GasLand - DVD Review

'what would happen if mumblecore ever did documentary'

GasLand, fronted by writer/director/narrator Josh Fox is what would happen if mumblecore ever did documentary. Fox, receiving a letter offering him a sizeable amount of money to drill natural gas on his property, finds himself embroiled in a web of intrigue and corporate denial by accident, bumbling along in the style of the accidental mystery solvers from Cold Weather.

Some will find this style of documentary difficult to swallow. Fox exits his car at one point to play the banjo with a gas mask on in the middle of a field of natural gas drilling outposts. Why? Because he can. Because the thing is unregulated and unprotected. Because there's no-one to stop him.

See past Fox's quirky style though and there is a serious issues film here with several shocking images. The most notable is the now infamous footage of Americans across the country with the ability to light their taps on fire but equally, the image of one man taking a blow torch to water and turning it into plastic and the brown water described as 'fit to drink' by one company provide plenty of shock content for discussion.

Fox can't quite get the film to last the one-hundred and seven minute runtime though and a ninety-minute cut would have reaped benefits. The case against the lack of legislation and the drilling companies themselves is all but made sixty minutes in but Fox perseveres, eventually creating a bit of a 'get to the point' atmosphere. That said, this is intriguing and well-argued stuff from a talent who looks like he could do this again and again with similarly successful results.

Look further...

'Gasland proves that there is more to documenting than being 100% accurate. Josh Fox's journey is one of self-discovery and eye opening science' - A Life In Equinox, 8.5/10

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