Global Warming Goes for Guffaws


A new documentary on climate change, Sizzle, is being released soon. The film...

Wait! Don’t start dozing off. I know, I know, you’ve heard this before. I mean, c’mon, you browse around the virtual shelves at Amazon, looking for stuff about climate change, and you certainly won’t have as much difficulty as say, researching dentistry in the dark ages. (Just mouse over the links to see the vast difference." Even I’ve written my own powerpoint on the subject. Yeah. It’s been done. So, what makes this one special?

i-590dfba1ce07f1973bfdba3fcab7a12d-sizzleposter.jpgWell, Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy is not your ordinary documentary. For one, you won’t find any upside-down hurricanes on the cover, nor some nasally narrow-minded narrator. (You will find, however, a very angry-looking polar bear.) For seconds, Sizzle takes everything you thought you knew about science films and throws it out the window. It has a subtle way of making you think, too.

At the beginning, the movie will try gain your interest in matters of climate change and global warming. Soon, you’ll want to cry--or at least shake your head in genuine disgust. But then you will laugh. Then your heartstrings get pulled. And the next thing you know, you’re jumping out of your chair doing the Dean Scream.

The movie follows director Randy Olson (who also happens to be a ScienceBlogger) as he tries to produce a documentary on climate change. Procuring funding proves to be difficult, and Randy turns to two flamboyant producers who seem quite passionate about Global Warming. They eagerly tell him so, repeatedly, at least until something more pressing comes up, like a skin rash. While the producers seek out a dazzling host like Tom Cruise (who is a Scientologist, which, as they point out, is like a scientist) Randy seeks out actual scientists studying climate change.


When it comes to making a science documentary, Randy’s pursuit seems noble, but is fraught with hassle. Cameraman Alex Thomas seems determined to make himself a star of the film, as he interrupts the interviews to ask questions of his own. For instance, as they are interviewing Dr. Jerry Meehl at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (one of my favorite local spots) he asks: "If humans have something to do with this, explain to me how in Johannesburg they got snowed out at the Live Aid Concert?".

Take these botched interviews, compound them with delays and confusion, and stir in a polar bear nightmare or two, and Randy is left with a recipe for disaster... or, by some miracle or cosmic coincidence, a great documentary. I thought so... but don’t take my word for it. Just check out the trailer:

And then, visit the Sizzle website find out when the film is playing near you.

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