Did these men and women travel here, to the windswept and starkly beautiful grasslands of Spioenkop, South Africa, to fight on historic battlegrounds, or did they come for celebration? Both, it would seem. Inspired by T.S. Eliot’s “Little Gidding,” this short film tells the story of the 2012 Single Speed World Championships, the first held in Africa. With dreamlike shots and oblique narration, it follows mountain bikers as they fight, struggle and rediscover their love for the bike. As the film puts it, “Dust in the air suspended. The beauty vanquished. They paw the ground. They snort the air. But the hurt they deliver is unto themselves.”
The tragic, yet inspiring, story of Tim Hetherington is told in the moving documentary Which Way is the Front Line from Here? In the brilliant and haunting Diary, Hetherington tells his own story. This short, impressionistic film is a pastiche of his own personal impressions drawn from the remarkable life he led as a war photographer, which took him to some of the worst places on the earth.
In the plant kingdom, carnivorous organisms hold a certain allure. Despite their viciousness, they are beautiful, complex creations that have inspired in some people an interest that verges on obsession. Well-Fed takes a look inside the unusual world of carnivorous plants and its devoted collectors — from a man in California who houses one of the largest collections in the world to a young man who was forced to construct a greenhouse when he started with one plant and quickly amassed more than 200.
Four decades ago, a couple of young guys hauled a bicycle up Mont Simmerstein in a rugged pocket of the Austrian Alps and attempted to ride down. The mountain — known as the Sea of Rock for its jagged armor of boulders, stones and cliffs — destroyed the bike. Local mountain biker Harald Philipp has attempted the descent many times and failed — pits, technical sections and razor-sharp stones make it a nightmare. In Sea of Rock, Philipp recruits pro trails rider Thomas Ohler in the hope that, by combining their knowledge, they can successfully thread through the wicked terrain. The film follows the riders as they find lines through this imposing and beautiful landscape, chasing the long sought-after goal with two completely different styles.
“Once upon a time, a genius of science, a chemist called Leo, stumbled on a substance, a curious gloopy mess, that molded into any shape the genius cared to test.” While his marvelous gloop seemed to have unlimited uses, it also had a darker side that no one could foresee.