Containment : A Film Review


Just this past week the Hinckley Point, Somerset, Nuclear reactor was given the go-ahead on behalf of the United Kingdom population, by Theresa May, Prime Minister, following a false standoff with Chinese and French providers since her elevation internally by a group of her party seeing her fit to govern us, a new found ability to take decisions. This is a decision which should never have been made to be taken. With the daily occurrence advances in battery technology and solar power retention and storage from that huge object we know as the Sun, it is within a very short time very likely we will individually at our homes or collective of homes have our own power stations. Nano transformation of energy which allied to similar advances in motive power shall also have an effect of reducing carbon output. Berlin is now a zero carbon city for example so where are the British in this revolution?


Containment A Film made in 2015 by Directors, Peter Galston and Robb Moss. It is film documentary on Nuclear waste production and storage. The USA/Japan co-production brings forward the extent of Nuclear waste currently abroad in what is basically a state of deadly toxic limbo.

Getting to screen it.

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The first frames show Fukishima and a woman walking alone seen by the cameraman/woman surveying the limbo state this empty city has become. It alone needs a containment scenario this film addresses elsewhere in the Art graphic animation discourse for a place in the USA. New Mexico. When did the first scenario arise?

It begins by pointing to the Cold war period after the second word war, when nuclear warheads were accumulated and agreements placed to disarm these weapons of destruction by putting them into vast radioactive ‘landfill’ sites comprising mainly a site in New Mexico whose irrational acceptance as a location for a nuclear waste dump defies logic. The terrain was chosen primarily because of its geological fingerprint. It was a location with a vast unique strata of salt which millennia had proven stable and a medium in which a frozen ‘time’ capsule could be maintained. It had the hallmarks of having the capacity of being an enevelope for storing the radioactive sludge. However the bunds and lagoons created on top of it were and still are reservoirs of storage for a hundred million gallons of toxic waste. This means of storage is but one part of the cycle which includes other non-associated methods which involve inward shipping of nuclear waste in vessels – carefully checked when transport protection is removed for leaks. Each vessel is thoroughly x-rayed for casing integrity. Watching the magic gieger-counter being waved by an operative circling each container begged the question had they replaced the batteries in it. From this part of the process it then went sub-strata via. a long passage of tunnels by vehicle to hopefully it’s final resting place and presumably back filled at some juncture. Other processes included pouring liquid nuclear waste via. robotic arms manually operated into glass containers. Giant Kindle jars of high tech composition presumably.

The only problem is they remain mostly in their last location since a shut-down after a freak accident when a material failure allowed leakage to occur from a container – it’s past x-Ray and scrutiny failing to identify ahead of time any possible flaws or defects – which in turn jeopardized operatives and future containment activities. The decision was to put the entire site under lockdown and begin a clean up operation estimated at the time to be in the region of $300 million dollars or was that billions? In any event nowhere on earth is capable of storing the material waste China America Middle Eastern and European countermoves have plans to accumulate never mind that already stockpiled and in state of transition limbo.

Deep concerns

The film is concerned with not only the accumulation as well as a key part the Fukushima meltdown catastrophe which we are shown in its raw elemental state as a no-go locality but with the figurative signaling beyond our times into periods frankly inconceivable, ten thousand years hence and multiplications thereof. The means of alerting ‘others’ unaware of the backstory our history are explored in real time exercise a of futurist projections. Cockamamie American pawn brokering is one way of describing it. Put it in as a trade and see if any idiot will buy it.

The film becomes cartoon depictions crudely fascinatingly naive ventures of our humanity expressed as a vent diagram and delineation of rogue versus alien versus well the ordinary Joe or Jane whose curiosity got the better of them. Pictorial semaphore signals as used by pirates might have easily substituted or maritime signals heralded by symmetry as unnatural presence of danger put in place by those previously occupying earth. Ie. Humans.

Other reviews.

How do you plan 10,000 years in advance? Containment asks whether we are adequately caring for future generations with current storage methods for radioactive waste. A visit to the nuclear ghost towns of Fukushima shows what will happen if we fail.

—Karl Mathiesen, The Guardian

Peter Galison and Robb Moss remind us of the lingering threat of radioactive waste. What to do with it? How can we warn people centuries in the future about the danger of waste disposal sites? With inventive animation and incisive reporting, Moss and Galison aren’t going to make it any easier to sleep at night.

—Peter Keough, The Boston Globe

The film…attempts to articulate the beautiful and complicated problem of how to render the future a part of the present. It offers glimpses of a future beyond our societal imagination…and goes beyond ordinary documentary filmmaking to bring forward this future image into the minds and sensibilities of its viewers. It is in attempting this communication with the audience beyond the here and now that the film has its greatest success.

—Zoe Jones, Spook Magazine

I admire Containment for its zealous questioning of a situation that is ignored, misunderstood, and obviously—thanks in part to this film—urgent. I’ve been thinking about 10,000 years from now ever since.

—Erin Trahan, WBUR’s The ARTery and The Independent Magazine

The way we tell stories about who we are, what we did and how we considered the consequences of our actions is moving and profound in Containment, told with investigative care, sadness, fury and poetry.

—Andrew Lattimer,

Three titles making their world premieres at Full Frame garnered plenty of buzz…Containment, Peter Galison and Robb Moss’ latest documentary, also taps into another controversy magnet—nuclear power. The directing duo aren’t strangers to hot-button topics. Their 2008 Sundance hit Secrecy chronicled the massive efforts by the U.S. government to classify data from the general population. Containment, about the scientific, moral and philosophical problems that surround the disposition of nuclear waste, is sure to spark a national debate.

—Addie Morfoot, Variety

Alarmingly frank but refreshingly optimistic, Containment tells a great many inconvenient truths but its coda assures us that all is not lost. The future will come, but we will endure.

—Phil W. Bayles,

Where did I see it? – this list shows its progress.

Pittsburgh Filmmakers and Remembering Hiroshima, Imagining Peace, Pittsburgh, PA — August 5, 2016

Pilgrim Legislative Advisory Coalition, Jones River Landing, Kingston, MA — August 20, 2016

CBK Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands — September 3–November 27, 2016

Virginia Tech Research Center, Arlington, VA — September 8, 2016

Case Western Reserve University, Physics Department Colloquium, Cleveland, OH — September 15, 2016

Queen’s Film Theatre, Belfast, UK — September 17, 2016

Department of History, Brown University, Providence, RI — September 21, 2016

Willard Straight Theatre, Cornell Cinema, Ithaca, NY — September 27, 2016

Conclusion ###3

A loose three is attributed to this as the central theme of Containment is heavily here approached using an Art based form of narrative.  This in itself is a very lame element.  It practically philosophies about different advanced and abstract notions.  It focuses while doing this on the processes involved in capture storage and transportation to a location with interviews, protocols of public meetings and the personalities in ‘local’ politics making huge global impacting decisions.  Maybe the highest rank of Government was County Official.  No Presidential, No Congressman, No State Govenor is addressed.  Why not?  Didn’t want to speak? Unsuprisingly? So instead why not make cartoon versions of supposed dialogue and their answers to the Containment question so artistically examined?  Except the artistic endeavors are in my mind not even at the level of a third year student of Architecture whose grasp would no doubt evaluate the obvious pros-cons of symbolic gestural, linguistic, extra-terrestrial scenarios and much more as established throughout mainstream sci-fi non-fictional examinations and the plethora of commentary overloading the Internet from one campus to the Daily News in Singapore or Daily Comet in New York.

Point Blank Failings

I am afraid it lets the fundamental differences of responsibility being attributed to the decisions made in Nations which ignore this Containment issue.  The commentary is not validated while a ‘Nuclear’ Authority speaking as a Police(woman) whose role oversaw protocols and practices came nowhere close to the target.  A question of where possible ‘dangers’ – the plain direction of the conversation marked out terrorism as a principle if not top concern, – got lamely tossed back as ‘Couldn’t possibly answer/speculate!’ kind of moderation the film should not even allow as any direction of investigative informative journalism.
Take a look at the website for additional and valuable source material as the film is only part of a projected discourse and is a beginning – as far as ‘multiple locations’ arise by example through the stark reality of Fukishima.  Mr Nissan is interesting and in a semi-comatose state as his life is Groundhog Day – this is an insight in itself but only, only a miniscule part of what is required to be examined and dealt with by Governments and activists post UN interventions which are of a Human Disater reactive kind not fundamentally addressing ongoing Nuclear exploitation for Billions of dollars/yen/euros of Business.  It’s about the money stupid.
John Graham

21 September 2016


Jimmy’s Hall : A Film Review.

imageAt the crossroads of sllence.
The film begins with footage of America and its 1920’s.
It finishes its titles then begins as a film of some sorts with instant lamenting of two men on a trap behind a piebald pony that has seen better days.
The kaliedescope which sound brought forward is imagined by Jimmy who is one of the pair returning, sure was there never a story without someone leaving or returning along these twentieth century tales.
The two wind their way back to Jimmy’s mothers place where, it is a mystery where or if there were any others in the family, a farm once was tended.
Back in this Leitrim Jimmy is soon recalling the earlier days of the twenties when he was forced to flee after creating the hall of the title.
In it Pearse and Connelly were memorialised and it sat was ever so innocent and new to an Ireland defining its modernity by all expressive means but primarily around its lore and love of music.
Where the folklore of escapism had only little meaning in the midst of everyday hardship, these influences were possibly of a senseless trivial nature in the real live everyday patterns of survival undergone at the crossroads Ireland.

This apparently was first a play and I feel it should have stayed that way.
The cinematographer has nothing to work on, the exclamation mark expressions are sometimes ham mish while other performances are subtle. The script is not subtle and is politics for beginners, the desparate hold of state and Church is a well known fact and has been for decades, the Wall Street Crash, – LOOK LOOK SEE Loach almost exclaims Just like NOW SEE.
Isn’t is so prophetic!! Ugh?
It is as vapour rolling off a BMW sunroof in the post-tiger car park of Dublin Airport. Far much more was and is important, this shallow tale is but a tiny view on the oppression. It is insular and mediocre.
The police, the priests, their lackies are all bug eyed monsters but plainly in most cases Irishmen, including the Door smashing Northern prod cop on a mission from God, or the Tabernacle Church. Found a monster lets condem him to living somewhere else. No muscular take on how an Irishman could stoop so low against his fellow Irishman, and do they still exist, Well of course.
They want Jimmy sent somewhere less favourable than this state run for the British and landed gentry with the sanctimonious approval of the Church of Ireland (under the tutilage of the Crown supplicants) and their fellow veiled bigots The Roman hierarchy with the country, Ireland at its heart. Never mind the poor or the sacrifices made in the name of this peculiar God, the peculiar God that has them lording it over everyone, has them taking riches for the purpose of the Church, from collecting tithes, condemning people in the Lords name, visiting approbrium on them, played with apoplectic illusion by Jim Norton as Father Sheridan.
Despite all the tales from the Churches very few films, The Magdalane Laundries, Philomena actually rip into the coursing veins of Ireland’s conscience. There was of course the extraordinary Mea Maxima Culpa film by Alex Gibney, a Northern film production giving documentary homage to the current religious fortitude held for people of this earth. Since then a change has come about but things that could change immediately show no signs of actually occurring.
Jimmy’s Hall by comparison is puerile, seeking to acclaim one individual fighting against the state apparatus with a ‘penny whistle’ while the war dead of the wars fought barely get a mention. Such contradictory pale drivel is unlocked as cod politics without even showing the hatred of the others except through, ( it gets a 12years a slave erudition scene) stereotypes and cod Irishness. In the cringing scenes of ‘Jazz’ demonstrations pointed up real Irish life then A few authors down the ages must have missed the trick. At the beginning of the eighties there were around three and a half million in Ireland of which one million at least were living below the poverty line. This country was one Britain and Europe continued to ignore until the cute ones got in, Fianna Fael were not out of Government until the crash happened since independence yet the sowed the seeds of Religious wanton vileness and pure greed as mimicry. The iRish no longer being Irish but being these cod-Americans Jimmy seen back in the ’29 crash.
Barry Ward as Jimmy Gralton does his dampest, likewise Oonagh, Simone Kirby as his former sweetheart have put in splendid performances adding some emotion to the tardis that is Jimmys Hall. We’re was the war? In the dance halls of morality. Well it was in the workplace and in the new cities of young industry North and South.

This film fits into the begorrah nonsense narrative so loved by the Ireland’s Own reader in the off shore island of Britain, to the East and favoured by those directors contemplating there own separateness, less an island but a border of class difference reminiscent of their own background. Why it was made I will never know, why no one realised the subject of this bitterness has been performed in much better plays and books and covered by so many academic studies only the absent minded will have no recollection of the things Ireland has been through and a bit more alarming than this charade of escapism.

John Graham

27 May 2014


Fading Gigilo : A Film Review

imageFor Oldest Profession comes a twist

Towers of Babel
This film caught me unexpectedly with its tenderness, it’s squaring of the circle of love and its complex companion sex. This is definitely a screwball comedy which flexes its comedy with a bit or two of heavy Jewish slapstick irony in a full sunny delight New York, Brooklyn in particular, robust life goes on in the background.
The luster has left Woody Allen sometime ago for me and a rub of fortune from screenwriter, actor and director John Turturro brings a little shine back to the master comic persona that is Woody Allen.
I was past caring what he did and this films portrayal of a pimp by Woody Allen has his usual comedy dodge ball routine, wisecrack commentary sweeping down the cinema aisles and seats more than ever before, or since fellow Jew and what most Jewish comedians base their act on, Moses, laying down the Ten Commandments.
Moses wasn’t actually a comedian you will know, but most of you will have realised that sinfulness is never a difficulty with humans and the Hebrews (also human) nor has it been since they got told not to do certain things and to embrace others.
In ‘The Ask‘ by Sam Lipsyte the first line of the book goes –
“America, said Horace, the office temp, was a rundown and demented pimp.” The begotten, begorra, shift in the first world run by a bunch of pimps is its schmaltzy odyssey.
When the Hebrews idolatry of the golden calf that immediately preceded it (the TC) is forbidden, it may figure as a turning point from getting what you want. Rescued and given the promised land. You could say the Jewish race never recovered. Having seen the riches the people act all human and acquire things surreptitiously and veraciously. Greed had left the traps.
Come to think of it this film adopts a little more Jewish philosophy, “The consumer is always right.” Give them what they want.

The Jewish slant is merely a reviewers presumed anchor to pitch context, it perhaps is what might be seen as an anti-semetic view. If it were true I would be astonished, as it would offer a way back to God for those Jews who transgress never mind all others. We do not separate so.

The fact is we all transgress and forgiveness though never plain is the way in which those failings are to be accepted.
Firstly you have to be aware of the sin.
Spin Miester
The pimp is the spin doctor, the one who indulges in the fantasy of needy patrons as their go between. Like e-bay or Tinder app. it acts as the safe commodisiser. Love is never having to put your hand on your wallet/purse!
Love is for ever, but insoluble it can never be explained. the many guises of sex, as a commodity and pleasure, power, weakness, fantasy, acts of illicit encounter all appearances and surface embodiment are all contained in a strangers desires. In this synopsis there are strong women whose need for sex is unrealised and their repressed craving is able to be satiated by a little exploration and exploitation by the septigenarian, immoral and poor bookseller Murray played by Woody Allen
Along for the ride
The married dermatologist Dr Parker, the immaculate screen beauty, Sharon Stone, encourages Woody Allen, the initiate go between, to find her an escape from her repression, to add some lift to the boredom of domestic and married life and for her unchallenged intellect to play within her, those fantasies she courts as a woman not prepared to accept those limits set in her present life.
Sharon Stone inhabits the part like a new skin, hormones awake under perfect alter ego. She has all the skills and slinkiness that forces you to go along with this madcap set of circumstances. John Turturro has the other card to play to convince us he is Mr Right there and then. It makes it into Dr Parker’s flat and unfolds like a first teenage date and with a few scotches to stop it hitting the rocks.
She does what we wish her to do, to explore the levels of unconscious feelings she keeps hidden, to explore and set aside shamefulness as it’s meaningless guard only suppresses natural instincts. She blasts out a reference to hubby in flagrante. It is not even, once a routine is started, anyway shameful, more recreational and good for body and mind. Fiorvvante has a lot on his mind and he calls upon his own memory for quotations, Italian, Jewish and everyday Americano to make his own adjustments. He begins to struggle in coming to terms with his new role. He needs little encouragement as he can figure things out while he ‘works’.

Intesity gathers pace

Fiorvante has no family and is himself a reluctant loner and begins to see what the clients see and it immerses him a little deeply when a local Jewish widow, with a family of six, ventures or is encouraged by the now therapist pimp into conquering her aloneness.

This is the character Abigail and she is an ordinary domestic, played by the extraordinary Vanessa Paradis whose perilous looks could create heartache wherever she flashes her eyes and looks away. She is vulnerable and fearful.
Fear is overcome by Murray when a cheque or brown envelope might appear. In fact Murray just loves the money and has expansion on his mind and the pair get into a routine which has little cover.
Fear is overcome by Dr Parker when her Lothario is hand picked and she quizzes Murray about the ‘Gigilo’. Murray lies through his teeth on his employees track record and paints a corny identity for his charge. Fiorvante is somewhat already a go between himself, being a florist, his occupation acting as a symbolic response refuge for pleasure, pain, forgiveness and exhalation with outwardly visible extravagance. Fioravante, John Turturro, is that pupil Gigolo whose fortune happens to be to accept the many gifts, not all redeemable that his client Dr Parker has to offer. In return he has to keep his manipulated lustings and concepts of sexual pleasure in check, not that Dr M has much problem expressing her needs, so with his notions of sex converted to something else in these illicit waters, Grafenberg equations ticking over in his head like root tables, Fiorvante is quickly into not saying a great deal unless it is positive, gracious or gratifying.
His needs are expanded and at once are modified, with clouds gathering in this new heady otherworld he becomes unsettled.
The last person you would think he should confide in is a pecuniary, kvetching, neurotic, supercilious, demanding Jew called Murray.
The stakes raise when Sharon Stone suggests a favour for her friend Selina, another unlikely unrequited, unsatisfied sexual soul.
She is enlisted as a client and offers up the axiom “Men don’t understand what goes on inside a woman’s head.” His reply is “I wouldn’t be here if I did ” instantly gets her response, “Good reply, I like a man who’s funny”
The voluptuous part, (the film gets absurdly populated with many attractive women and some tend to be a bit type cast,) is filled by the film star looks of Sofia Vergara. Fiorvantes reply had many interpretations but she was only going with the one that got her satisfied, which was the right answer. Smart girl.

The favour Selina angles for, once into the swing of things, is a threesome with Woody – Fiorvante the shrinking violet. Tough call.

Shady Sharon is full of her off and on screen charm as you can see she delights in playing another vampish strong woman getting her kicks as she pleases and playing her chips riskly and less villanesque than her Casino performance which won her a Golden Globe.
She is immensely charming, energisers the part with her natural ability which rolls the story on without becoming over trodden by the Woody part, Murray, which has you defraying real life, film life, in this role which he manages skillfully and to which his comedic talent is eminently and jewishly suited. His intensity in markedly oratorical and exclaimatic. The tongue never resting as another contradictory notion has assembled at the foot of his mental stairs and demands it climbs from his dark bunker wherein lives his imprisoned Issac. He fumbles some words on purpose showing some latter day contriteness. His Soul.
Everything he utters seems a reflection of the past. The cries of Issac no longer silent becoming the métier of hatred, sullied, trades veracity for a quick return. He is a wreck of a person ungarnered and employs his lack of morality as though it is mere comedy.
The Pop up Shop
To set up this business requires a plan and scale of rates if things get complicated. Are there union dues, federal taxes, licensing, marketing, consumables, rental costs? I think he has not thought this through.
Is he treading on anyone’s patch. This could be a real money spinner.
But what about the healthcare plan? Should his Gigilo join a gym, this is going to be calorie burning in all directions? How does he distinguish this from the local Cathouse where men pay to rape women? Does he need agency staff and what is their rate a pop? How many cellphones does one need? Arms, could he join the NRA, what about tooling up in case of a raid or unexpected violence from one of the clients, upset at the (unintended) slur if performance is not its finest? Tricky business the trick business.
Now has it an upside?
Neighbourhood Watch
There is a sheriff of the Jewish neighbourhood whose job; the notion of Job’s comforter comes to mind as the incumbent is in danger of depressing everyone if he gets wind of this new business in the district. He provides more Jewish idioms and introduces the quixotic customs and quasi realism of Jewish live in Brooklyn. It even has a Mafia style sit down when it comes to confession time. A funny routine and sends you right back to Mount Sinai and those sins again. There is also a Jewish lawyer involved and the fee gets discussed on the walk down.

This film has many soulful moments. It makes a lot of terminally silly jokes about culture and the bedraggled misplaced nature of modernity.
It has vast open plan apartments where, if you feel like climbing the walls then go right ahead, there is a replica rock face in the cavernous space. Sharon’s. Self pictorial wall hangings and little actual sense of place or belonging.

There is a walk in Central Park in which a steep set of steps has light cascading down to the would be lovers and the greenery is a little temporary heaven. There is the muddle of Woody’s domestic arrangements in which he is the live in guru it seems to a flock of over active Afro Caribbean kids, as opposed to the chosen ones as part of Abigail’s brood.

Not all life is there and try as it might to be a slapstick on cultural mores and difference it ultimately gets properly placed as a contemporary take on relationships and separated unrequited love with plenty of contrasts and dilemmas at most steps on the way.
How does it resolve itself? Well in true New York style whatever happens life goes on and it constantly will surprise which is no surprise.
John and Vanessa, (Abigail,) exchange lots of quotations, as do some others, the exhaustible Murray of course, the Sharon and Sofia foil is a class act and all coffee shops are not replicas of Starbucks. It is a compassionate piece and it would be interesting to see if its comedic values are strong in the New York sense, or is this routine baloney which faces differing cultures all the time.
As you can see I have made a lot of inferences around what is just a movie and I hope it does not offend. The movie does not offend and as opinion, entertainment it is part of diversity.
As the last review said Films have many faces.

A little more from The Ask by Sam Lipsyte.   It has Brooklyn origins.
Extract from Chapter Fourteen. Buy and read!
This particular movie took place in Hollywood’s New York, a wonderland of pensive latte-sipping and meaningful strolls through Central Park. The city looked crisp, exquisite. The citizens lived like simple millionaires. Our principals were a lonely man and a lonely woman, each with a buffoonish, homely sidekick who would have been thought attractive in real life, and a fascinating, but finally unfulfilling – because there was nobody to “share it all with” – career. They sought each other, missed each other, at cocktail parties, in train terminals, at flower shops, their fin de siècle Nokias gaining symbolic power with each scene. Sucked into the vortex of high formula, a slow sob rose in my body. Just like porn or bang-bang, this was pure stuff, concocted for the baser circuits, the lizard board.
from The Ask by Sam Lipsyte.


John Graham

21 May 2014