Grab your favorite brew and sit back for this one.
Rob and I went to the Banff Mountain Film Festival a few weeks ago at the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte. This was the 2nd year the festival made a stop there. Our favorite film last year was Take a Seat, which has become a cult hit and now a book.
This year's film choices had a couple of real gems as well. Our favorite - a film about fly fishing called Eastern Rises. You read that right...fly fishing. I'm not a fisherman. I'm terrible at it and I can't sit or stand still long enough to really do it. However, I'm still fascinated by it. But I thought this would be a boring film. On the contrary, it was facinating and funny. Really funny. It follows a group of die-hard (think major wind addicts) fly fishermen on a trip to a remote country in Russia that is the size of California, only has 300 miles of roads, and thousands of miles of rivers teaming with big fish. Go see this film (you can buy the DVD too).
The Longest Way was really good. Its about a guy who walked the entire length of China in one year. You have to watch it a few times (only 5 minutes long...see below). The guy who made the movie doesn't want you to look at him in the film...he wants you to look at everything behind him in the background. That's hard to do the first time watching this. You'll see what I mean.
Life Cycles is a cool mountain bike film. The Dream Result and Wildwater are two crazy whitewater kayaking films. The Swiss Machine is about that crazy Swiss climber Ueli Steck...what an athlete! Alex Honnold makes an appearance in this film wtih Steck. Honnold is the one that solo free climbed El Capitan and then went on to break solo speed records last year on El Capitan and Half Dome (in Yosemite Park, CA)...and was featured last year as a selection in the film festival that blew everyone's minds.
Hopefully one of these days, windsurfing will make its way into the Banff Mountain Film Festival. The Windsurfing Movie 2 would have been a great opportunity...I wonder why it wasn't entered into it.
The Longest Way
The Swiss Machine