Skip to main content

TRANSITION

UK, 2000 (MIFF 2001, Documentaries)

Director: Andy MacKinnon

Recalling the splendour of Koyaanisqatsi, Andy MacKinnon's majestic Transition is an account of lost lives and deserted places, outpaced by the encroachment of modernity. In the past decade, the Scottish landscape has been altered drastically as a result of human intervention. Large industrial complexes have been erected and torn down. The noxious by-products of commerce have tainted rivers and choked the sky.

Transition imbues these events with a malevolent beauty; images of pollution, deterioration and demolition are photographed in extraordinary timelapse episodes or dramatic slow motion which gives them an apocalyptic air. Giant cranes, captured from a distance, appear as tentacled beasts set about their destructive work without human guidance. The wastelands that remain after empty factories are dynamited appear as extraterrestrial landscapes.

At carefully chosen junctures, a poetic voice-over comments on the folly of humankind. The key to the motivation behind MacKinnons documentary is a single sentence: "It is not nature that is answerable to man, but man who is answerable to nature". Painstakingly filmed over a five year period, this phenomenal work is a cinematic indictment of the possibty fatal arrogance of a species.

See also...

THE ALCOHOL YEARS

The Alcohol Years is filmmaker Carol Morley's attempt to recapture five lost years in Manchester during 1982-87. What could have been a self indulgent excursion into the past turns out to be both a ... More »

A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME

... ... From Errol Morris, the director of the daz­zling The Thin Blue Line, comes this won­drous and wonder-filled joumey into the life and work of Professor Stephen Hawking, the ... More »

COMRADES IN ARMS

Men and women offer us an unknown view of World War II. The quality of the 'head shots' approaches the vivacity of Rosie the Riveter. Using in addition archival footage and enacted segments, we are ... More »

JOHN HUSTON - WAR STORIES

A personal memoir recounting the outstanding yet virtually unknown and unseen documentaries that Hollywood veteran John Huston shot during World War II. This film is the result of the dedication of ... More »

Sargy Mann

An artist for all of his adult life, Sargy Mann accepts his total loss of vision late in life with admirable good grace and sets about readying a canvas for his first and, he presumes, last, ?blind ... More »

PATIENCE (AFTER SEBALD)

"It is as if he is playing a game of patience, as if the right arrangement of images were the key to a trauma." - Filmmaker Grant Gee ... Following the success of his documentaries on British music ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director