Revenge of the Electric Car

Revenge of the Electric Car

Director: Chris Paine, Tim Robbins, Bob Lutz, Elon Musk

Cast: Chris Paine, Tim Robbins, Bob Lutz, Elon Musk

     
 

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In 2006, filmmaker Chris Paine examined the short and troubled history of General Motors' EV1, an electric powered automobile that was fast, efficient and taken off the market under mysterious circumstances, in his documentary Who Killed The Electric Car?. A few years later, with the price of gas skyrocketing and the environment an even greater issue for many

Overview

In 2006, filmmaker Chris Paine examined the short and troubled history of General Motors' EV1, an electric powered automobile that was fast, efficient and taken off the market under mysterious circumstances, in his documentary Who Killed The Electric Car?. A few years later, with the price of gas skyrocketing and the environment an even greater issue for many Americans, alternative vehicles are finally making their way into the mass marketplace, and Paine takes a look at four firms who are trying to put electric autos onto America's highways in his follow-up The Revenge Of The Electric Car. Bob Lutz of GM, after dropping the ball on the EV1, spearheads an effort to launch the Chevy Volt, one of the first plug-in hybrids from a major American automaker. Carlos Ghosn of Nissan puts his firm's resources behind an innovative fully electric auto, the Nissan Leaf. Elon Musk, who made a killing in the dot-com boom, is gambling his fortune on the Tesla, a sleek and high powered electric sports car aimed at the luxury market with a price tag of $100,000. And Greg "Gadget" Abbott is an ambitious mechanic who has launched a business transforming conventional autos into gas-free electric vehicles, though not without problems. The Revenge Of The Electric Car was an official selection at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Released at a time when the Occupy Wall Street movement is forcing a substantial discussion about the pros and cons of a free-market economy, Revenge of the Electric Car couldn't seem more topical. Director Chris Paine's sequel to Who Killed the Electric Car? does a remarkable job of arguing that capitalism can be both a conduit for creative thinking and an albatross that squelches new ideas that threaten the status quo. The movie will make you feel alternately optimistic and cynical, but you'll be consistently entertained. The film profiles three business titans who believe they have the perfect plan and design to bring an affordable electric car to the American people. There's Bob Lutz, a bigwig at Chevy, who believes his hybrid gas-and-electric-powered vehicle, the Volt, can transform the marketplace. He's a blustery guy, a born salesman who is forced to take a marked decrease of his job's perks in stride -- he acknowledges that a business lunch over sandwiches has replaced the company's previously more-impressive cuisine. Then there's entrepreneur Elon Musk, whose attempts to start Tesla Motors -- a company that will rival Detroit with a custom-made electric car - are full of grand ideas, but short on practical success. An expert invokes the troubled history of automobile designer Preston Tucker when discussing Musk's possibly quixotic dream. The third financial powerhouse in the game is Carlos Ghosn, the highly competitive head of Nissan, whose company has built a completely electric automobile called the Leaf. These three men are all trying to corner the market on greener vehicles, since the research not only shows that lowering a car's carbon footprint makes good ecological sense, but that consumers are ready for this transition. For the first half of the movie, their zeal and confidence are infectious. There's a celebratory feeling as these men plow forward, backed by their own scientific and financial research, that they are on the verge of revolutionizing the car industry. But when the 2008 recession hits, that feeling is wiped away. As we see these men strain under the weight of financial austerity, we wonder if there's really a chance for these cars of the future to become a part of the present. The great accomplishment of Paine's movie is that it makes us care about what happens to these three men, even if we don't necessarily like them. We are invested in the outcome not just because of the ecological benefits of greener vehicles, or because we dream of making a killing in the business world, but because they are so focused and driven that any one of them could be the subject of a great documentary. There's also a fourth figure in the film, Greg "Gadget" Abbott, a private citizen and inventor who sinks all of his available finances, including borrowed money, into perfecting similar technology all by himself. He's the most-likable person in the movie, because he proves that anybody can make a difference; while companies have the power to mass-produce, actual innovation can always come from a single individual. Revenge of the Electric Car is an engrossing, entertaining, and cautiously hopeful movie, the kind of documentary that deserves to break through to a wider audience -- if for no other reason than because the more people who see it, the more likely it is that some wildly creative entrepreneur will try to make his or her dreams a reality.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/24/2012
UPC:
0767685262658
Original Release:
2011
Source:
New Video Group
Sound:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:30:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Additional footage; Celebrity interviews; Tribeca film festival panel with Elon Musk, Dan Neil, Carlos Ghosn, David Duchovny and director Chris Paine

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tim Robbins Narrator
Bob Lutz Participant
Elon Musk Participant
Carlos Ghosn Participant
Greg "Gadget" Abbott Participant
Dan Neil Participant
Thomas Friedman Participant
Anthony Kiedis Participant
Gavin Newsom Participant
Talulah Riley Participant

Technical Credits
Chris Paine Director,Screenwriter
Jessie Deeter Producer
Craig Delaval Camera Operator
Stefano Durdic Executive Producer
Roger Gilbertson Associate Producer
Alexandra Liss Camera Operator
P.G. Morgan Producer,Screenwriter
Chris A. Peterson Editor
Robin Probyn Camera Operator
Raul Campos Musical Direction/Supervision
David Robbins Score Composer
Thaddeus Wadleigh Cinematographer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Revenge of the Electric Car
1. Introduction [6:30]
2. Mr. Detroit [3:47]
3. Rocket Man [7:30]
4. The Outsider [7:51]
5. The Warrior [5:41]
6. Free Fall [7:48]
7. Crisis of Confidence [9:15]
8. The Art of War [12:40]
9. The Long Shadow [7:23]
10. Dog Eat Dog [8:14]
11. Leap of Faith [10:06]
12. Credits [2:49]

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