Wednesday, January 12, 2022

"Don't Look Up" is a hit [Media Notes 65d]

Cara Buckley, “Don’t Just Watch: Team Behind ‘Don’t Look Up’ Urges Climate Action,” NYTimes, 1.11.22:

After the film premiered in December, climate scientists took to social media and penned opinion essays, saying they felt seen at last. Neil deGrasse Tyson tweeted that it seemed like a documentary. Several admirers likened the film to “A Modest Proposal,” the 18th-century satirical essay by Jonathan Swift.

Naysayers, meanwhile, said the comet allegory was lost on those who took it literally, and questioned why Mr. McKay hadn’t been more straightforward about global warming. Writing in The New Yorker, Richard Brody said if scientists didn’t like what film critics had to say about science, “the scientists should stop meddling with art.”

Either way, at a time when leaders are failing to take the necessary measures to tackle the planet emergency, and the volume and ferocity of so-called “natural” disasters reach ever graver peaks, there is little question that the movie has struck a pretty big nerve. According to Netflix, which self reports its own figures and was the studio behind the film and its distributor, the movie is one of the its most popular films ever, amassing an unprecedented 152 million hours viewed in one week.

“The goal of the movie was to raise awareness about the terrifying urgency of the climate crisis, and in that, it succeeded spectacularly,” said Genevieve Guenther, the founder and director of End Climate Silence, an organization that promotes media coverage of climate change.

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