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That people in positions of power can so ruthlessly pillage the western economy and get away with it, can cause incredible hardship to so many people, can eviscerate the middle classes…. And do it with impunity. With impunity. Couple that with what had previously, right up until that moment been generally considered to be the great moral crisis and challenge of our time which was climate change.

It made it almost unavoidable that I would have a pessimistic view of the future. And I started feeding this into the screenplay and in fact it made it necessary that it not be post-apocalypse. I wanted it to feel like these characters were enduring a state of socioeconomic disrepair that is entirely plausible and entirely the product of forces that are bubbling around us today. Maybe peri-apocalypse rather than post-apocalypse then? And it turns the Australian desert in particular into a sort of resource-rich Third World country, where there is still an economy of sorts, there is still a functioning infrastructure but that infrastructure functions only to protect the wealth of the resources industry.

It has a very dog-eat-dog quality, yes. It is about the human need for connection regardless of the circumstances. Yeah, but yet the constant need for it anyway. Guy and I knew that the character we were creating was a creature, he was a monstrous man, and yet it was always important to me that he had flickering inside him the pilot light of that basic need for human love. Whereas this becomes a movie about sadness borne of….

Hurtling toward oblivion : a logical argument for the end of the age

Of something decent? Yes, of something decent and loving. So tell me when in the process you thought of Guy Pearce for the central role. Very early on. And especially when I started thinking about it being a movie set in a relatively near future after a period of socioeconomic decay. It began to feel important to me that that central character be played by a guy in his mid-forties, someone who was old enough to remember what life used to be like but still young and vital enough to be dangerous. Because Guy is so good at playing really strong powerful stillness, but with the capacity to open little windows to a richer deeper emotional life.

In the tiniest ways.

Hurtling toward Oblivion - A Logical Argument for the End of the Age (Paperback)

I had met him in L. But you did see some of his performances? And I just liked him. How intelligent he was, his interest and curiosity and taste, I liked his physicality. So he came round to my house and we spent a few hours together and worked with some scenes and I knew very quickly that a he was my guy and b it was going to be very exciting for both of us.

Did the fame phenomenon that surrounds him make you wary at any point? But that also made the prospect exciting—I felt like it would be an unexpected casting choice. And I always felt like if the performance he gave was extraordinary, then we could get these worlds into bed together.

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And I have felt it all along—that in the middle of this quite spare and lean film are these two really amazing performances. And have you been pleased with the reaction so far? Cannes must be a strange pressure cooker in which to debut a film. And having to process all that, and the reactions and all the emotional stuff is … weird. I kind of always knew that it would be. I wanted for something that was a lot leaner in narrative, more muscular, more… …sinewy?

So deep is his conviction that he has spent time in jail for a recent protest. Mary has contacted Toller to help counsel her husband who is in such a state of despair about the planet that he is putting pressure on her to have an abortion.

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He simply does not want to bring new life into a dying planet. But that is barely the time that is needed for two men to discuss the big questions of our day. All Toller can do is repeat the importance of choosing life as a way of standing against evil. For Michael, such advice rings hollow since it is action rather than faith that will block the polluters that are destroying all life on earth.

Some days later, Mary calls Toller with a desperate tone in her voice. He must come immediately to see what she has discovered. Upon arrival in his dusty and aged sedan, she ushers him into the shed behind their house and opens a box concealed beneath others. Toller is shocked to see a suicide bomb vest of the sort that jihadists use. It is obvious that Michael has become so angry and frustrated about the corporate rape of the planet that he is ready to die for the cause, including the men who profit from that rape.

He tells Mary that he will take the vest with him and to leave it to him to minister to Michael. A day later, he receives a message from Michael to meet him at a nearby park to discuss matters but when he arrives, he sees his dead body. He has taken his life with a hunting rifle and left Mary to fend for herself. For Travis Bickle, New York was a Sodom and Gomorrah that impelled him to rain down destruction on its sinners since it was clear that no supernatural being could do much about year old girls working as prostitutes.

For Father Toller, it a different kind of degradation that must be confronted. At one point, we see him looking balefully at a lake polluted by the toxic waste flowing from Balq Industries, the largest donor to Abundant Life. The incestuous ties between corporate mammon and the prosperity gospel are staring Toller in the face.

We are all organic pain-collectors, hurtling toward oblivion. - Album on Imgur

Now seventy-one, Paul Schrader has made a film that is not only the pinnacle of a long career but one that reflects his deepest worries about the future of the planet—the same ones of his characters. In an interview with Variety , Schrader explained why he chose to make a film about the environmental crisis:. We have this contemporary crisis of ecology, which takes all the historic, philosophic questions of meaning and puts them in boldface.

Man has always wondered whether life has any meaning and what comes after death. Now that we can sort of see the end of the role in the physical world the questions have an added urgency. The icebergs are falling into the seas. I would think that homo sapiens as we know them will not outlive this century. When they create a great museum of the animal world, hopefully the filmmakers will get a room. This was a time of deep political and spiritual reflection, after all. Like the sixties radicals, Merton lived a life of excess in the s.

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When he was at Cambridge University, he spent more time getting drunk at pubs than studying. I wish I had been as smart when it came to joining the Trotskyist movement.

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