From the press release:
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mark Ruffalo and other Oscar nominees will wear a blue water droplet pin during Sunday night’s Academy Awards as a way of asking Americans to be stewards of our treasured water supply, which is currently in jeopardy due to extreme drilling and includes natural gas hydro-fracking. The pin is an initiative of WaterDefense.org, a new campaign calling attention to the impacts on drinking water caused by increasingly extreme methods used to extract fossil fuels.
WaterDefense.org’s Oscar initiative follows a recent day in D.C. where Mark Ruffalo and “GASLAND” Director, Josh Fox, met with Congressional members about the issue. “Gasland”, a documentary about natural gas hydro-fracking, is also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary this year. Ruffalo, who’s nominated for Best-Supporting Actor for “The Kids Are Alright”, and other Oscar celebrities, will be wearing their water droplet pins at the Awards gala and other festivities to help raise awareness for the issue. The pin is two-fold in meaning – it represents our prized natural water resources and is also a tear for what’s happened as a result of it not being protected.
I haven’t be able to find an image of the pin online, the website at “WaterDefense.org” wasn’t available when I tried it, but in my imagination a small blue water droplet pin looks a lot like a small blue natural gas flame pin. For me, the pins will have a four-fold meaning: (1) our prized natural water resources, (2) a tear for what’s happened to it, (3) our prized natural gas resources, and (4) a tear for those people with higher energy bills or limited access to heating because of restrictions on resource development.
But I can’t imagine actually watching the Oscar ceremony live, so the pins will have to wait until I read the news online the next morning before they have the four-fold meaning to me.
The Gasland documentary, up for an Oscar in the documentary category, has been the subject of a lot of complaints by industry (more or less summed up as “it’s a pack of lies”) and spirited defense by its director (more or less summed up as “no it isn’t”). Mike Soraghan of Greenwire examined the industry complaints and the filmmaker’s claims to see where the truth is. His conclusion: “The filmmaker and industry have each made errors and have spun some facts to their outer limits.”
To me it looks like a fair examination of the issues (but industry and filmmaker probably wouldn’t agree).
The issue of “fictionalization” arises in both the documentary and Best Picture category. Many of the movies nominated for Best Picture are based on real events, but are fictionalized to various degrees: The Social Network, The Fighter, The King’s Speech and 127 Hours. Questions always arise in such cases about how far the filmmaker can to in bending fact in order to tell a compelling story.
(A local theater is showing five of the ten Best Picture nominees today: The Social Network, The Fighter, The King’s Speech, True Grit, and Black Swan. I’m not sure I can sit through 10+ hours of film in one day, but I’m going to give it a try. Well, almost. I’ve seen True Grit already, so I’ll be able to take a dinner break.)