Editor's note: This week's Ecollywood column was so long, we split it into three parts. Read the other two posts, about Demi Moore's new movie about over-consumption and about an event where celebs came out to support the next generation of filmmakers.
Visible on screen of late as a centaur in Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Robert Pattinson’s dad in Remember Me, an ex-Prime Minister in The Ghost Writer and a bereaved father in The Greatest, Pierce Brosnan is also the narrator of the new Disneynature documentary Oceans, a role the concerned environmentalist takes very seriously. “I read the script as if I were telling my sons a story of how beautiful the ocean is to me,” says the Irish actor, who can’t single out his favorite moment in the film.
“There are so many to choose from in this feast of a movie -- from the crabs off of Melbourne Bay gathering by the thousands to the feeding frenzy of birds and whales, dolphins and seals, to the magnificent stillness of a man and a great white shark, side by side as they swim along in complete harmony,” he says. “I hope Oceans will become a family favorite for many years to come and that, maybe, just a few or many, will be inspired to do good things for our planet.”
It’s fitting that Jamie Lee Curtis (pictured right) is the narrator of the documentary Dirt! The Movie, which has its TV premiere on PBS’ Independent Lens Apr. 20. “I live in a part of Los Angeles that is filled with dirt, a gorgeous canyon filled with trees. It’s a community of people who love being able to live in that kind of natural environment,” she says, adding that her husband, Christopher Guest, “is really the environmentalist in our family,” having converted his pickup truck to flex fuel.
The family had an EV1 and “every version of Prius” before they got a Honda Clarity, a hydrogen-fueled car. To be eligible to drive the prototype, they had to prove they lived within a five-mile radius of the nearest hydrogen fuel pump in west Los Angeles. “It’s unbelievable. It’s a rocket ship, and it’s as beautiful a car as I’ve ever been in, and it burns water,” raves Curtis. “It will leave you a glass of water that you can drink.”
Curtis, who has solar panels on her home and volunteers for the Tree People organization, tries to be eco-conscious whenever possible. “We’re all trying to do something to change the way we approach things. If every company sent e-mail saying, ‘Please don’t print this unless you need to,’ that’s change. But we’re talking about change on a global scale one change at a time, and this film will help.”
Josh Dorfman (pictured left), the self-described Lazy Environmentalist, returns for a second season of his Sundance Channel series Apr. 20, with eight new episodes in which he shows people easy ways to go green. It “carries the lazy environmentalist ethos into some unexpected, yet relevant, places,” says Dorfman, who works with an interior designer and a family of campers in the premiere. “The show has two simple goals: one is to help viewers find green solutions that are easy, attractive and actually improve their daily lives; the other is to have fun with the entire process and keep a light spirit,” he adds. “If you’re thinking about bringing a microwave on your camping trip -- or just want to meet a person who would -- this is a show for you.”
“We recycle everything,” said Cheech Marin (pictured right) at the premiere of The Perfect Game, a family movie in which he plays a priest, likely to the amusement of those who know him best as half of the stoner movie duo Cheech & Chong. Made three years ago and stuck in indie release limbo, it’s finally hitting theaters Apr. 16 to coincide with baseball season -- appropriately enough, as it’s based on the true story of an underdog Little League team from Monterrey, Mexico that won the world championship in 1957. “I gave it up for dead many times,” confided Marin, who helps organize the team in the inspirational movie. A few days later on Apr.20, Cheech & Chong’s Hey Watch This, a filmed version of the comedy team’s Light Up America reunion tour, will simultaneously be released to theaters, DVD and video-on-demand. The pair continues to tour, with dates this month in Bakersfield, Phoenix and Fort Worth.
What would you bid to save the Earth? Several eco-charities are betting you’ll open your wallets in the Christie’s Green Auction benefiting Oceana, Natural Resources Defense Council, Conservation International and the Central Park Conservancy. Running online through May 6, the silent auction offers items such as a day on the set with Hugh Jackman, a tennis lesson with John McEnroe, dinner and theater with Sigourney Weaver, lunch on the Californication set with David Duchovny, a lunch date and a $10,000 gift certificate from Vera Wang, a custom Stella McCartney suit fit by McCartney herself, and a Central Park tour and lunch with Candice Bergen. (Here’s the complete catalog.)
Additional photo credits: Jamie Lee Curtis by Michelle Werts/PBS; Josh Dorfman courtesy Sundance Channel; Cheech Marin by Chris Conner/WENN.