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The power of cinema unleashed

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Cinema Seats

We’re so excited by our partnership with Sky Cinema that we’ve had all kinds of movies on our minds – particularly those with interesting energy aspects to them. Travelling from County Durham to Tatooine, here’s a list of the ones that we love to watch over and over again.

Mad Max: oil’s not well

Did you know that the fantasy future world of the Mad Max movies is rooted in the oil crisis of the early 1970s?

Mad Max’s creators George Miller and Byron Kennedy were writing the stories for the franchise when western economies were hit by serious oil shortages. Low production levels combined with the high prices demanded by the Middle East made for an explosive mix. 

Miller and Kennedy’s films showed that over-reliance on a single energy resource could lead to traumatic social consequences.  Things have changed a little since then, but the Mad Max franchise still has the power to thrill, as proven by last year’s new addition, ‘Mad Max – Fury Road’

The Avengers / The Dark Knight Rises: nuclear fiction

Nuclear power is no stranger to the movie screen. In fact, it’s had a starring role ever since the science fiction classics of the 1950s like Them! from America and Godzilla from Japan.

More recently fear of radiation has taken a back seat, but nuclear power still makes scriptwriters uneasy. In director Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, a fission reactor made by Bruce Wayne’s company falls into the hands of evil anarchist Bane. Bane threatens Gotham City with total destruction, and only Batman stands in his way.

In Joss Whedon’s The Avengers (Available now on Sky Cinema) it is the government that wields the nuclear threat. As a last resort, they decide to destroy New York in order to close a portal through which aliens are invading earth. Only the Avengers stand in their way.

Do the good guys win? You’ll have to watch for yourselves, no spoilers here.

Iron Man

Billy Elliott: mining talent

The country’s reliance on coal to fire our power stations provided a contrasting backdrop to the life-affirming tale of Billy Elliott.

His home town of County Durham was a coal mining village through-and-through and the miner’s strike of 1984 mirrors the tensions at home as Billy battles his traditionalist father.

These days coal plays a very small part in generating power for our homes. In fact, earlier this year coal-fired electricity fell to zero for the first time in 100 years.

Wall-E: green shoots

700 years into the future and a little compactor robot has been building skyscraper-sized piles of cubed trash day after day until his world is turned upside down by a plant-hunting visitor.

As well as being laugh-out-loud funny, Wall-E has a serious message too. Our planet has unique and finite resources; wasting them could alter the way we live forever. Perhaps even evolving into grossly overweight, unthinking masses, gliding from meal to meal on levitating easy chairs in a hopelessly lost spaceship.

However, all is never lost. But that would be giving a bit too much away…

Back to the Future: smarty Marty

You don’t have to fly 700 years ahead to see life-enhancing technologies that have gone on to inspire real-life inventions. 

Time travelling Marty McFly in “Back to the Future” saw a future poster for “Jaws” in 3D. Research into 3D accelerated and now many people are already enjoying 3D movies at home.

Marty also saw other smart devices in use in Back the Future II’s version of 2012. Since the movie, of course, these have arrived big-time and are transforming how we live.

You could be reading this on a tablet right now, or maybe you’ve tried one of the Virtual Reality experiences offered by companies like Google and Samsung. Marty’s family made video calls and wore smart watches too. One car company has even made a working hoverboard. Great Scott! 

Captain America

Star Wars : feel the force

As every self-respecting geek knows, Luke Skywalker was originally a ‘moisture farmer’ on the planet Tattoine.  This imaginary planet had a scorching sun, so its inhabitants needed to extract water from the atmosphere to survive.

It’s not such a big leap from director and writer George Lucas’s imaginary world to real world scenarios, especially with climate warming on the agenda.

Researchers are exploring moisture extraction technologies in the Atacama Desert in Chile, and are even planning how they could help us survive on Mars. The force is strong in them.

Win the ultimate Sky Cinema package

Now we’ve had a quick look at power in the movies, why not enter our Power in the Movies competition?

The fabulous first prize will let you watch the big movies in style: Sky for a year with Sky Cinema plus an LG home entertainment system and 43” LG HDTV.

There are five runner-up prizes too: 5 x 16GB iPads and 5 x 43” LG HDTVs.

Good luck!

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