Nicholas Geyrhalter’s acclaimed documentary, Earth, opens on Wednesday for a one week run. Earth was filmed at seven places where humans are transforming the planet on a grand scale: Entire mountains being moved in California, a tunnel being sliced through rock at the Brenner Pass, an open-cast mine in Hungary, the world-famous Carrara marble quarry in Italy, a copper mine in Spain, the salt mine used to store radioactive waste in Wolfenbüttel and a Northern Canadian tar sands site where the destruction of indigenous lands threatens local communities.
Filmmaker Nicholas Geyrhalter contrasts these large scale projects with interviews with the individuals helping to realize them to highlight our fraught struggles for and against the planet.
FILM OF THE WEEK! “Spectacular, even awe-inspiring.” —Jonathan Romney, Film Comment
The new issue of The Ryder is on the stands–well, not literally. This is our first issue to be published electronically. We considered publishing a print edition, but where would we distribute it? Our April issue contains a number of entertaining and informative stories, but before we tell you about them, we have to talk about something else, something that makes us cringe when we think about it. The Ryder has always been distributed free, with our expenses covered (hopefully) by advertising. There is no paid advertising in this issue. Yes, when you flip through the magazine you will see ads, for not-for-profits hosting virtual fundraisers and local restaurants offering curbside service. Those ads are published at no cost to the advertiser, for all of the obvious reasons. Our biggest expense each month is our printing bill. But while there is no printing bill this month, we do have other expenses. And so if you discover one or two articles that you like and if you are in a position to make a donation, it will be gratefully appreciated. If you are not so inclined, you might instead consider purchasing a Ryder Film Series gift card. With either, you’ll be helping to support local, independent journalism.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the good stuff….In the 1990s, Linda Poteat was a waitress at the Irish Lion. Today, she is a policy director at the United Nations, battling pandemics around the world. Contributing editor Jason Vest conducts an enlightening interview. “If you’re a right-wing person in a state like South Carolina,” Linda explains, “seeing an elite Hollywood liberal telling people to stay at home and wash their hands isn’t going to work.”
For three years in the early 90s, Bart Everson was one half of J&B on the Rocks, a weekly television show broadcast on BCAT that was years ahead of its time. Bart explains, “We began production with no expectation of success, with hardly a thought for the future. We slapped a camera on a tripod and sat under a bare bulb in a rough-hewn basement, our rambling dialog punctuated by liberal doses of liquor. Each week we recorded a new installment; each week our faces and voices appeared in living rooms around the city, through the miracle (or curse) of cable television. We quickly found the limits of legality, and soon after that we found an audience. The camera came off the tripod, and we escaped from the basement, as the scope of our production and our circle of friends expanded. The streets of Bloomington became our set, and the people of the city became our cast. There was no script, and no budget either.” Twenty-five years ago, on April 18th, 1995, Rox became the first television show anywhere, to be broadcast on the internet. Time magazine was all set to do a cover story and then…well, you’ll have to read the article.
The first Earth Day took place 50 years ago, on April 22nd, 1970 and Ryder contributing editor Pennfield Jensen was there. Not only was he there, but he helped to organize it. “Earth Day has become an icon for earth awareness,” Penn writes. “But Earth Day 2020 shows only too well how miserably we, as environmentalists, have failed.” There’s more in this issue. Mason Cassady writes about Beekeeping in Poland, Charlotte Zietlow discusses the challenges of County Government, WFIU introduces a podcast about Ernie Pyle and West Coast Bureau Chief Jason Vest writes about quarantine-life in a coastal town in northern California. “I am not one to romanticize small-town life,” Jason writes. He does not.