the kids and i went to the ted rogers hot docs cinema in THE6 to see Free Solo which is such a great documentary about Alex Honnold and his assent up El Captain in Yosemite National Park. what a ride. 10/10 from me. it has a rating on IMDb of 8.6 and a meta score from critics of 83. this park is on my bucketlist. it just looks incredible to visit and camp and hike. i will see this movie again when it hits the theatre in PTBO and i try and drag out everyone i know and i will jump at the chance to see it on IMAX any day.
Follow Alex Honnold as he becomes the first person to ever free solo climb Yosemite’s 3,000ft high El Capitan Wall. With no ropes or safety gear, he completed arguably the greatest feat in rock climbing history
alex has a witty sense of humor and him meeting Sandi who is just adorable changes the dynamics when you think of it from her perspective as she falls in love with him and doesn’t want to stop his dream. can’t believe that 3 guys first climbed this rockface in the 50’s with rope and it took them about 46 days to complete it and alex did it it in under 4 hours. my mind is blown.
go see it. i posted the trailer and also a interview below that.
In December my buddy Drew mentioned that there is this little film festival that comes to town. He asked me if I wanted a ticket and I emailed him the money for mine. This year this festival makes it’s third appearance here in Peterborough and it sold out right away. This year they stretched it to 3 days. This festival makes it’s way around the world to 40 countries and about 500,000 people view it. There are about 35 films shown in the 1,000 screenings around the world. In Banff there is about 20,000 people who view the festival. Each day of the festival here in PTBO they show different films. Next year… I’m going to get tickets to two sessions.
You can catch the Toronto shows in March at the Bloor Cinema and you can get the info right here.
The films they presented during my viewing were:
Sea Gypsies: The Far Side of the World (Tour Edit)
The vessel is Infinity, a 120-ft hand-built sailing ketch, crewed by a community of wanderers. The journey – a 12,800-kilometre Pacific crossing from New Zealand to Patagonia, with a stop in Antarctica, weather permitting. This film epitomizes the spirit of adventure. I really enjoyed this one.
Being so far removed from the hustle and bustle of the tropical surf world hardens Iceland’s surfers to confront the harsh reality they all must face – that old and unforgiving North Atlantic wind.
Danny MacAskill’s Wee Day Out
Want to see what Danny MacAskill does on his day off? Explore the rural landscape around Edinburgh in a film that sets out to capture the simple fun of a ride in the country with moments of incredible riding and a touch of humour.
Dog Power (Tour Edit)
Get a fascinating view of the world of dog-powered sports and the special bond between dogs and their humans. Both share a passion for living, working and playing together outside in different forms of the sled-dog and musher relationship.
Doing it Scared
Eighteen years after a catastrophic accident which left him partially paralyzed, climber Paul Pritchard returns to the Totem Pole to find out if he has recovered enough to finish the climb. Another filmmaker interviewed him and you can watch it on Youtube here. He also has a little Everest film and you can watch it on Youtube here.
How might your life be better with less? “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things,” a feature-length documentary from the popular simple-living duo The Minimalists, examines the many flavors of minimalism by taking the audience inside the lives of minimalists from various walks of life. From minimalist architects, designers, and musicians, to businessmen, authors, and minimalist families, this film explores various recipes for how to live a more meaningful, deliberate life. Not a perfect life, not an easy life—a simple life.
This Documentary will be shown for a night in Toronto on June 1st, 2016 and you can get tickets here for $15 bones and maybe a little dinner at Insomnia Restaurant on Bloor before hand.
The Film is at 8:30pm and I think I know what to order already at Insomnia and will be at the restaurant by 6:30pm.
I will have a good time if it’s even myself since I’m a minimalist 😉 and it’s open to anyone to get tickets and meet up for some food or a drink beforehand.
I watched this again this morning… loved it. i just love how he documents things and comes back from the trip and puts together little shorts.
LEAP INTO THE UNKNOWN Casey Neistat, jumping after a wildlife tour in Namibia, will likely end up in the Guinness Book of World Records in a category that doesn’t even exist yet. His son, Owen, is more reserved.
Taken from the New York Times by Jesse Ashlock | By chasing a gonzo new adventure every summer, the viral filmmaker Casey Neistat and his son, Owen, embrace the unfamiliar and forge a closer bond.
Far in the distance, a tiny figure stands atop a sand dune rising higher than many skyscrapers, waving his arms. “He looks like every lost-in-the-desert movie ever made,” says Casey Neistat, snapping away with an enormous Canon outfitted with a telephoto lens. Neistat, 32, directs and stars in online ad campaigns for clients like Nike and Mercedes, and in YouTube shorts that get millions of views. The subject in his viewfinder is his 15-year-old son, Owen, who in a few days will begin his sophomore year of high school in Connecticut. Each summer, they embark on a grand adventure together. That’s what has brought them to Sossusvlei, Namibia, an otherworldly place where giant dunes rise over a wide salt plain dotted with groups of springbok, oryx and ostriches. Having already climbed the dunes that tourists generally climb, Owen has gone on to the dune behind them, where there are no footprints. Like his dad, he enjoys going places he’s not supposed to be.
“O.K., that is Owen,” Casey narrates, shooting video. “He just made it up to the apex of that dune.” Casey pans along the landscape. “And this is how far he walked.” Owen makes it back down, flushed and exuberant, his Nikes full of sand. “Well done, boy!” Casey exclaims. “That is definitely a Facebook-profile-picture-worthy photo.”
Silhouetted against the desert sky, the two cut different figures. Casey, a triathlete, is muscular and tightly coiled, with a showman’s face that’s all planes and angles; in another era, he might have been a Borscht Belt entertainer. Owen, a runner, is taller than his dad and still gangly, with a natural sweetness about him. But the resemblance is impossible to miss. Casey says, with obvious satisfaction, that they’re often mistaken for brothers, and sometimes it’s easy to forget just who is the parent and who is the kid. Casey is the one who has braces. (They’re gold.) He’s also the one in perpetual motion, while Owen will let you know when he’s tired. Casey becomes anxious when he goes too long without checking Instagram or Twitter or Facebook. Owen uses his phone mainly to prepare for the school year by listening to textbooks on tape. And Casey takes all the pictures. He looks for photogenic locations where he can put his camera on a tripod and set the timer for a father-son selfie. Still, in many ways, Owen — who lives with his mom during the week and at Casey’s apartment in Manhattan or at his house in New London, Conn., on the weekends — is a typical teenager. He loves Starbucks, American Eagle and the mall. He gets bored easily. Casey, meanwhile, is fond of pronouncing paternal nuggets of wisdom (“Let a boy cry — don’t coddle him”) and tales of great deeds (“I’ve charmed my way out of Middle Eastern prisons”). The kidlike qualities in Casey are the same ones that have made him such a successful adult, despite having dropped out of high school, and then having a child at 17. “He was born with an extra battery,” says Max Joseph, the co-host of MTV’s “Catfish: The TV Show” and a frequent collaborator. “It’s what you need to have to be a professional athlete.”
When Casey was growing up in New London, his mother taught him that possessions were more valuable than travel, because they lasted forever. After a trip to Paris at 18, his first outside the United States, he concluded that she was wrong, and decided to dedicate his life to having experiences — a favorite word of his. “He’s trying to find the ultimate adventure,” says the creative director Andy Spade, who hired Casey and his brother Van to make short films for the fashion lines he was overseeing, Kate Spade and Jack Spade, and later co-produced a feature film with Casey. “He’ll end up in the Guinness Book of World Records for a category that doesn’t even exist yet.”
In Owen, Casey has found a willing confrere. “The only guy I’ve encountered who enjoys flying as much as I do?” he asks. “This guy.” When Owen was little, Casey sometimes scraped together extra money working as a dishwasher to buy lessons at a flight school. “Owen would have his lunchbox,” he says. “He’d be eating an apple in the back.” Their first real trip was a package deal to the Bahamas when Owen was 4. As Owen got older, the trips — to Paris, St. Barts, Central America — got more elaborate.
VIDEO PREMIERE Casey Neistat presents “My Kid and Me,” an autobiographical new short documenting his first grand summer adventure with his teenage son, Owen, in which the duo trekked the Andes to Machu Picchu in 2011.
Casey’s career was taking off. He went to work for the artist Tom Sachs, running his studio and making short films with Van for Sachs’s exhibitions. In 2003 the duo ventured out on their own as the Neistat Brothers. One of their first projects was “iPod’s Dirty Secret,” an Internet short that called out Apple for its user-unfriendly battery-replacement policy. It garnered national attention, earning the brothers a reputation as Internet provocateurs, as well as commercial clients. Spade remembers marveling at Casey’s precociousness. “His son would have the idea to make a monster movie on the beach, and he’d just make it. ”
That monster movie appears in the first episode of “The Neistat Brothers,” a 2010 HBO series that showcased the brothers’ homemade, autobiographical style. It was not a success. The brothers split after it aired and now speak infrequently. Casey went solo, making more shorts in the Neistat Brothers vein and taking on increasingly remunerative commercial work. “Van was my best friend and partner in crime,” Casey says. “When he left, Owen became that.”
Two years ago, the father and son trekked through the Andes for five days to Machu Picchu. Last year, they rode motorcycles through Vietnam. This year, Casey says, “I wanted to show the kid Africa Africa. That thing where you get to do something for the first time? I try to make all our trips that.”
* * *
The Kulala Desert Lodge, a collection of thatched dwellings set in the middle of a vast plain surrounded by mountains, makes an ideal vantage point. Sweeping vistas of grassland stretch in every direction, giving way to achingly blue skies. It’s possible to spend hours watching wildlife during the day and the Milky Way at night.
But Owen isn’t impressed. It’s the second desert lodge of the trip, and he’s not enthused about going on another game tour and listening to the guide drone on about how to tell if an oryx is male or female. “I’d much rather be riding a motorcycle in the mud,” he grouses, while Casey checks his email on the lodge computer. The next day, the two fly in a Cessna to the coastal resort town of Swakopmund. The rest of their adventure is supposed to consist of activities like catamaraning and sand-surfing. But the following morning, in the lobby of the hotel, Casey says, “Owen had an idea that was kind of interesting, which was that we rent a car” to explore the country further, without the pilot or a driver. No cars are available, however, so Casey and Owen huddle on a sofa with Casey’s laptop for a while, whispering conspiratorially. Finally, Casey looks up. “I think it’s about to get weird,” he says, “and possibly dangerous. I think we’re going to Zambia.” Owen’s face lights up in a grin.
Casey had already visited Zambia in 2012 with Max Joseph, for Nike. According to Casey, they were supposed to make an Internet ad for the brand’s FuelBand fitness tracker that showed how regular people “make it count.” Instead, they traveled to 13 countries in 10 days — until their budget ran out — filming themselves making it count. They’d seen a picture on the Internet of the Devil’s Pool, a naturally occurring infinity pool at the top of Victoria Falls where you can swim safely without being swept over the edge. But when they arrived, they learned they couldn’t swim in the Devil’s Pool at that time of year. The moment Casey and Owen’s plane lands in Livingstone, Casey begins asking everyone he meets about the Devil’s Pool. On the way from the hotel to Victoria Falls National Park, the driver informs Casey that the pool can be reached this time of year, but discourages him from trying. “Every year, a few bodies go down on the Zambian side and wash up on the Zimbabwean side,” he explains.
“Do they need visas for that?” Casey asks. If the driver gets the joke — or finds it unfunny — he doesn’t let on. In Victoria Falls National Park, Casey runs around consulting maps and asking uniformed personnel where the pool is. Even in the dry season, the falls stun the senses, forming a mile-wide, 355-foot-high liquid curtain that glides down into a long gorge, with a plume of spray rising at the western end to welcome the setting sun. One of the best views for Casey’s constant photos is from the Knife Edge Bridge, a mist-enshrouded span suspended before the falls’ eastern side. There, Casey spots Kenneth, a local guide he had enlisted during his Nike trip. After a hug and an introduction to Owen, Kenneth assures Casey that he can arrange a visit to the elusive pool.
The next morning, a tourism official tells Casey that the Devil’s Pool can only be visited by boat, and that trips are sold out. But Casey finds Kenneth near the gift shops inside the park entrance, and he makes good on his promise. Vinda, a guide with dreadlocks and bare feet, arrives to lead the way. He starts by striding past a sign that instructs visitors to go no farther, right into the shallows of the Zambezi. There is no path: The only way to get to the Devil’s Pool is to wade through the river and scramble over wet rocks. Vinda tells everyone to form an “African chain.” But Owen doesn’t want to hold hands, so everyone makes his own way.
“See, Owen,” Casey says, so excited he’s almost vibrating. “Persistence and endurance will make you omnipotent.” He explains after a minute that he’s paraphrasing the “Tenacity Prayer,” popularized by the McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc. Upriver, an elephant trumpets. The Devil’s Pool is in sight. But to get to it, everyone has to swim through open water against a swift current. Vinda leads the way on a kickboard. The guys clamber onto a rocky outcropping before jumping, one by one, into the pool. At its front is a slick basalt wall, with an inch or so of water passing over it to create the infinity-pool effect. Once Casey and Owen reach it, Casey pulls out his iPhone in a LifeProof case and turns on the video recorder. “This is us,” he says. Then he raises it to show the abyss behind them. “Those are the falls.” An enterprising local balances on the precipice, shooting photos for tips. Casey poses on the very edge, as if he were going over, while Vinda and I hold his feet. When Owen’s turn comes, Casey insists that all three of us hold onto his son as he peers over Victoria Falls.
“This is what I thought of when I heard we were going to Africa,” Owen exclaims afterward. For a rare moment, Casey is silent, basking in his son’s pleasure. And then it’s time to swim back through the river and climb over the rocks as quickly as possible, because the flight out of Livingstone is leaving soon. We arrive at the airport in our wet trunks. After the plane takes off, I turn around. Casey and Owen are seated a row behind me, both already passed out, their heads tilted slightly toward each other. Casey has on big studio headphones and sunglasses, his mouth open wide in sleep. Owen is wearing earbuds and a serene expression. You really could, right at this moment, mistake them for brothers.
My notes: I miss my kids. This video hits home more…