Tag Archives: Documentary film

Pssst – There Is No Cake

Probably the most epic swan dive in the history of swan dives.

Remember the videos of crazy adventure seeking adventurers that I mentioned here and here? You know, the videos by Seb Montaz?

Well, believe me when I write that at some point in the not so distant past I had talked about these movies. Moreover, I had talked about downloading and watching Seb’s documentary I Believe I Can Fly: Flight of the Frenchies. After watching the film – which was amazing – and having been so impressed and exhilarated by his work, I immediately downloaded Seb’s other documentary called One Step Beyond: The True Story of Géraldine Fasnacht. If I thought the first documentary was amazing, the second was even better.

What led me to this decision?

Simple – the second film was better because it had more heart. That’s not to say that the first didn’t have heart – because it absolutely did. But One Step Beyond presented a far more intimate and personal story than I Believe I Can Fly. A story that immediately grabbed me and drew me in. The story was powerful and tragic, beautiful and uplifting, and overwhelmingly life-affirming.

You really can’t ask for much more than that for only $6.60.

Anyway, I can’t stress enough that you should watch it if you have the chance. Seriously. Go watch it now. I’ll wait.

Ya. I want to try this.

Of course, you might be wondering why I’m only talking about One Step Beyond now, after having watched the video over a week ago. Well that’s simple – I forget things. The good news, however, is that I sometimes remember the things I’ve forgotten! Amazing, right? As evidence, I offer you this: today I remembered that I had forgotten to write about One Step Beyond because some thing reminded me that I had forgotten it. Confused? Not to worry – it’ll all be clear soon.

Today I remembered the video because I received an email from Seb Montaz notifiying me that he’d released a new short video – a clip from what will likely be a new movie. That naturally led me to remember that I’d forgotten to blog about One Step Beyond. And now you know the answer to the riddle that’s had you on the edge of your seat with bated breath since the beginning of the last paragraph. Feel free to breathe again.

For your viewing pleasure, I’ve attached the new clip below. I can honestly say that I want to try what these guys are doing in this video.

I’ve also included a clip of a young girl learning to ski jump. It has nothing to do with Seb’s documentaries, but you have to admire the bravery of this kid. Not so much in what she was doing (although, yes, you have to be brave/crazy to do what she was attempting), but in how she prepares herself for the jump. Amazing.

Note to my Mom: if you’re reading this, know that the first clip shows a man making a cake. Yes, that’s it – he’s making a cake. The adventurous part of the video involves him juggling eggs and using real vanilla instead of the artificial stuff. Clearly, there is no need for you to watch the clip.

Note to everyone else: there is no cake. Unless by cake you mean awesome. In that case, the clip is so full of cake, you’ll hardly be able to stand it.




I Believe I Can Fly

More than 99% of me wants to do most of what is in this documentary.

Yesterday while perusing the interwebs, I rediscovered a preview for a documentary that I’d watched a few months ago. When I first watched the preview, I remember being quite impressed and intrigued. Moreover, I remember thinking to myself - self, you must see this documentary.

And then I completely forgot about it. Go figure. I blame life and all the other things that happened between my first viewing and yesterday, and the fact that I have a tendency to forget everything unless I write it down somewhere1.

This looks crazy-freaking-stupid-awesome.

Thankfully – and in spite of my tendency to forget things unless I write them down – I somehow managed to stumble on the preview again. In this particular instance of rediscovery I opted to follow the links provided by the all-knowing and powerful interwebs, ultimately finding myself at the website of one Seb Montaz – the director of said documentary. While he describes his lack of formal training on the website, I have to say that his films are stunning. Breathtaking in fact. And given this, I decided that I had to – HAD TO – purchase the documentary I Believe I Can Fly: Flight of the Frenchies.

I just finished watching it.

Look Ma! No hands!

Holy.

Freaking.

Shitballs.

Best $6.60 I’ve spent in a while.

The documentary was stunning. Absolutely freaking stunning. The visuals were like nothing I’ve ever seen before, and I found my stomach actually turning a few times while watching because I actually felt like I was there, taking part in the action. Crazy freaking amazing.

But, I think I’m getting ahead of myself. I mean, you’re probably wondering what the hell the documentary was about. Well, this particular piece of cinematic joy chronicled the High Lining and Base Jumping adventures of a group of friends. It also presented the glorious love child of each sport – something the friends dubbed Base Lining2.

Look Ma! No hands AND no harness?!?! What the hell?

I’ve attached the preview below for your viewing pleasure. If you like what you see – definitely purchase the film. At $6.60 it’s probably not much more expensive than renting a movie. You won’t be disappointed. Especially if you like holding your breath while you watch other people do crazy-amazing things that you might consider doing yourself one day. And especially if you like holding your breath while you watch other people do crazy-amazing-are-you-freaking-kidding-me-with-this-shit things that you will never ever consider doing yourself as long as you are part of this mortal coil. Because this film has both of those things.

You’ve been duly warned.

And now I’m going to purchase Seb’s other documentary3  because that’s just the type of crazy man I am.


1 Okay, truth be told – it’s more likely the case that it’s my fault for not writing it down, and not, for example, life’s fault.

2 In short – imagine a 1 inch wide rope – with plenty of bounce and sway of course – suspended between two cliffs. Further, let said cliffs be high enough that if one were to fall, one would either become one with the earth, or one would open a parachute after 3 or 4 seconds to ensure they didn’t become one with the earth.

3 One Step Beyond: The True Story of Géraldine Fasnacht.



Life Is Full Of Awesome

I just finished watching the documentary Life In A Day. If you haven’t heard of this documentary, it’s not what I would call standard fare as far as documentaries go. It doesn’t focus on a company, or a person; it doesn’t have a product to sell per se. Nor is it trying to motivate a movement, or inform us of injustice, or tragedy, or anything of that nature. Instead, it really is the life of many different people over the span of one single day.

The gist of the documentary is as such: on July 24, 2010, people from around the globe filmed and submitted clips of their day. They were asked to answer several questions in the clips that were uploaded to YouTube: What do they love? What do they fear? What’s in their pockets? Over 4500 hours of video were uploaded, and the documentary represents a compilation of them.
The documentary starts off with people waking up, preparing breakfast, doing daily chores, heading to their jobs, etc. It moves through all facets of the day, and pretty much the spectrum of emotions. Love, fear, joy, pain, suffering. All are displayed. Nothing is held back. It truly is an incredible work of art, and in my opinion a work of incredible genius. To create a movie that is so captivating without knowing what was to be ultimately submitted, and without knowing the ‘actors’ is awesome to me. Further, to create something so beautiful and moving, from tiny scraps of video from all corners of the globe, is nothing short of fantastic.

What amazes me the most about this documentary, is the beauty and breadth of life that is shown. Many different types of people are shown; different religions, cultures, and traditions. The young are juxtaposed next to the old, the poor against the rich. And yet there is something very obvious underlying all of this. That is, regardless of where we were born, what faith we might follow, what traditions are passed on to us, beneath all of this, we all seek the same things in life; happiness, fulfilment, meaning, love, etc. This common thread is made clear by listening to the responses to the simplest of questions: What do you love? What’s even more incredible, the similarities in the answers to the question: What do you fear?

Ultimately, I found the documentary absolutely beautiful and uplifting and I highly recommend you take the time to watch it. Even better, you can do so for free, as it is now available for anyone to watch via YouTube. Definitely check it out. You won’t regret it. For your convenience, I’ve embedded the video below.