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Manufactured Landscapes 2007

NR CC
Available on Prime
4.2 out of 5 stars (63) IMDb 7.3/10

Photographer Edward Burtynsky travels the world observing changes in landscapes due to industrial work and manufacturing.

Starring:
Edward Burtynsky
Runtime:
1 hour, 26 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Jennifer Baichwal
Starring Edward Burtynsky
Studio Zeitgeist Films
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By mirasreviews HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 4, 2007
Format: DVD
I didn't know what to expect after the opening 8-minute tracking shot spanned a Chinese factory's considerable length. "Manufactured Landscapes" is about the work of Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky, but this film is unlike any other I've seen on the subject of an artist and his work. Burtynsky has made a name -and many beautiful photographs- in "industrial landscapes". Struck by the ways in which modern humanity has transformed Earth's landscape, he seeks out "the largest industrial incursions" he can find. His photographs are fascinating and surprisingly beautiful representations of the heart of modernization and globalization.

Director Jennifer Baichwal accompanied Burtynsky on several trips to Asia, observing the artist at work and allowing a movie camera to see the industrial landscape as he does. This gives the photographs context that they don't normally have, and Burtynsky takes the opportunity to comment in a spare narration. Baichwal wisely subscribes to the same philosophy as Burtynsky in never interpreting or demystifying the photos. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many of Burtynsky's photographs are presented in the film and amazed at how well the movie footage supports and directs the viewer into them.

After photographing extraction industries for 10 years, Burtynsky turned his attention to China, where all those materials coalesce and are turned into products we consume. We go with him as he documents the rapidly changing landscapes at a factory, a village that recycles "e-waste", a shipyard, coal mine, the incredible Three Gorges Dam, and China's fastest-growing city, Shanghai. A short trip to a shipwrecking beach in Bangladesh is particularly astonishing. "Manufactured Landscapes" showed me things I had never seen before.
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Format: DVD
Length: 2:15 Mins
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Format: DVD
The camera is at the end of a long row of workers. It starts tracking to the next row, and the next, and the next. The camera operator's in no hurry, and as the rows continued, I became agitated. I wanted it to be over. To do something, anything, I began to count the rows. Seven minutes later --- this was surely the longest tracking shot in the history of film --- we were at the end of an enormous factory in China.

You want to see this movie --- you need to see this movie --- for many reasons, and scale is the first. We talk about global warming and environmental degradation and maybe we see a picture of an ice cap and a polar bear or a giant landfill, but we rarely see how big these things can be.

Edward Burtynsky is all about big.

He started, decades ago, by wondering what happened to the quarries that produced giant slabs of stone. What he found were excavated masterpieces --- inverted monuments, exactingly carved, extending hundreds of feet into the earth. In their way, they're gorgeous.

In the last few years, Burtynsky has moved on to China, an agrarian country transforming itself, at warp speed, into an industrial powerhouse. That means: a factory that produces 20 million flat-irons a year. The third largest aluminum recycling yard in the world. A dam so big --- the largest ever conceived, by 50% --- that 1.1 million people had to disassemble their homes and evacuate 13 villages so the thing could be built.

Many of these images show factories and apartments that are new and shiny, light years from what we think of as sweatshop workplaces and workers' housing. But don't be fooled. Much of the labor we see is so repetitive that none of us would last an hour.
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1 Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
Jennifer Baichwal's documentary is a companion to renowned artist Edward Burtynsky's large-scale photographs depicting man's violent alteration of natural environments. Burtynsky achieved notoriety when he documented mine tailings, rail cuts, quarries and oil refineries, mostly located in North America. Baichwal shows Burtynsky at a lecture and exhibition of this material then travels to Asia with him to document the process of creating art based on China's industrial revolution. Manufactured Landscapes opens with an amazing tracking shot from the sidelines of a factory so enormous that the shot lasts eight minutes. There are stunning views of recycling yards and mountains of electronic refuse. Manufactured Landscapes takes us to the site of the Three Gorges Dam, 50% bigger than any previous such project, and to the ruins of the eleven cities that had to be demolished to make its construction possible. In Bangladesh, we witness an area that's become the final resting place for old oil tankers, which are being scrubbed clean of oil by teenagers. The central theme of Manufactured Landscapes is that the things we've come to regard as indicative of progress and human advancement have created a huge dependence on the extraction of natural resources that undermines the health of our planet and consequently our own. Beinchwal's documentary doesn't need to lecture because the visual evidence is so compelling and, ironically, so beautiful.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
My review has nothing to do with the content of this video - Edward Burtynsky is an amazing artist and it's fascinating to watch him work.

But the Standard Definition instant video Amazon has provided here is of terrible quality. Yes, I was aware it was SD when I purchased it, and as far as I know this film has never been offered in HD in any format. But Edward Burtynsky's medium is large format photography which has stunning depth and resolution to it - all of which is totally lost in a SD video stream. I mean - it's entirely pointless to try to appreciate this guy's work in this format. Look instead for his other film Watermark, which is available in HD - or better yet, purchase his books. The content in Manufactured Landscapes is available in the book by the same name, with stunningly beautiful high quality photographs - it never leaves my coffee table.
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