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Manufactured Landscapes

The neon-green lakes, sky-high piles of tires and candy-like heaps of cell phones are beautiful — until you realize they’re not works of art but rather the physical evidence of our toll on the environment. These images, which form the backbone of the film Manufactured Landscapes, are the work of Edward Burtynsky, known for his large-scale photographs of nature transformed by industry.

For Manufactured Landscapes, documentary filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal followed Burtynsky to China, capturing him at work and then examining the resulting photographs. In his photos of the Cankun factory in Xiamen City, Burtynsky looks at the massive human infrastructure behind the waste industry. In one scene, we see a photograph of a small group of factory workers dressed in identical yellow and white jackets. As Baichwal’s camera slowly moves back, more and more workers come into the frame, until we realize it’s a seemingly endless line of workers standing in military-like formation in front of an equally long line of identical yellow-and-white factories. But An Inconvenient Truth this isn’t — there’s no preaching. Manufactured Landscapes leaves the audience to form its own conclusions about living in a world where some factories are a mile long. 7 pm. Rice Media Center, 6100 Main. For information, call 713-524-3000 or visit Free.
Wed., Feb. 20, 7 p.m., 2008


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