Saturday, July 7, 2012

"National Parks Project" DVD

In honor of the Canadian National Parks centennial, this fascinating DVD is a compilation and collaboration between 13 filmmakers and 39 independent musicians. Given 5 day visits to some of Canada's most scenic and majestic parks, the filmmakers create their own visual interpretations of the parks' natural beauty and grandeur, while the musicians performed songs/soundtracks alongside them.

The results are, as can be expected, uneven. At their finest, these films are meditative and artful, capturing the flora and fauna in its own rugged purity. There are lovely and intimate portraits of wildlife and forests, tundra and treelines, Arctic snow and glaciers, waterfalls and shorelines, and tons more. The directors put their own individual spin on their surroundings, and some end up like hallucinogenic mind-trips, while others are more straightforward and documentary. 

The music, which sometimes seems to get in the way of the visuals, is primarily of the loose, slackerly indie rock persuasion, with detours for some tribal Native American sounds, as well as some cool proto-metal from Melissa Auf Der Maur (who is central to a particularly memorable film). 

All told, this is a unique and creative way to celebrate the natural heritage and splendor of Canada's national parks system. And even if some films (or music) may not be to your liking, there are plenty of amazing visuals here to inspire and aspire to. (Primitive Entertainment)

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