Mariel Hemingway coming to Greentopia
08:28 AM, Sep 06, 2013
Greentopia offers a lot of enlightenment and entertainment in all sorts of areas from design to ecology and music to philosophical suggestions for the future. The festival celebrates the ways we can improve our lives, and that of our planet. Along the way, of course, are a few cautionary notes about things we should be doing. It runs in various venues around town from Sept. 10 through 15.
I especially enjoy the films that curator Linda Moroney corrals for the annual event. Greentopia is about sustainability, “and we interpret sustainability in the broadest context,” Moroney says, “in terms of our cities, our communities, and within our families, the whole organism can only be healthy when all the parts are healthy.”
Oscar-nominated actress Mariel Hemingway will appear with the screening of Running from Crazy
, the profile about her by Oscar-winning documentarian Barbara Kopple. In it, Hemingway deals with her family’s long and tragic history of suicide, going back to her famous grandfather, Ernest.
Hemingway and her life-partner, Bobby Williams, will hold a book signing for the couple’s Running With Nature, from 4 to 5 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Greentopia EcoFest at High Falls. The book shares the couple’s philosophy on good nutrition, meditation and more.
Hemingway will then participate in a Q & A session, moderated by yours truly, after the 9 p.m. screening of Running from Crazy at The Little.
Running for Crazy, Moroney says, is appropriate for a festival on sustainability, because it explores mental health and suicide prevention.
Maidentrip, meanwhile, offers the story of a 14-year-girl who sails alone around the globe, “but she also explores inwardly, into herself,” Moroney say.
Moroney says she’s also designed Greentopia films specifically to stir debate. For example, two controversial films on energy are scheduled back to back: One is the anti-fracking film, Dear Governor Cuomo, the other Pandora’s Promises, which suggests that the decades-long opposition to nuclear energy may have been short-sighted.
“That’s another aspect of Greentopia, to stir conversation,” Moroney says. “Change doesn’t happen unless we have dialogue within our communities.”
Altogether, the film branch of Greentopia is offering 10 features, along with assorted shorts for adults and children. Each showing will include a Q&A with filmmakers, in person or via Skype. Here are five films I’ve previewed, and especially recommend:
A Will for the Woods. 7 p.m. Friday at the Little Theatre. The film documents, through the story of a brave and forthright dying man, the effort by some to be buried in an organic, ecological, “green” way. The film will be awarded the festival’s Greentopia I FILM Fork in the Road Award.
Maidentrip. 9:30 p.m. Friday at the Little. The film portrays the impressive and exciting adventures of a 14-year-old Dutch girl as she attempts to sail around the globe. She was truly alone all the on-board footage was shot by the girl herself.
Trashed. 2 p.m. Saturday at WXXI Studio A. Veteran actor Jeremy Irons takes us on a disturbing and unsettling tour of the trash of the world, as we examine the ways we’re turning the globe into a giant landfill, and what we should do about it.
Running from Crazy. 9 p.m. Saturday at the Little. Muriel Hemingway (star of Manhattan, Personal Best and Star 80) accompanies this screening about a woman trying to take charge of her life and to escape the negative aspects of her family legacy.
Pandora’s Promise. 7:15 p.m. Sunday at the Little. It’s a potent documentary that dares to challenge longheld beliefs in the dangers and unsuitability of nuclear energy. It dares to suggest that my childhood experience with Walt Disney’s My Friend the Atom might actually have gotten it right.
Schedules for all the films, and the many other Greentopia events, can be found at greentopiafest.com