120 Days: Tarpon Season
Even if you know nothing about fishing, and couldn’t care less about it, you should still watch every fishing film ever made by the Felt Soul Media team. Why? Because they exemplify the art and craft of filmmaking. This latest short about saltwater flyfishing for tarpon is no exception. Using super high-resolution, black and white and their trademark, slow-motion punctuation, Ben Knight and Travis Rummel have created a piece that is dreamy and wide awake all at once. The effect is harmonized by Knight’s agile editing that gives the pace both punchiness and lyricism. And, in classic Felt Soul style, the most beautiful and arresting images of the film are peripheral to the story: In this fish film, it’s all about the birds.
You’ve probably seen the photos: click-bait on social media portraying a Russian kid in selfies, perched perilously, crazily, on top of building towers and cranes or hanging one-handed from ledges. Meet 19-year-old Kirill. The architecture-obsessed Moscow resident eschewed the typical path of college and armed forces for a life of urban exploration. His objectives: the rooftops of Moscow, where he pushes the boundaries of risk and exposure while exploring the wilder side of his city. Atop the buildings, cranes and the city’s highest points, he gains a perspective few of his fellow city dwellers will ever encounter.
Fruita, Colorado-based geologist Terry Acomb is the Yoda of slacklining. He was an early guide in the sport who helped discover the highlining mecca the Fruit Bowl near Moab, Utah, and he co-founded the now infamous GGBY, a Thanksgiving celebration that combines highlining, BASE jumping and human expression each November in the desert. His home, which sits amid a network of perches and lines, is a magnet for climbers and slackliners from around the country. And when he says “I’m going to be slacklining when I’m 85,” you don’t doubt it. In this film, Acomb reflects on the sport’s tight-knit community, its innovations and the individuals who are driving the golden age of the slacklining.
Where the Wild Things Play
Friday night at the local watering hole and … where the ladies at? Answer: BASE jumping from high desert cliffs, performing tricks on slacklines, climbing granite routes, shredding singletrack, skiing backcountry lines and generally leaving you fellas behind. This rowdy ode to female athletes by Krystle Wright leaves no doubt about the state of women in today’s outdoor world: badass.
After being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Jon Wilson had his left leg fully amputated. The loss of a limb stopped the cancer, but it didn’t stop Wilson from enjoying his favorite pastime of mountain biking. This short film celebrates the indomitable spirit that keeps him zooming through singletrack. “If I don’t ride a bike, I will lose my mind. It’s because I need to find that spiritual place, that spiritual channel on the trail,” Wilson says. “The simple answer is that it brings me joy.”
The Time Travelers
In 2016, members of the U.S. Men’s Rafting team hatched an incredible challenge for themselves: to attempt to break the speed record for 277 miles of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon by rowing the entire stretch in only 34 hours. The Time Travelers follows their extraordinary mission, which entailed designing and building a 48-foot-long Millenial Falcon of rivercrafts, swapping out customary paddles for oars and training intensely for eight months until launch day in January 2017. What could have been a purely physical challenge turned into something much more: a lesson in camaraderie, perspective and the power of a wild river. In the hands of the team that made The Important Places (Mountainfilm 2015), it becomes an unforgettable story of adventure.