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Manhattan breaking apart in front of your eyes
December 12, 2012 10:34 AM   Subscribe

"It's like watching 'Manhattan breaking apart in front of your eyes', says filmmaker James Balog. He's describing the largest iceberg calving ever filmed, as featured in his movie, Chasing Ice."
posted by brundlefly (36 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Great movie with some gorgeous shots of the ice.
posted by justkevin at 10:46 AM on December 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I saw this at lincon center the other week and walking out into Manhattan after that last scene was really awe inducing. I cannot recommend this movie enough. There is a great personal, scientific, and engineering story here that was really inspiring.
posted by lslelel at 10:47 AM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am pretty sure at 2:00 that's a Kraken.

Its also really hard to tell scale but its obviously immense
posted by AndrewKemendo at 10:48 AM on December 12, 2012


Hey the end of life on Earth has a trailer!
posted by phaedon at 10:49 AM on December 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


This will be televised by the National Geographic Channel, which is nice, because their sister company Fox News is largely responsible for public rejection of global warming and the resultant lack of political action in the US
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:49 AM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


It is really frustrating to have it described as "Manhattan breaking apart before your eyes" without nyc specific details. Is it like everything below Times Square breaking off? Is it like everything south of the park? Is it like Washington Heights?

ARGH
posted by elizardbits at 10:52 AM on December 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh I see he is from the dirty jerz so clearly this was deliberate.
posted by elizardbits at 10:53 AM on December 12, 2012


Haha yes Fox News is mostly responsible for the silly ideas and lack of critical thinking among a subset of the population. Also I'm very angry at the companies manufacturing the horrible candy I keep stuffing in my mouth. I have great hopes that Hostess going out of business will allow me to finally get off my couch and go outside!
posted by freebird at 10:55 AM on December 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


The volume of ice that calved off the iceberg was apparently 7.4 cubic kilometers. If my math is correct, that's about 4500 WTCs worth of ice.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:56 AM on December 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


@elizardbits Spoiler Alert? Trust me it's frightening, and happening constantly.
posted by lslelel at 10:59 AM on December 12, 2012


Haha yes Fox News is mostly responsible for the silly ideas and lack of critical thinking among a subset of the population.

Well, yeah. I have yet to meet a denier who wasn't also a Fox News patron. Maybe they exist, but that is my experience. Not saying one causes the other, but there is a sort of feedback loop. We should not downplay the power of propaganda on masses of people.
posted by stbalbach at 11:01 AM on December 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh I see he is from the dirty jerz so clearly this was deliberate.

I picture him looking wistfully into the distance as he imagines Manhattan floating out to sea.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:05 AM on December 12, 2012


Spoiler Alert? Trust me it's frightening, and happening constantly.

Sorry, I can't parse the comment in any way that makes sense wrt my comments in this thread!

Unless you are afraid of new jersey? In which case, don't be because just about everyone there is pretty rad.
posted by elizardbits at 11:08 AM on December 12, 2012


Oh, and it's enough to bury all of Manhattan under 40 stories of ice.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:10 AM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


As cool as this was, I didn't find it that cool because I had no idea of the scale of what I was seeing. His descriptions came a little late to provide it. It was beautiful, though.
posted by OmieWise at 11:14 AM on December 12, 2012


I saw this movie last week. Balog's two assistants were camped out on the overlooking mountain for almost 3 weeks waiting for the glacier to calve.

Later on in the movie Balog is giving a lecture and there is a slide with an overlay showing the scale compared to Manhattan. I forget how far up the island it goes for scale, but he did say that all of the building would have to be scaled up a couple times to match the height of the glacier's peaks.
posted by thecjm at 11:15 AM on December 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I saw the movie a few weeks ago when it was briefly in Vancouver. If you have the opportunity go see it on a large screen. The movie is not only about the change in the glaciers (and the timelapses developed over the course of a season, or over years, really drive this home!!) but it's also about how the project was implemented. They had some troubles in the beginning - as one can imagine, leaving a camera out in the wild near a glacier can lead to failures - but these were resolved. The movie features glaciers from Greenland (at, and near, Illulisat) two glaciers in Iceland (including Jokulsarlon, which is accessed by car on the Ring Road) and Alaska.

Having visited these places myself in the last couple of years, I was astounded that there are cameras planted there, piton-ed to a rock wall, taking photographs every 15 minutes or every hour (depending on location). The movie is also a testament to current camera technology and the ingenuity of Balog's team. And team members' courage and patience to make these images happen.

Our movie presentation included a talk with one of the team members after the show. Questions included what make of camera was used (Nikon) were the cameras off-the-shelf or modified by the manufacturer (off the shelf) how many images in the servers at the moment (800K and growing) what was the most frightening part of the mission ("standing in front of you and answering your questions" - the Icelandic young man clearly prefers to be outdoors than face a cinema-full of eater outdoors enthusiasts asking so many questions. and he did great!!).

The team is touring with the movie - so please take a moment to see it if you can make the time. Balog is on the East Coast, whereas the rest of his team is in the Midwest and the West Coast. The talks are great. And of course the movie leaves a lasting emotional impression.
posted by seawallrunner at 11:20 AM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I definitely saw signs where I grew up that read "NEW JERSEY IS HAPPENING CONSTANTLY. STAY AWARE. STAY SAFE" which I chalk up to our having been about five minutes from the border.
posted by invitapriore at 11:24 AM on December 12, 2012


Balog gave a TED talk in 2009 in Oxford UK about the project. The similes are with British landmarks, but the message remains the same.
posted by seawallrunner at 11:24 AM on December 12, 2012


Man, everyone is from New Jersey. It's a fact.
posted by Mister_A at 11:24 AM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


On topic: something about how this was filmed, the word "calving," and the general situation with respect to global warming made this video seem like a clip from one of the sadder parts of Planet Earth where David Attenborough solemnly narrates the mating rituals of the noble but endangered Arctic iceberg (Glacies maritimus).
posted by invitapriore at 11:29 AM on December 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Seattle Mefites:
This is at the Egyptian right now, and it's astounding. Don't miss it.
posted by herbplarfegan at 11:55 AM on December 12, 2012


"Chasing Ice has changed me as a person.."
posted by stbalbach at 11:59 AM on December 12, 2012 [8 favorites]


Holy shit, stbalbach.
posted by brundlefly at 12:09 PM on December 12, 2012


I've pretty much given up on the idea of humanity turning this thing around, so I just have one question: How many snow cones could be made from that giant hunk of ice?
posted by orme at 12:16 PM on December 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


This movie's trailer is the only one I've ever seen that palpably depressed the audience.

The Love Guru is the only trailer I've ever seen that made the audience angry.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:22 PM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Where in the hell can I see this movie on the big screen in Sydney? It apparently had like one obscure screening a month or two back and that was it.
posted by moorooka at 1:29 PM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


stbalbach, god I wish we could mass-produce reactions like that. I fear far too many people with power won't hold sentiments like that until it's far, far too late.
posted by smoke at 1:32 PM on December 12, 2012


yay they just added DC to the showtimes list. was feeling a bit left out after the last cool film on Mefi, Holy Motors, didn't come here.
posted by moss free at 4:26 PM on December 12, 2012


"Chasing Ice has changed me as a person.."

On the one hand, good opinion change.

On the other hand, it did have more than a touch of "The last thing I saw told me this! Now I believe this rather than that! But so hard!"
posted by jaduncan at 4:29 PM on December 12, 2012


"Chasing Ice has changed me as a person.."  

Too little. Too late.
posted by longdaysjourney at 4:51 PM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


How can the women in stbalbach's link have been throwing people out of her house all her life, only to have her opinion changed completely in 90 min? How did this movie invalidate her previous convinctions? If they were based exclusively on what O'Reilly told her, why should I trust her opinion now?
posted by ysangkok at 5:12 PM on December 12, 2012


i pulled up this TED talk by Balog from 2009 that was linked here on the blue at that time and was a bit surprised to see the same footage of the big calving event. not that that makes it any less spectacular, i guess i just assumed it was some new footage. still going to see the film regardless.
posted by moss free at 5:51 PM on December 12, 2012


@elizardbits: Everything south of the park is roughly 22 km^2 (measured with http://www.osm-wms.de).

So if all buildings were 333 meters tall, I guess it'd be comparable.
posted by ysangkok at 5:53 PM on December 12, 2012


The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow! You shall not pass!

Oh, wait... Balog. Ahem. Sorry.
posted by MysteriousMan at 6:50 PM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Beauty's the edge of terror we're still just able to bear.
posted by Shit Parade at 7:19 PM on December 12, 2012


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