Windfall

Overview

Longtime film editor Laura Israel makes her directorial debut with this documentary examining the effectiveness of wind turbines in creating clean, affordable energy, and revealing some of the unforeseen complications of harnessing power from the massive, imposing towers. When the economy in Meredith, NY, hit the skids, the local farmers were desperate to find an energy source that would help them keep their dairy farms functional while at the same time lessening their dependence on fossil fuels. That's when the ...
See more details below
DVD
$25.64
BN.com price
(Save 8%)$27.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (DVD)
  • All (10) from $12.00   
  • New (8) from $12.10   
  • Used (2) from $10.09   

Overview

Longtime film editor Laura Israel makes her directorial debut with this documentary examining the effectiveness of wind turbines in creating clean, affordable energy, and revealing some of the unforeseen complications of harnessing power from the massive, imposing towers. When the economy in Meredith, NY, hit the skids, the local farmers were desperate to find an energy source that would help them keep their dairy farms functional while at the same time lessening their dependence on fossil fuels. That's when the wind-turbine salesman rode into town, and the controversy began. While everyone in Meredith was in favor of clean energy, no one quite realized just how intrusive a field of noisy, 400-foot towers outfitted with seven-ton blades would be on their daily lives. It didn't take long for frustration to set in, and before long the locals had realized that the drawbacks of wind turbines may ultimately outweigh the benefits. As the controversy over what to do about the turbines intensifies, Israel keeps her camera rolling in order to capture the arguments on both sides and highlight the occasional absurdities of small-town politics.
Read More Show Less

Special Features

Bonus Interviews & Footage; Resource Guide; Filmmaker Biography
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Nathan Southern
In our ozone-depleted era, many ecological activists assume that any form of non-fossil fuel is a welcome fuel, but Laura Israel's muckraking documentary Windfall clobbers this assertion. And to be clear: the picture isn't the reactionary trounce on greenhouse claims and alternative energies that one might infer from this posturing; far from it. Israel and many of her subjects do make it abundantly clear that they harbor a fundamental concern about environmental damage and are ready to embrace many different options for cleaner power sources. But one that they won't soon warm up to is systematized wind power -- particularly the sprawling wind farms proposed for rural Meredith, NY, a dwindling farming community that is apparently in desperate need of sustenance. Israel's film -- comprised mostly of interviews with Meredith townspeople -- visits the community not long after several multinationals rolled into town, promising economic revitalization in return for signed contracts that would permit them to construct and mount dozens of 400-ft.-high wind turbines on farm land. The suits, of course, neglected to disclose some of the health hazards wrought by the ceaseless whirring and grinding of the huge structures and their intermittent blockage of sunlight -- for example, sleep loss, depression, and increased stress. Before long, the town split into two factions -- those who saw the oscillating blades as a means of economic deliverance, and those who perceived them as a scourge on the land and a threat to local well-being. At times, Israel's documentary hints at a desire to pull the audience into this small-town debate and explore both sides of the issue, but this doesn't really happen. In more mature and ambitious hands, this material would have tapped into some ambiguities surrounding wind power in Meredith, disclosing both the assets and the liabilities of the proposed development. A tip-off to the oversimplified nature of Israel's film is the fact that she fails to provide any interviews with representatives of the power companies, or even with townspeople who are completely pro-wind, such as a longtime female spokesperson for the town planning board, who is seen only in long shot and comes off like a venomous monster here. Instead, what we get is an invective -- a polemic, damning the turbines as a ludicrous impracticality. To Israel's credit, this does come off; her presentation is well-conceived, intelligent, and affecting. She demonstrates a fine ability to select strategic sound bites and structure her material narratively, and builds a convincing case for her central agenda; we walk away firmly convinced that wind power spells the destruction of Meredith. Moreover, the picture despite an initial case of stop-motion and time-lapse cuteness that only mars the first few minutes is also visually impeccable: cinematographer Brian Jackson smoothly lights and frames interviewees, and makes frequent use of landscape photography, emphasizing a palette of rich, earthy green and brown hues that feels ideally suited for the rurality of the time and place. That aesthetic approach undergirds the documentary's central strength, perhaps an accidental one: it works far better as a stirring, bittersweet, occasionally droll portrait of early 21st century small town Americana a series of quirky character studies than it does as an anti-wind power or anti-corporate screed. In fact, the movie is so enjoyable in the moments it catches accidentally -- eccentric behavioral quirks of the interviewees, for example -- that one almost wishes Israel had ankled the environmental issue altogether. As the film stands, it works effectively enough, and Israel doubtless has a long career as a documentarian in store for her, though throughout the picture we can imagine a better film that might have been; the scattered flecks of ambiguity recall Joe Berlinger's Crude, for example, while the biographical glimpses of the townspeople suggest the Ross brothers' 2009 documentary 45365, a multifaceted slice-of-life portrait of a Middle American community. A few further steps in either direction would have improved Windfall considerably. As a result, one hopes that Israel's next directorial outing will take bolder risks with its content.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/15/2012
  • UPC: 720229915083
  • Original Release: 2010
  • Source: First Run Features
  • Time: 1:23:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 84,542

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Chuck Coggins Voice Only
Technical Credits
Laura Israel Director, Editor, Executive Producer, Producer
Alex Bingham Art Director, Editor, Production Designer
Olivier Conan Musical Direction/Supervision
Margaret Crimmins Sound Mixer, Sound/Sound Designer
Don Faller Executive Producer
Stacey Foster Co-producer, Editor
Hazmat Modine Score Composer
Brian Jackson Cinematographer
Raphael Lyon Sound Mixer, Sound/Sound Designer
Deen Modino Animator
Wade Schuman Score Composer
Greg Smith Sound Mixer
Greg Smith Executive Producer
Autumn Tarleton Producer
Read More Show Less

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Windfall
1. Chapter 1 [7:39]
2. Chapter 2 [6:59]
3. Chapter 3 [7:05]
4. Chapter 4 [7:40]
5. Chapter 5 [7:38]
6. Chapter 6 [8:15]
7. Chapter 7 [6:19]
8. Chapter 8 [8:38]
9. Chapter 9 [7:30]
10. Chapter 10 [7:36]
11. Chapter 11 [4:29]
12. Chapter 12 [2:57]
Read More Show Less

Menu

Disc #1 -- Windfall
   Play Feature
   Chapters
   Extras
      Bonus Interviews with the Crew of Windfall
      Resource Guide
      Director's Biography
      Film Gallery
         Pruitt-Igo
         Dragonslayer
         Mr. Foster?
         Patagonia Rising
   About First Run Features
      Film Gallery
         Pruitt-Igoe
         Dragonslayer
         Mr. Foster?
         Patagonia Rising
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously