Netflix to cut 2013 Canada train crash footage from ‘Bird Box’ months after outcry

Above, lead actor Sandra Bullock in a scene from the film ‘Bird Box.’ (Netflix via AP)
Updated 17 March 2019
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Netflix to cut 2013 Canada train crash footage from ‘Bird Box’ months after outcry

  • The stock footage was taken from a 2013 crash in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic
  • Stock image vendor Pond 5 in January said the footage ‘was taken out of context’ and apologized

NEW YORK: Netflix will remove footage of a real fiery train disaster from its hit post-apocalyptic survival film “Bird Box” months after the streaming giant was criticized for exploiting a tragedy.
The stock footage was taken from a 2013 crash in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic when a train carrying crude oil came off the tracks and exploded into a massive ball of fire, killing 47 people.
Netflix licensed the footage from the stock image vendor Pond 5 and used it in “Bird Box” in an early TV news montage. The Sandra Bullock-led thriller is about monstrous entities that compel any human who sees them to quickly try to kill themselves.
Pond 5 in January said the footage “was taken out of context” and apologized. But Netflix said at the time it wasn’t planning to cut the clip, although said it was looking at ways to do things differently moving forward.
Nexflix changed its mind and said Friday it will replace the footage with an outtake from a former TV series in the US The company said it is “sorry for any pain caused to the Lac-Megantic community.”
The mayor of Lac-Megantic, Julie Morin, had criticized the use of the footage, calling it “a lack of respect.” She and Quebec’s culture and communications minister, Nathalie Roy, applauded Netflix’s latest move. “This result shows that by being united and pooling our efforts, everything is possible,” Roy tweeted.


‘The Dead Don’t Die’ drags zombie film genre back to its roots

Updated 39 min 30 sec ago
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‘The Dead Don’t Die’ drags zombie film genre back to its roots

  • The “Dead Don’t Die” explores relations between humans in the face of an apocalypse
  • Each zombie receives a different death

CANNES: “Paterson,” the last film that the legendary, idiosyncratic director Jim Jarmusch screened at Cannes, was a love letter to poetry, small town life and the depth of soul that exists inside all of us. He’s followed that up with a zombie film — “The Dead Don’t Die” and he’s brought some stars along for the ride to explore how a small town deals with its own demise.

Zombie films and television shows have, since their resurgence after “28 Days Later” (2002), been as omnipresent as they’ve been impotent. Before them all, the films of George Romero —namely “Night of the Living Dead” (1968) and its follow up “Dawn of the Dead” (1978) — were explorations of racism, consumerism and broader society. The “Dead Don’t Die” drags the genre back to those roots, tackling the impending climate-driven catastrophe, the bad actors who hurtle us towards it and the way we treat each other in the face of a potential apocalypse.

As nihilistic as it is at points, “The Dead Don’t Die” is the most irreverent and playful Jarmusch has been since “Coffee and Cigarettes” (2003), with a cast just as star-studded. Recent collaborators, such as Adam Driver, feature alongside long-time friends Bill Murray, the Rza of the Wu Tang Clan, Tilda Swinton, Iggy Pop, Steve Buscemi and Tom Waits. Young stars Caleb Landry Jones and Selena Gomez stare down death, clinging to the music and pop culture they love. For many of the film’s players, their personas are standing in the place of fully drawn characters, with meta jokes scattered throughout that lampoon the actors and even their relationships with Jarmusch. The film consciously references other zombie films as well, though none of that awareness is enough to help the poor souls of Centerville. 

As the zombies, each of whom audibly yearns for the thing they loved most in life (Coffee! WiFi! Fashion!) come for the townspeople one by one, death reaches them in different ways. For some, including the racist, hateful Farmer Miller (Steve Buscemi), death is called justice. Even as some townspeople manage to fight back, the dead never stop — as Driver’s character continually reminds us, this is all going to end badly. 

As the bodies pile up, a voice on the radio denies the catastrophe was caused by greedy businessmen. Tom Waits, who plays a hermit who lives in the woods and is the only one who seems to see anything clearly, can’t offer a cure, only a diagnosis — a summary of life that is too explicit to print.