By Dan Bloom-Special to The China Post
Special to The China Post–In a recent Associated Press (AP) wire story about a new climate-themed genre of movies in Hollywood that was reprinted last fall in The China Post, AP wrote that ��climate change is be becoming the start of more and more ��cli-fi�� movies. The reporter asked readers: ��Did you see ‘Into the Storm’ or ‘Snowpiercer’ yet? Both are cli-fi movies and did well at the global box office.�� Climate change conscious narratives are going Hollywood, so much so that I have curated a new global Cli-Fi Movie Awards program based out of Taiwan, with a best director gong going to Darren Aronofsky of ��Noah�� fame, with a best actor nod to Robert Pattinson for his role in David Michod’s made-in-Australia movie ��The Rover.�� In addition, Jake Paltrow, younger brother of Gyneth Paltrow, won a best new director award at the ��Cliffies,�� as the movie awards program has been dubbed, for his rookie effort with ��Young Ones,�� which was shot in a very dry region of South Africa. ��Cli-fi�� movies have emerged as a niche genre, taking the pomp of doomsday science-fiction flicks and mixing it with the underlying message of environmental awareness, AP reported.
Fabien Cousteau, the grandson of famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau and a filmmaker himself, told AP in the same article that ��cli-fi movies allow people to view a changing part of the world through the prism of an anecdote.�� ��It’s relating the scientific part of the story in a way that people are entranced by it,�� he added. The reporter then interviewed me in Taiwan, where I have curated and posted online the Cli-Fi Movie Awards website, announcing the 2014 winners. ��Documentaries are powerful, but feature movies with film stars and vivid storytelling are also pieces of the equation,�� I was quoted by AP as saying by email when interviewed for the news story. In fact, I had lobbied and proposed the story to the Associated Press last summer, and an editor in Los Angeles finally assigned a reporter in Florida to write it. Cli-fi movies can help raise awareness worldwide, through the power of cinema, both in darkened theaters full of popcorn-munching film fans and on DVDs released later. ��We need to go beyond abstract, scientific predictions and government statistics and try to show the cinematic or literary reality of a painful, possible future of the world climate changed,�� I told AP and I meant it. Cli-fi is a cultural prism, a critical prism that we need to cherish and nurture. One special Cli-Fi Movie Award that I was happy to hand out last year went to Chiu Li-wei (���߰�), the Tainan-based director of the Chinese-language children’s animated TV series, ��Weather Boy!�� (�[�����֦~) �X which has already been shown on PTS here in Taiwan. So ��the Cliffies,�� as I have dubbed these annual awards for the best cli-fi movies of the year worldwide, have a home in Taiwan. For best picture, the 2014 gong went to ��Snowpiercer.�� To see the full winner’s list, which also honored ��Into the Storm�� and ��Noah,�� check the website. Dan Bloom, who coined the ��cli-fi�� term and launched the Cli-Fi Movie Awards last year as an annual online event, blogs about the awards at: korgw101.blogspot.com