Crude Awakening: Al Gore’s Syriana
Robert Redford‘s new, earthy Sundance Channel programming, dubbed “The Green,” had its screening and splashy launch party in New York. Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack‘s A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash, one of the documentaries debuting on the channel, is the sort of like Syriana if it was produced by Al Gore. But unlike Gore’s Inconvenient Truth, the film leaves you with nothing but a feeling of grim, helpless despair, tossing aside each and every potentially earth-saving alternative fuel option (biofuel, solar power, wind power, hydrogen) as pipe-dreamy hyperbole. The message: “The planet is f*cked, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Seriously, don’t bother.”
Which is probably why Sundance president and CEO Larry Aidem was in a combative mood at the after-party (held at the equally-earthy ABC Carpet & Home on 18th Street). Aidem interrupted Paulette Cole, ABC’s CEO and creative director, to admonish the partygoers for talking during her speech. “You can treat me like a piece of shit [but not her],” Aidem said. “Please, shut the f*ck up.”
Shortly after Aidem’s rant, Rufus Wainright played a pretty solo piano set.