Friday, February 15, 2008

Green doc leaves its brain in the trash

First, Garbage Warrior isn't really about garbage and secondly, it's not about a warrior. This piece of green advocacy is, essentially, a celebration of Michael Reynolds, an architect living near Taos, N.M., who has spent 35 years experimenting with and creating self-sustaining houses, often out of recycled materials.

The green movement is eager for such heroes, but Garbage Warrior falls into the trap of so many documentaries that are more from the heart than the head: It's a timely subject, devoid of the rigour that might make it actually important. Shot over three years by first-time filmmaker (and professional Hollywood props creator) Oliver Hodge, the film chases one narrative thread and then another. There are least three potential films here, each perhaps worthy of a television newsmagazine segment.

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