FRACKING MOVIE: Is "Promised Land" Realistic?

FRACKING MOVIE: Is "Promised Land" Realistic?

Postby Oscar » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:48 am

FRACKING MOVIE: Is "Promised Land" Realistic?

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Commentary: Hollywood takes on fracking in Matt Damon's Promised Land, but is it realistic?

http://www.montrealgazette.com/entertai ... vie-guide/
Commentary+Hollywood+takes+fracking+Matt/7770942/story.html

The film Promised Land spends little time explaining how energy companies actually go about pulling natural gas out of the ground

By Michael Rubinkam, Associated Press January 3, 2013
Editor's note: Michael Rubinkam, covers the fracking industry in Pennsylvania for The Associated Press.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Lending an air of authenticity, the movie Promised Land was shot in Pennsylvania, where thousands of wells have been drilled and fracked in recent years as industry heavyweights pull huge volumes of gas from the sprawling Marcellus Shale, a rock formation deep below the surface of the Earth.

But the movie spends little time explaining how energy companies actually go about pulling natural gas out of the ground, and what little explanation the movie does provide is simply not very accurate.

The Focus Features release instead concentrates on another aspect of the drilling boom — the battle for hearts and minds as gas companies seek to lease land for drilling while environmentalists warn of the perils of punching a bunch of holes in the ground. Bewildered landowners, meanwhile, are left to sort out the competing claims and counterclaims.

It's potentially fertile territory. In real life, drilling companies injected millions of dollars into moribund local economies, transforming sleepy villages in Pennsylvania and other states into boomtowns almost overnight. But the industry also sowed division, pitting neighbour against neighbour as some residents complained of ruined water wells and other environmental degradation. Many others, judging by recent public opinion surveys, heralded the prosperity that drilling creates and the abundant homegrown energy it produces.

Even here, though, the movie seeks to entertain more than enlighten, with an implausible plot twist undermining what could have been a realistic portrayal of life as it is really lived in the gas fields.

"Promised Land" follows Steve Butler (Damon), a gas company salesman who shows up in an economically struggling small town in Pennsylvania that happens to sit atop a vast reserve of gas. His task: To get residents to sign on the dotted line, promising them they'll become instant millionaires once the gas starts flowing from the shale underneath their land. Standing in his way is Dustin Noble (Krasinski), an environmental activist determined to convince townsfolk they don't want what the driller is selling.

Damon's character repeatedly points out that drilling has brought new life to struggling towns, calls U.S. reliance on foreign sources of energy "insane," and defends fracking as a technology with a proven track record of safety. And he seems to believe it himself, at least initially.

But the film leaves little doubt as to where its sympathies lie.

MORE . . . .
____
AP writer Ryan Pearson contributed to this story from Los Angeles.

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Matt Damon takes on fracking in Promised Land (with video)

http://www.montrealgazette.com/entertai ... vie-guide/
Hollywood+takes+fracking+Promised+Land/7766018/story.html

By Michael Rubinkam, The Associated Press January 2, 2013

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The new movie "Promised Land" digs into the fierce national debate over fracking, the technique that's generated a boom in U.S. natural gas production while also stoking controversy over its possible impact on the environment and human health.

Written by and starring Matt Damon and John Krasinski, the film comes at an opportune time for a big-screen exploration of the issues surrounding the shale gas revolution, with cheap natural gas transforming the nation's energy landscape and "fracking" now a household word.

But viewers shouldn't necessarily expect a realistic treatment of drilling and fracking. It's not that kind of film.

Lending an air of authenticity, the movie was shot in Pennsylvania, where thousands of wells have been drilled and fracked in recent years as industry heavyweights pull huge volumes of gas from the sprawling Marcellus Shale, a rock formation deep below the surface of the Earth.

But "Promised Land" spends little time explaining how energy companies actually go about pulling natural gas out of the ground, and what little explanation the movie does provide is simply not very accurate.

The Focus Features release instead concentrates on another aspect of the drilling boom — the battle for hearts and minds as gas companies seek to lease land for drilling while environmentalists warn of the perils of punching a bunch of holes in the ground. Bewildered landowners, meanwhile, are left to sort out the competing claims and counterclaims.

Actors Matt Damon and John Krasinski discuss the movie: . . .

VIDEO:

MORE:

http://www.montrealgazette.com/entertai ... vie-guide/
Hollywood+takes+fracking+Promised+Land/7766018/story.html
____

AP writer Ryan Pearson contributed to this story from Los Angeles.

NOTE — The author, Michael Rubinkam, covers the fracking industry in Pennsylvania for The Associated Press. With "Promised Land" opening nationwide on Friday, he offers this view from the ground.

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More on This Story

Making deals in Alberta’s energy sector was a real gas in 2012

Ermahgerd to Frankenstorm: The top words of 2012

Ewart: Comedy of errors on frack job no laughing matter

Fracking opponents protest as British government mulls green light for shale gas exploration

Update: Fracking blamed in well blowout

Leaked fracking fluid contaminated groundwater near Grande Prairie: ERCB

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Anti-Fracking Activists Now Have a Major Motion Picture with Megastar Matt Damon to Boost the Cause

http://www.alternet.org/fracking/
anti-fracking-activists-now-have-major-motion-picture-megastar-matt-damon-boost-cause

January 2, 2013 | Published on Alternet (http://www.alternet.org) AlterNet [1] / By Tara Lohan [2]

This article was published in partnership with GlobalPossibilities.org [3].

The 2010 documentary Gasland [4], made by filmmaker Josh Fox, catapulted the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” into the mainstream public’s consciousness. The film went on to be nominated for an Oscar and also won an Emmy. Fox has since become a stalwart of the anti-fracking movement, and celebrities are jumping into the fray as well. Mark Ruffalo [5], who lives in upstate New York, emerged as an early activist against fracking. In August Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon launched a celebrity-heavy Artists Against Fracking [6] event, which featured Alec Baldwin, Gwyneth Paltrow, Lady Gaga, Uma Thurman, and Hugh Jackman, among others [7].

Now, fracking has officially gone Hollywood. For months, those involved in exposing the dangers of fracking have eagerly awaited the release of the new film Promised Land [8]. The wait is now over. Cowritten by Matt Damon and John Krasinski, and directed by Gus Van Sant, Promised Land was blasphemed by the gas industry [9] even before it was released. But while the industry may be unhappy with the anti-corporate message of the movie, the film ultimately falls pretty flat if you’re looking for strong language about the dangers of fracking.

Let’s blame Josh Fox. Ultimately, the bar has been set too high. Gasland provided a glimpse into a living hell for many people impacted by drilling — drinking water erupting in flames, scary health problems, unlivable homes. And it was real. Promised Land on the other hand is not — it’s a Hollywood rendition and as such grossly simplifies the issue, providing the requisite (and pretty unconvincing) romantic storyline. While the entire movie is not predictable, you can guess the gist of it about 15 minutes in.

Writing for the New York Times, A.O. Scott says [10]:

“Promised Land” itself, however, has a point to make, and it does so in a way that is both honorable and disappointing. It admirably tries to represent both sides of the fracking debate, even though its allegiance is clearly to the antifracking position. There is nothing wrong with such advocacy, except that in this case it means that the movie veers away from its strengths, ending in a welter of convenient (and dubious) plot twists and puffed-up speeches.

Viewers who are already skeptical of fracking are likely to find gratification in the film’s sentimental, studiously ambiguous conclusion. Those seeking scientific information will need to look elsewhere — not that rigorous science is what anyone expects from a movie. But “Promised Land” feels divided against itself, not quite sure how to reconcile its polemical intentions with its storytelling impulses, and thus finally unable to fulfill its own promise.


Links:
[1] http://www.alternet.org


[2] http://www.alternet.org/authors/tara-lohan


[3] http://globalpossibilities.org/


[4] http://gaslandthemovie.com/


[5] http://www.alternet.org/story/152448/ma ... _no_choice


[6] http://artistsagainstfracking.com/


[7] http://entertainment.time.com/2012/08/3 ... z2GrPpnlpm


[8] http://focusfeatures.com/promised_land


[9] http://www.alternet.org/fracking/oil-an ... mised-land


[10] http://movies.nytimes.com/2012/12/28/mo ... .html?_r=0


[11] http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2 ... -texas-oil


[12] http://www.alternet.org/tags/fracking-0


[13] http://www.alternet.org/tags/matt-damon


[14] http://www.alternet.org/tags/promised-land-0


[15] http://www.alternet.org/%2Bnew_src%2B


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Or, if you prefer 'real' . . . .

Ernst v. EnCana Corporation

http://www.ernstversusencana.ca/
Landowner Jessica Ernst sues EnCana and Alberta government regulators over water contamination
Oscar
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ENERGY INDUSTRY SLAMS FILM

Postby Oscar » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:20 am

QUOTE: "Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers spokesman Travis Davies says he does not think the movie can be taken for anything other than fiction. Mr. Davies, like other critics of the film, noted funding for Promised Land came in part from Abu Dhabi’s Image Nation, a government-controlled production company. The United Arab Emirates is ranked seventh in the world when it comes to proven reserves for both oil and gas."

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Watch - Promised Land: The official trailer

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/film/
promised-land-the-official-trailer/article6855609/?from=6938126

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Energy Industry slams Matt Damon fracking film as Hollywood fiction

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/
industry-news/energy-and-resources/matt-damons-fracking-film-more-hollywood-fiction-than-reality-energy-industry/article6938126/

Kelly Cyderman and Carrie Tait

Calgary - The Globe and Mail Published January 4, 2013

A blend of engineering and geology hardly makes for a Hollywood blockbuster. But the latest movie about hydraulic fracturing – yes, there’s more than one out there – has an A-lister taking shots at the controversial practise.

The film – Promised Land , co-written and starring Matt Damon – opens Friday, but the energy industry’s supporters are already fuming over how they have been painted as the bad guy. The movie, they argue, is full of scare-mongering rather than facts. And they say Hollywood has done just the same: made judgment calls without having all the necessary information.

MORE:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/
industry-news/energy-and-resources/matt-damons-fracking-film-more-hollywood-fiction-than-reality-energy-industry/article6938126/

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More Related to this Story

MOVIE REVIEW Promised Land: Stellar cast, but the film is a fracking disappointment
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/film/film-reviews/
promised-land-stellar-cast-but-the-film-is-a-fracking-disappointment/article6907504/

Ontario won’t allow fracking unless it’s safe, McGuinty says
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/
ontario-wont-allow-fracking-unless-its-safe-mcguinty-says/article5477227/

Britain lifts shale gas ban but tightens rules
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/
international-business/european-business/britain-lifts-shale-gas-ban-but-tightens-rules/article6318069/

N.B. shale gas could power province for a century: minister
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-o ... le5769760/

Film ignores fracking boon CNN Friday, January 04, 2013
http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/02/opinion/
bennett-fracking-movie/index.html?hpt=op_mid

'Promised Land' barely scratches the surface in its look at the fracking process Detroit Free Press Thursday, January 03, 2013
http://www.freep.com/article/20130104/ENT01/301040009

Gas Drilling Is Called Safe in New York New York Times Wednesday, January 02, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/03/nyregion/
hydrofracking-safe-says-ny-health-dept-analysis.html?_r=0
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