Thursday, August 16, 2007

Escape from Suburbia - Director interview

To hear the audio interview with Gregory Greene, Director of "Escape from Suburbia" click the title above.

This 27 minute interview was selected for replay on the Indymedia show of KPFK Los Angeles, on the Pacifica Network, after it's original broadcast on CFRO FM radio in Vancouver, and other college and community stations.

Gregory Greene became known for his underground hit DVD "End of Suburbia" - which went over a million dollars in sales. The premise of the first film essentially followed James Howard Kunstler's dim predictions of a re-direction of society due to Peak Oil.

The suburbs, we were told, were entirely build on the premise of cheap oil. Now oil is far from cheap, and Wall Street future traders are betting big time that oil will top $100 a barrel.

Meanwhile, everyone in China and India either owns a car, is saving to buy a car, or dreams of having one. Their Yuan or Rupee is as good as your dollar, pound or Euro - maybe better. So what makes us think we'll continue to get most of the oil?

If pump prices double, what happens to the people commuting 50 or a hundred miles a day, just to get to work? The kids who need to be driven to school, or bused long distances? People in the suburbs need a vehicle just to get food.

"End of Suburbia" left many viewers feeling like doomed Dinosaurs. But Green's new film takes a more positive role. "Escape from Suburbia," the second in his trilogy, follows three different approaches to getting out of the high energy fix. A high-powered business woman drops out, to go green where she is. A gay couple in New York explore their options, and their emotions, as they confront a society with a limited future. Of course the former hippies in Oregon decide to leave America altogether, for an eco-commune in Canada.

Three very different approaches - and the beauty of this film is: none of them are the "right" choice for you. We see people working through the bleak facts about oil depletion, and the coming natural gas crash. At first they feel isolated, then meet others going through the same doubts and frustrations, and then work on what they can really do, personally, in the real world as they find it.

Gregory Greene mixes this reality film with more experts who drive home the reality that oil won't last forever. We hear from energy experts who have worked deep in the industry. Thought provoking quotes pepper the film, and your brain.

It's all in the interview. You can download the full one hour radio program from Ecoshock, with about 20 minutes of quotes from the film, plus the interview, here.

Or, get more info on the film, including the video trailer at

You can order the film DVD right there at the site.

I recommend it. If you've got a nagging feeling the high pump prices are just going to get worse, and wonder what to do, this film is for you.

By the way, Greene doesn't shrink from examining the links between the Peak Oil crowd and the climate change movement. So far, this has been almost the great divide, and in the interview, we discuss their differences - even though both seek a dramatic reduction in oil dependency. Greene has a good interview with the leader of the Green Party of Canada, Elizabeth May, plus famous broadcast/environmentalist David Suzuki on Peak Oil.


Alex Smith
Radio Ecoshock