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Americans generally like to hear good news. They like to believe that a new president will right old wrongs, that clean energy will replace dirty oil and that fresh thinking will set the economy straight. American pundits tend to restrain their pessimism and hope for the best. But is anyone prepared for the worst?
Meet Michael Ruppert, a different kind of American. A former Los Angeles police officer turned independent reporter, he predicted the current financial crisis in his self-published newsletter, From the Wilderness, at a time when most Wall Street and Washington analysts were still in denial. Director Chris Smith has shown an affinity for outsiders in films like American Movie and The Yes Men. In Collapse, he departs stylistically from his past documentaries by interviewing Ruppert in a format that recalls the work of Errol Morris and Spalding Gray.
Sitting in a room that looks like a bunker, Ruppert recounts his career as a radical thinker and spells out the crises he sees ahead. He draws upon the same news reports and data available to any Internet user, but he applies a unique interpretation. He is especially passionate about the issue of peak oil, the concern raised by scientists since the seventies that the world will eventually run out of fossil fuel. While other experts debate this issue in measured tones, Ruppert doesn't hold back at sounding an alarm, portraying an apocalyptic future. Listening to his rapid flow of opinions, the viewer is likely to question some of the rhetoric as paranoid or deluded, and to sway back and forth on what to make of the extremism. Smith lets viewers form their own judgments.
Collapse also serves as a portrait of a loner. Over the years, Ruppert has stood up for what he believes in despite fierce opposition. He candidly describes the sacrifices and motivators in his life. While other observers analyze details of the economic crisis, Ruppert views it as symptomatic of nothing less than the collapse of industrial civilization itself.
Toronto International Film Festival
"AN ERRIE PREDICTION. LET THE STOCKPILING BEGIN AS MICHAEL RUPPERT MAKES MORE OMINOUS PREDICTIONS."
Flagstaff Live! | Seth Muller
"I HIGHLY RECOMMEND COLLAPSE. IT'S ABOUT TIMELY ISSUES THAT HAVE AND WILL CONTINUE TO AFFECT EVERY MEMBER OF THE HUMAN RACE.."
"IT'S SO RARE TO SEE A MOVIE DRIVEN BY IDEAS THAT 'COLLAPSE' IS THRILLING, EVEN IF THE IDEAS THEMSELVES ARE TERRIFYING."
WILL PFEIFER, GATEHOUSE NEWS SERVICE
"...A DARK PROPHET WITH THE ABILITY TO FORSEE DOOM."
GARETT CONTI, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE
"THE MOST FRIGHTENING MOVIE TO COME OUT IN YEARS."
"A HIGH-WIRE PERFORMANCE BY THE SPECULATOR: MICHAEL RUPPERT."
NOEL MURRAY, SUN-SENTIAL.COM
"COLLAPSE ULTIMATELY FEELS MORE EMPOWERING - MAYBE EVEN PERSONALLY LIBERATING - THAN SCARY WHEN HE LAYS IT ALL OUT."
BILLY O' KEEFE, MCCLATCHY TRIBUNE NEWSWIRE
"RUPPERT AGGREGATES, ARGUES, SEDUCES: THE END OF THE WORLD IS NOT A WHIMPER."
RAY PRIDE, MOVIECITYINDIE
"HORRIFIYING TRAINWRECK QUALITY...CHILLINGLY PLAUSIBLE."
MARYANN JOHANSON, FLICKFILOSPHER.COM (via INDIATIMES.COM)
"COLLAPSE PAINTS AN UNSETLLING PORTRAIT OF APPROACHING DOOM."
MATT FAGERHOLM, HOLLYWOODCHICAGO.COM
"WHILE HIS CONFIDENCE IN HIS FINDINGS IS AS UNSETTLING AS THE DATA ITSELF, RUPPERT IS ALSO SOMETIMES MOVED TO TEARS AT THE POTENTIAL IMPACT OF SOME OF THE ASSERTIONS HE'S MAKING."
DAN LYBARGER, KANSAS CITY METRO NEWS
ROGER EBERT, CHICAGO SUN TIMES
"SUPERB! RIVETING! GRADE A-!"
OWEN GLEIBERMAN, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
"CRITIC'S PICK! SHOCKINGLY PERSUASIVE....UNEXPECTEDLY MOVING."
JEANETTE CATSOULIS, THE NEW YORK TIMES
"GRADE A! MESMERIZING."
SCOTT TOBIAS, AV CLUB/THE ONION
"LESS WAKE UP CALL THAN FOUR ALARM FIRE."
ROB NELSON, VARIETY
"COMPELLING AND DISTURBING."
MICHELLE ARCHER, USA TODAY
"EVERY TIME I'D START TO THINK RUPPERT WAS A DELUDED CRACKPOT, HE'D REEL ME BACK IN, GRABBING ME BY THE THROAT WITHA BURST OF SEEMINGLY PERSUASIVE ANALYSIS."
PATRICK GOLDSTEIN, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
"COLLAPSE WILL LEAVE YOU SHAKEN ABOUT THE FUTURE OFT HE PLANET, AND SADDENED ABOUT THE SHATTERED LIFE OF THE MESSENGER."
PETER HARTLAUB, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
"SITTING IN A TILED BASEMENT, CHAIN SMOKING, DROPPING NAMES AND STATISTICS AND DATA WITH CHILLING CERTAINTY, RUPPERT MAKES A COMPELLING CASE THAT EVERYTHING WE KNOW IS ABOUT TO END."
SHAWN LEVY, OREGONIAN
"COLLAPSE IS A GRELING PEEK AT A DOOMSDAY PROPHET'S RIGOROUS MIND BUT IN A SLY WAY ALSO A COMPASSIONATE LOOK AT THE STRAIN RUPPERT ENDURES FROM KNOWING HE HAS ONLY EVER BEEN RIGHT."
ROBERT ABELE, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
"MESMERIZING! MAKES MICHAEL MOORE SOUND LIKE MR. ROGERS."
JAY STONE, VANCOUVER SUN/CANADA.COM
"COLLAPSE IS A FEATURE-LENGTH INTERVIEW WITH CONSPIRACY THEORIST MICHAEL RUPPERT, A MAN WHOSE IDEAS ARE OTHEN AS SCARY AS THEY ARE TRUE."
"HYPNOTIC AND HAUNTING."
"HIS ARGUMENTS WILL SHAKE YOU TO THE CORE. HE MAKS AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH'S AL GORE LOOK LIKE HE'S LEADING A PEP RALLY."
JANET SMITH, VANCOUVER STRAIGHT
"GRIPPING AND UNSETTLING....IF YOU'RE ANYWHERE NEAR WHERE IT'S PLAYING, SEE IT!"
JAMES ROCHHI, MSN.COM
"NONE OF THE WE'RE-TOTALLY-SCREWED DOCUMENTARIES WE'VE SEEN OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS COULD HAVE PREPARED US FOR THE TERRORS UNLEASHED ON OUR MINDS IN CHRIS SMITH'S RIVETING NEW DOCUMENTARY COLLAPSE."
BILGE EBIRI, NYMAG.COM
"COLLAPSE IS THE TYPE OF DOOM-AND-GLOOM DOCUMENTARY THAT SHOULD AUDIENCES RUNNING, BUT IT'S SO MASTERFULLY MADE AND RIVETING THAT IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO LOOK AWAY."
KIMBER MYERS, ALLMOVIE.COM
"WHAT MAKES COLLAPSE SO FASCINATING, FOR AS FRIGHTENING AS IT IS, IT'S ALSO LAUGH-OUT-LOUD FUNNY."
MICHAEL TULLY, HAMMER TO NAIL
"A POIGNANT PORTRAIT OF A MAN WHO HAS INDISPUTABLY SACRIFICED ALL FOR WHAT HE PERCEIVES TO BE SOMETHING BIGGER THAN HIMSELF."
ROBERT LEVIN, CRITICSNOTEBOOK.COM
"RIVETING! YOU CAN'T TAKE YOUR EYES OFF HIM."
JOSHUA ROTHKOPF, TIME OUT NY
"FROM DIE START TO HOEFUL FINISH, COLLAPSE CERTAINLY FEATURES QUITE THE ARC."
JEFF REICHERT, INDIEWIRE
"A TRULY HAUNTING FILM."
ALEX RIVIELLO, CHUD.COM
"4.5/5 STARS! RUPPERT IS CHARISMATIC AND CONVINCING."
MORGAN DAVIS, SPECTRUM CULTURE
"RUPPERT IS THE SUBJECT OF THIS ALARMING FILM, WHICH ATTEMPTS TO ACCURATELY PREDICT ... WELL, THE END OF CIVILIZATION AS WE KNOW IT."
DAVID DAY, BOSTON WEEKLY DIG
"THE MOVIE GRIPS YOU LIKE FEW YOU WILL EVER SEE THIS YEAR. OR EVER."
MIKE WILMINGTON, ISTHMUS DAILY PAGE
"... IT'S NOT HARD TO LEAVE THE THEATER SHAKEN."
SCOTT TOBIAS, A.V. CLUB
"WHAT RUPPERT TALKS ABOUT, AND THE COMPELLING WAY HE TALKS ABOUT IT, HAS THE RING OF TRUTH IN EVERY SENTENCE, ..."
JOHN BLACK, DVD A DAY
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