Saturday, February 6, 2010

Helen Baxendale on filming Beyond the Pole

From Times UK

The Friends and Cold Feet actress has produced a film about a duo, starring Stephen Mangan, on mission to the North Pole

Perhaps inevitably, climate change has been slow to creep into the creative arts, despite its 30 years at the heart of the environmental debate. One or two disaster movies have given a careful nod towards the more apocalyptic scenarios, having exhausted aliens from space, tidal waves, asteroids and sea monsters in their bid to destroy New York on camera — but it’s kind of hard to deliver a narrative arc based on the interaction of greenhouse gases with fluid dynamics and radiative transfer, although Thom Yorke has obviously had a go.

Since the fudge of last year’s Copenhagen summit, however, it’s as if exasperated artists have decided to wedge climate change into their work by any means necessary. Banksy, of course, was the cutest. A few weeks ago, the Bristol graffiti artist scrawled I Don’t Believe in Global Warming along the side of a canal, with the words half submerged, as if by rising water. Not his subtlest work, but points for the retro use of the original 1970s term. Ian McEwan, meanwhile, has based his next novel, Solar — out on March 18 — on a devious, woman-chasing physicist called Michael Beard, who discovers a way to derive power from a form of artificial photosynthesis, but seems happier lurching around ice-bound ships while wildly drunk. Beard faces violent attacks from the media as he staggers across the planet.

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