Coming Collapse

I wrote the following on 9.19.09: “Shot over a two-day period last March, Collapse is basically a Spalding Gray-like soliloquy piece in which Michael Ruppert, a former LA police officer turned independent reporter, author and truth teller, explains in a blunt spoken, highly detailed and extremely persuasive way that our economic and energy-using infrastructure is on the verge of worldwide collapse.

“There’s too much debt, too much greed, not enough oil and it’s all going to start falling apart — in fits and starts, bit by bit and then more and more, and then eventually…well, look out. A vast and terrible turnover that will devastate and destruct is just around the corner. Ten years, twenty years…forget it. I listened and listened to what Ruppert said, and “a hard rain’s gonna fall” ain’t the half of it. A survivable scenario, but a very different and much tougher world awaits.

“Before I saw Collapse I would have readily agreed with the view that things are very, very bad in terms of the world’s economic and energy scenarios. After seeing Collapse I’m 95% convinced that we’re on the brink of Armageddon — that we’re truly and royally fucked. Get hold of as many organic vegetable seeds as you can and start growing your own food. Hey, Viggo…nice shopping cart!

“The 5% of me that isn’t fully convinced has concerns about Ruppert’s personality and temperament, which seem a little bit wiggy at times. He’s been called a 9/11 Truther and, according to a CBC News summary, ‘claims to have met one of JFK’s shooters.’ He seems stable and knowledgable enough and is obviously quite bright, but he chain smokes, is having trouble paying his rent, and is clearly emotionally distraught over the data he’s gathered and the information he’s sharing. Collapse gets into his head and soul the way Erroll Morris‘s The Fog of War burrowed into Robert McNamara.

“Isn’t it in the nature of most whole-equation alarmists to be alone and uninvested in establishment currencies and memberships with a tendency to shout from streetcorners, publish nickel-and-dime newsletters or expound in low-budget documentaries such as Collapse?

“There were three basic kinds of group mentalities aboard the Titanic, Ruppert remarks, once the crew understood the extent of the iceberg damage. The first was the reaction of sheep — ‘We don’t know what to do, we’re scared, we’re cold, and all we want to do is huddle together.’ The second was ‘yes, this is serious, we get it — and what can we do to build lifeboats?’ And the third was ‘you’re crazy, this ship can’t sink, the people who are saying this are pathetic alarmists, and we’re just going to sit at the bar and enjoy the pleasures of decades-old bourbon.'”

Collapse will simultaneously debut on video and theatrical debut November 6th. Vitagraph will handle the film’s theatrical release, while FilmBuff will launch the film simultaneously on video-on-demand. The 11.6 Manhattan debut will be at the Angelika Theater;Collapse will premiere that day on FilmBuff. It will open at Landmark theaters in San Francisco, Berkeley and San Diego on 12.4.

  • Nate West

    Sorry, but Ruppert doesn’t impress me. His “collapse” scenario is commonplace, peddled every other night on AM radio, sandwiched between UFOs and the “shadow people.” Do empires fall? Do societies perish? Yes, But this piece reads like a breathless update of “Future Shock,” and not anything serious.

  • Gordon27

    So, this is a documentary about the future? What an interesting idea. Especially because I’m assuming it’s not going to put an actual date on it or anything.

  • Circumvrent

    The world will end on Valetine’s Day. Bummer.

  • MDOC

    Chicken Little.

  • Pynchon8

    Instead of pimping another nightmare-scenario doco, why don’t you use your pulpit to push digital distribution and or video conferencing with the people you interview which would prevent you having to travel on commercial airline as often as you do?

    If we are talking energy consumption, commercial airline flight is a big part of the problem and teleconferencing would help immeasurably. There is nothing that says the rank and file or media critics or even the captains of industry need to be on-site at all times if ever.

  • BurmaShave

    Nice quote on the poster.

  • boldnative

    re: above posts –

    Yeah, becuase 6 billion people totally dependent on a very finite resource (oil) is a totally sustainable situation. You fellows are the slower campers Ruppert refers to in the clip.

  • Ray

    Say what you want about the guy and his message … But that is one hell of a brilliant trailer. My interest in this film went from 0 to 60 in three seconds.

  • Anthony Thorne

    Ruppert used to run the FROM THE WILDERNESS website, and I recall most of those warnings from years ago back when he first made them.

    That said, it’s beating around the bush somewhat to note that he’s ‘been called a 9/11 truther’, as there’s not much ambiguity about his position. He wrote one of the first ‘9/11 truth’ books on the subject, a giant, unnerving volume called CROSSING THE RUBICON which makes its case in mind-boggling detail. That said, his book is less out there than some others, and 95% of it is basically an accumulative building up of facts suggesting that something deep in the bowels of the Bush administration’s behaviour prior to the event, and response to it afterwards, is rotten in the state of Denmark. I don’t entirely agree with his conclusions at the end of it, but much of the book is valuable.

    Ruppert eventually suffered a variety of medical, personal and financial problems – very publically – and abandoned both his website and the US, leaving for a while to Mexico, then Canada. I’ll have to watch the doco to get a handle on what he’s up to now, but from the look of things he hasn’t changed.

  • kmc1213

    I just watched this movie, and it scared the crap out of me. I realize he’s likely a whackjob, but man oh man.

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