Tintype was one of the first “instant” forms of photography that allowed images to be developed quickly and inexpensively. The process was popular at fairs around the time of the Civil War, so it preceded the modern-day Instagram by over 150 years. Harry Taylor, who learned tintype as a way to keep his mind distracted during a family tragedy, says, “The perfection that you get with digital is so easy, you can’t help but take it for granted.” So he decided to go old school.
There’s a certain effervescent quality to this short film about some older Irish men and women who have a childlike love of bicycling. As one of the featured cyclists puts it, “It’s a great place to dream, a bicycle.”
Jason Houston and Hal Clifford have delivered short gems of films to Mountainfilm for the past several years — vignettes that offer slice-of-life glimpses into unusual characters. This year, the character is not so unusual: She is a quite normal, if beguiling, little girl. In fact, she’s Houston’s daughter, and she’s something of an authority on climbing, especially as it relates to climbing walls and, even more specifically, a wall in her garage that she helps to build. Her goal in climbing? To get to the top.
Last winter, if you had happened upon a particular isolated and frigid beach north of the Arctic Circle in Norway, you might have been surprised to find two young men, two surfboards and a pile of garbage. Inge Wegge (age 25) and Jørn Ranum (age 22) spent nine months of the year — of which all could arguably be considered winter in the frozen north — testing a hypothesis that they could live happily, and even comfortably, off the waste of others. They chose this beach because it held a well-kept secret: some of the world’s finest undiscovered surfing waves. Bringing only their surfboards and their enthusiasm for adventure, the duo picked up driftwood to build a shelter, found a barrel to use as a stove, hiked to a nearby town to collect free expired food from a grocery store, caught fish and also caught waves. Almost as an aside, Wegge and Ranum piled washed-up garbage (despite its remoteness, the beach seems to collect a lot human detritus) to remove at the end of their stay. The location of their makeshift home will remain a secret, but they are generous enough to share the story of their winter North of the Sun with us.
A New York City iron worker named Timmy Brennan found escape by surfing in the waves of Breezy Point. Then, Superstorm Sandy hit, destroying everything he had, including his cherished surfboard. The Rider and The Storm (directed by David Darg and Bryn Mooser, the team who brought Baseball in the Time of Cholera to Mountainfilm in 2012) tells this story of Brennan’s loss, but it’s really about what happens to him next — events that will reassure you about human nature.