Tonight, The Belcourt hosts the Nashville premiere of Revenge of the Electric Car, director Chris Paine's follow-up to the acclaimed documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?. (One culprit was probably GM's Bob Lutz, who appears in Revenge — check out this clip, in which he discusses owning fighter jets.) Tonight's screening is a fundraiser for Urban Green Lab, a unique, sustainability-focused community center coming to East Nashville. Nissan, which has committed up to $375,000 toward building UGL, hosts the event, which includes an afterparty at Cabana with Paine attending.
In this week's Scene, I talk to UGL president Dan Heller and vice president Greg O'Loughlin, Nissan's Mark Perry and Revenge director Paine about the center, the film and Tennessee's place in sustainability innovation:
About a half-block southwest of Bailey and Cato soul food restaurant in Inglewood, where McGavock Pike and Maxey Lane converge sharply, sits an unassuming plot of land. Shaped like a giant arrowhead aimed in the general direction of Gallatin Pike, this modest tract may not look like much. But to the founders of Urban Green Lab — the state-of-the-art structure that, if all goes according to plan, will occupy this unusually pointy corner by the end of 2012 — it looks like the future.
Pulling together initiatives from like-minded programs around the world — like a tool-lending library, an urban garden and electric vehicle charging stations — and integrating them in one location with educational programs, research partnerships with local universities and functioning models of sustainable use built into the premises itself, Urban Green Lab hopes to be a whole new kind of community center: one dedicated to sustainable living. But don't expect a bunch of lectures and brochures — there'll be fun stuff, too.
Tickets to the premiere, which are $40 and include both the screening and afterparty, will be available at The Belcourt tonight.