Hellboy 2: people vs nature

Not going to go too deeply into this as it is already confirming me as a bonafide geek.

I have been invited to take part in a symposium on how we talk about Climate Change. Movies, music, theater, news are all mediums we can use to effectively discuss the most pressing issues of our time but we don’t. Partly because we don’t really understand what it is and partly because we don’t quite know what to do about it. Yet when we look at the issues, when we break them down into pieces, it all adds up. I will be writing more about this over the next couple of weeks in my lead up to Copenhagen but I wanted to start with some pulp just to show that this who notion of man versus nature can be approached in an interesting way that doesn’t shove climate change into people’s faces but allows them to interpret for themselves, if they choose to do so. Right now, the stimuli are few and far between. Unlike the persistent images of beauty, or what car we should buy or new stories about Iran and Russia vs Ukraine, the climate is an intermittent feature. It flooded – it was climate change… perhaps. Then discussions were over when we know they must continue.


The clip above is from Hellboy 2 when the main character kills an ancient forest god. The sequence is full of CGI, chases and even a baby being thrown in the air. What is happening in my opinion though is really that fight between modern society and nature, making sure that nature doesn’t encroach into our everyday lives. The picture below shows what happens after the death.

death of an elemental

What you don’t get to see in this clip is the affect effect of the death of the forest god – the way the buildings turn into vertical gardens and actually leave everyone speechless. Something has died, yet it has created. There is an awe to that, just as there is an awe to our natural surroundings – those visits to wide open spaces, the trips to mountains, the sojourns to the seaside. We love our natural world yet we are so disconnected from it. Seeing the flowers bloom in our cities is a beautiful site and it’s an aspirational site. What we really want, deep down, well most of us, is to live in a better world. And once you cut out the noise and the haste, it’s not that difficult. But cutting out the noise and the haste is not that easy. We dream of greener cities, cleaner air, communities that interact, offices we can walk to. It’s a good dream to have. 

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