Scarlett Johansson is a busy girl. Between acting in Marvel comics movies and getting ready for Broadway, the Tony winning beauty is doing more singing. Scarlett recorded an album of Tom Waits songs a few years ago. Now she’s singing the theme song to a new and important film about climate change. Her song, “Before My Time Comes,” is sung Marianne Faithful-like to a haunting violin and piano combo during the opening of “Chasing Ice.” The documentary, about to have an Oscar run, shows amazing time lapse photography of severe erosion in Greenland and Iceland of melting glaciers.
Scarlett’s single came about through composer J. Ralph, who wrote the score for “Chasing Ice.” The film had a screening and dinner last night put together by the Peggy Siegal Company, with some heavy thinkers on hand including the one and only Harry Belafonte, Judd Hirsch, “60 Minutes” correspondent Bob Simon, playwright Israel Horovitz, veteran TV news journalist Bob Jamieson, doc maker Joe Berlinger (“Paradise Lost”), our pal Billy Magnussen (about to open in Chris Durang’s new comedy with Sigourney Weaver) and a couple of surprise guests including Marcia Williams (ex of Robin) who was in town to see one of her kids and to view an exhibit at the Museum of Arts and Design by friend Daniel Brush.
The “Chasing Ice” party afterwards at Roberts restaurant, overlooking Columbus Circle, sported an ice sculpture of the movie’s logo. But it melted slower than the frightening collapse of the glaciers recorded by photographer James Balog. He and his team suited up for extreme conditions, then traveled to isolated parts of Greenland and Iceland to set up cameras and chronicle five years or more worth of footage showing the changes to massive glaciers.
Remember “127 Hours”? All of that was shot in a studio. In “Chasing Ice,” we see Balog and his team so stuff no one should try at home or anywhere else. To get these extraordinary pictures, they risked life and limb– literally. Balog has had several knee surgeries since he started the Extreme Ice Survey in 2005.
But the pictures they got are truly beautiful and wondrous–they’re collected in a coffee table book. But the video must be seen–when “Chasing Ice” comes to theatres this month, don’t miss it. Climate change doubters will certainly be changing their minds.
Balog told me last night: “I’d love to round up Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity and take them back there with me [to Greenland].” Gentlemen, the invitation has been extended.