Skateboarding on a barge outside a Giants game, legally blind mountain biking, kayaking a 186 foot drop, snowboarding with no bindings---... these are just a few of the things included in the Radical Reels Tour presented by the Banff Mountain Film Festival.
As Patxi Usobiaga, the World Champion of indoor climbing put it, "My talent is being a masochist." Yeah, no kidding. I think it's safe to say that about any one of the athletes who were featured in the Radical Reels Tour. But instead of looking at them and thinking what idiots these people are, everyone who filled Kingsbury Hall on Thursday was wishing they had the balls to do any one of the activities featured in the 10 adrenaline-packed short films shown for the Radical Reels Tour.
Johanna Ernst of Austria was only 15 at the time "Progression World Cup" was filmed. That didn't stop her from being the only female climber to reach the top of the wall. "Progression" may have been missing some of the scenery some other films had, but the tangible frustration on Usobiaga's face as he slipped from the top of the course coupled with Ernst's sheer joy when she won made it one of my favorite films.
Scenery wasn't lacking in NWD's "Dust & Bones." The crew filmed in San Francisco, Italy, Nevada and New Hampshire, but my favorite part was when they built a bike park on top of the "Red Bull Hell Barge." As the barge moved under the Golden Gate bridge and over to a Giants game, the guys donned Giants jerseys and received cheers and a shout out from the game's announcer. I've never considered myself a mountain biking fan, but this film's originality and amazing backdrops kept me interested.
"Extra.Ordinary" was another favorite because it had snow and a%uFFFD good soundtrack. Filmed in Fernie, Alaska, this film won runner-up for People's Choice Award. The snowboarders in "Extra.Ordinary" didn't necessarily have the "serious athlete" factor some other people did, but you could tell the guys loved what they were doing; it didn't matter that they weren't breaking world records or winning gold medals. They managed to squeeze Brother Ali, Devandra Banhardt, Justic and Joanna Newsom songs into this short film, and that definitely didn't hurt.
You can get copies of any of the films on the Radical Reels page or buy the soundtrack for the tour on iTunes.