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Jan 29, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Garbage Warrior

With Oliver Hodge, Ben Weber and Brittany Grech

What do beer cans, car tires and water bottles have in common? Not much unless you’re renegade architect Michael Reynolds, in which case they are tools of choice for producing thermal mass and energy-independent housing. For 30 years New Mexico-based Reynolds and his green disciples have devoted their time to advancing the art of “Earthship Biotecture” by building self-sufficient, off-the-grid communities where design and function converge in eco-harmony. However, these experimental structures that defy state standards create conflict between Reynolds and the authorities, who are backed by big business. Frustrated by antiquated legislation, Reynolds lobbies for the right to create a sustainable living test site. While politicians hum and ha, Mother Nature strikes, leaving communities devastated by tsunamis and hurricanes. Reynolds and his crew seize the opportunity to lend their pioneering skills to those who need it most. Shot over three years and in four countries, Garbage Warrior is a timely portrait of a determined visionary, a hero of the 21st century.

“Like Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’- this film demands to be seen by as many humans as possible. Time is of the essence.”

Santa Barbara Independent

“Part-Womble, part-eco visionary, the man is a one-off, and wholly cherishable”

The Independent UK

2009 Winner of  The Grand Jury Prize and The Audience Award at EKOFILM, Europe’s Environmental Film Festival

2007 Winner of The Audience Award at Vancouver International Film Festival

Oliver Hodge‘s fifteen years of experience in the film and television industry has also involved him working on twenty major feature films. He has headed departments, supervised special effects projects and worked intimately with directors including George Lucas, Tim Burton, Danny Cannon and Danny Boyle. Hodge is also a recipient of the following:

Winner Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award EKOFILM 2009

Winner Audience Award Biografilm Festival Italy 2009

Winner Spirit Of Activism Award Wild And Scenic Film Festival Nevada 2009

Honorable Mention Pare Lorentz Award International Documentary Awards 2008

Nominated Best Newcomer – The British Documentary Awards Grierson 2008

BIFA Nominated Best Debut Director The Douglas Hickox Award 2007

3 BIFA Nominations for feature documentary 35mm film Garbage Warrior 2007

Winner – Audience Award Vancouver International Film Festival 2007

2 Music videos nominated for Classic FM’s most wanted.

120 minutes

Michael Reynolds is an architect based in New Mexico and a proponent of “radically sustainable living.” He has been a forceful and controversial critic of the profession of architecture for its failure to deal with the amount of waste that building design creates. After graduating from the University of Cincinnati in 1969, Reynolds began his provocative work almost immediately. His thesis was published in Architectural Record in 1971 and the following year he built his first house from recycled materials. The structures built under his direction utilize everyday trash items like aluminum cans and plastic bottles. Instead of using conventional (and energy-consuming) recycling methods, however, Reynolds takes the discarded item and uses it as-is. His Thumb House, built in 1972, used beer cans wired together into “bricks,” which were mortared together and then plastered over. (The brick design was awarded a U.S. patent in 1973.) Reynolds calls this practice “Earthship Biotecture” and has dedicated his career to it. He cites as an epiphany the moment when he realized that any object, be it a pop bottle or an old tire, could become powerful and durable insulation when it was filled with dirt. He has written five books on the subject. Soon he was building and selling his experimental homes while continuing to use trial and error to improve them. The “Earthships” over time incorporated features designed to make them comfortable to live in while existing off the grid. Solar panels and geothermal cooling were added. The homes caught the imagination of celebrities and environmental activists. Actors Dennis Weaver and Keith Carradine each commissioned Reynolds to build high-end Earthships for them.

Emerging Green Builders New York (EGBNY) represents a coalition of students and young professionals in the New York City area intent on promoting the integration of future leaders into the green building movement.  Organized under Urban Green Council, the New York Chapter of the US Green Building Council, EGB coordinates many successful events each year which provide education, networking opportunities, and professional development to the next generation of industry leaders.

This event is part of the International Documentary Association (IDA) presented traveling Pare Lorentz Film Festival in celebration of the modern evolution of the documentary film. This program is supported by the New York Community Trust.


Jan 29, 2010
7:30 pm – 9:30 pm


352 Onderdonk Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385 United States
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