The Four Elements

The Four Elements ★★★

this starts out as a simple educational doc, and one that’s not all that valuable or informative—but it’s elevated into something cooler thanks to the artistic sensibilities that Curtis Harrington lends. my favorite part is toward the end of these twelve minutes, when the voiceover stops and the film becomes a poetic montage of imagery, framing the processes of the industrial plant as something mysterious and beautiful, synced to the sounds of a symphony. 

the churning factory machinery even takes on a dimension that’s a bit haunting & sinister… or maybe I’m just projecting my own personal feelings about fossil fuels at the moment (& corporate greed & exploitation of labor for harmful industries of resource extraction & the inevitable outcome of unfettered capitalism coupled with violent histories of settler-colonialism & human society’s detrimental abuse of the natural world, as we careen toward global catastrophe) onto the footage, so that the narrator’s attitudes become somewhat ironic & chilling in current context…

“Together, all men can make the most of the resources of the earth… and beyond!” 

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