We need to stop chasing after the boundaries of an ever-expanding universe, step away from our telescopes, and bring our focus ‘back down to earth’. --- “Back home.”

  4. This Disney movie is addressing a lot of nowadays environmental issues that are affecting directly to all life in the planet. Pollution and the bad use of technology are two of the main topics in this movie. Disney production’s main target would be children and young generations, in this case educating them to face many of the environmental problems that we currently as planet have developed.

    I think in general, the whole planet is getting really sick and losing a lot of the properties that generates life. The soil is one of the most affected ones because, of the use that our generations and the previous one have giving to it. The movie is talking about 700 years ahead our time. I would say that is very pretentions of the directors to assume a lot of things like the standardization of a currently non-commoditize industry and company as it is Apple. Apple products are not accessible to all markets or countries, it has become one of the big industries all over the world that is everyday growing but every model of every product that they create is not even standard for the company itself. There are always issues finding versions that would work in Apple products; some of the times those versions are Beta, meaning that are not completely developed and new updates will come later in time.

    I found interesting that the movie was describing this huge piles or mountains of trash, and the way that this friendly robot circulates, from the bottom to the top, was around them. Even the topography of the “new landscape” is adapted to work in a very efficient way. Although this new topography and geography is presented, from the outer space, a planet with the same geography we know it now.

    The movie is also suggesting a color scheme for technology that I would say it is more dictated by nowadays trends: White, Black, and Blue.

    Eve, is a second character with the mission of finding life in the planet. But the interesting thing is that she is destroying all things that were moving around her just. It shows that this new robot had feelings of fear to the unknown. I’m wondering why in the whole film we don’t see any type of animal but the insect of the cockroach.

    Even though these robots were programmed to have particular missions, they seem to develop feelings, and a very strict conscious about doing the right thing. The movie shows a constant in the evolution process of the human being, adapting our activities around technology. This makes a great point of reflection about giving up to daily activities that keep us alive. One of the obvious samples was the fact of forgetting how to walk, leading this, to a considerable gain of weight and the loss of bones in our body complexions. Another interesting fact is re-learning all concepts that were fomented in any way in this ship “axiom”, for instance, agriculture; contradicting the mission of Eve, about looking for any source of life.

    I personally think that this is a really well done sustainability film that is showing all generations few of the currently issues that we need to fix. I also believe that we are still on time to do dramatic changes that will help us recover from this period of industrialization. I think we should also be aware of the fast damaged cause done in one century compared to age of the whole planet.

  5. The movie starts with the long shot of the earth covered with trash. In my opinion, the main reason of this horrible situation is non-stopping production of non-recyclable products and the main producers of these trashes is human being. The consuming habit is one of the reasons for this disaster. In the first long shot of the movie we see the wind turbines and nuclear power plants, which means human being started to use non fossil energies, but the truth is we use those clean sources of energy to produce more. The movie shows not very far future of earth, and this situation is inevitable if we continue to our consumption habit.
    Another issue that this film addresses to, is the effect of public media on people. In the spaceship each person has a screen in front of his/her eyes that somehow covering them by showing selected scenes. In another word it has made them blind by preventing them from looking at their surroundings. The same thing is happing to us now, our digital devices are inseparable part of our lives which doesn’t let us look at or think about our environment and observe the result of what we did and what we are doing to our planet.
    It is always easier to stay in the current situation and not thinking about changes, because changes are hard and difficult and in many conditions painful. That is the reason of us being afraid of any change, but to save our planet and reduce our terrible damage to the planet earth, we should change our life style and change our attitude toward nature and environment.

  6. Professor Anna Marshall-Baker:
    There is probably no better visual expression of Thomas Berry's "collection of objects" than WALL-E. This little robot is programmed to compact the objects we've discarded and arrange that waste in ways that become dense, eerie landscapes that are desolate in their absence of life...other than a single roach, apparently.... The film profoundly illustrates the consequence of a destructive human lifestyle yet one that persists -- even in the Axiom enormous amounts of compacted waste are expelled from the ship into space. The undercurrents throughout the film are also compelling: virtual environments, human isolation, automated technological service that weakens physical, social, and cognitive health and well-being, obesity, fast food, mind(less) control, (lack of) education, consumerism, dust storms (recall the Dust Bowl of the 1930s), processed foods (Twinkies last 700 years...!),industrialization, submission, satellite and digital communication, excessive waste, ego-centrism, passivity....Although extreme, it's disturbing to see the seeds of all of this in our current condition.

    In contrast, we also see glimpses of what we crave: the night sky, touch, love, music, dance, companionship, ecosystems(!), novelty, curiosity, GREEN, community, activity, real food...

    In terms of color, green is ONLY used in conjunction with the seedling WALL-E discovers and that EVA carries. Even the telescopic view of the planet is blue and brown, not blue and green....sad...very sad....

  7. Wall-E begins in our not-so-distant future where sky scrapers are made from trash cubes and the only things inhabiting the planet are machines and cockroaches. We follow Wall-E during a typical routine that includes morning activities, travel, work, hobby, travel home, tidying, relaxation, and rest. Despite the lack of humanity in this world, the viewer can bond with wall-e because of his human like qualities. He is curious, lonely, and clever; he demonstrates compassion for living creatures; he yearns to love. His situation reminds us to reevaluate what is truly important to us. If we were to suddenly find ourselves devoid of everyday conveniences, what would we do with ourselves? What would we wish for? Would our boredom subside to artistic creativity and ingenuity?

    His curiosity and his longing for a companionship lead us to find out what happened to the human race. Waste had gotten to an uncontrollable state, and instead of dealing with the problem, humans choose to abandon planet earth. Armed with their technology, human life has all but become a comatose species. Obesity, compliancy, and lack of ambition are the results of constant information overload, constant advertising, and constant automation. Understanding of a world beyond this quaint existence has long been forgotten. The desire to learn is also an idea of the past. I imagine that this is very much what purgatory would be like.
    Wall-E doesn't understand the meaning of the plant, but he does know that it's something that's very important to Eve. He may be a more primitive type of machine, but he has endurance. His actions are not predetermined by his agenda. He is simple. He wants a friend. Aside from the obvious lessons of waste management, I think that we can note the aspects of heroism in Wall-Es persona as "food for thought". . .
    Be selfless
    Be curious
    Be innovative
    Be yourself, even in environments that dictate otherwise

  8. Wall-E was a very interesting movie in the fact that it was centered around one of the simplest form or elements of nature, which is a plant. It was symbolic in the fact that something that is seemingly so small and insignificant has such a major impact on human life and existence. The movie, while in a humorous way shows us where our society and even the world is headed if we do not move and act aggressively to preserve our world and way of life. Since we do not have the technology to be in space for years on end we need to focus on better ways to control and even fix our environmental problems. The crazy part about this movie is that the environmental issues crossed over into economics, and social interaction and behavior. We as a human race only look or deal with the current issue or problem, we do not see the extent or overflow aspects that these issues will cause. As stated several times before the time to act is now, we can not tarry with our lives or our future.