Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Banff Mountain Film Festival

Yesterday me and Alex went to the Banff Mountain Film Festival "Radical Reels" show, which was a compilation of independent films about extreme sports: long boarding, solo-base-climbing,
I Just saw an advert on T.V. here for Eggs. Not a particular brand of eggs, just an advert for eating eggs. "Eggs: for energetic people." I had been impressed by the crudeness of the Viagra adverts which, shown throughout the day, showed people who were late for things with the clear implication that it was because they had been making use of their Viagra. To be honest this is not how I would choose to advertise it: "Viagra: will make your sex-drive so insatiable you will be late for everything." Perhaps these pills are a little too potent . . . After the advert for eggs, I then saw another advert for Eggs, in the same advert break, which seemed to be attempting to dispel some aggressive and slanderous rumors about eggs being spread throughout Canada. This is not something I have encountered, but inspired by the valiant efforts of this advert, I'll be sure to defend eggs with gusto and aplomb at any opportunity. I do also quite want to eat some eggs right now.

Back to the film festival.
So, a couple of the films of particular note.
One I enjoyed and was very impressed by was of a daredevil climber who had combined the disciplines of solo-free-climbing and and B.A.S.E Jumping, whereby he would try and free-climb cliff faces that were almost invariably too difficult for him to climb, and when he fell off he would pull the chord on the parachute and float down to safety. He described the feeling as being able "to turn the worst thing ever to the best thing ever: dying to flying." He had devised this, the most extreme of sports, so that he could push his body to, and indeed beyond, the limit of what it was capable of, while still knowing the parachute would save him. It was incredible.

Another were two spoof films, which appealed far more to my English sense of humor than the dangerously Canadian humor of the compare who was mostly just a little annoying. One was, "Parking Garage: Extreme!" (or something similar), which was the story of a man climbing the stairs to the roof of a parking garage, and across the roof the "summit", presented as if it was everest. It was in a similar vein to the old Dead Ringers sketch about Elen McCarthur (spelling?) cleaning her house, and pretty funny.
The other of these was called, "Cross Country Snowboarding", a spoof sport where Snowboarders have to hop along on flat ground, making light of how stupid snowboarders look when they run out of momentum on flat ground and have to jump along. It was also done pretty well and made me chuckle.

The last video in the show was a bit of a disappointment. It was a documentary about some pretty hard core kayakers who went to all the most dangerous rivers in the world and kayaked down them. It was very impressive and the locations were incredible but it went on for far too long, and could have done with some serious editing to make it a more nicely contained piece. It seemed it had 3 different films in it: one about their quest to find the best rivers / rapids, one about their quest to find the best waterfall drops, which ended in them breaking the record for the biggest one, and one about one of them who, as a 15 year old, nearly died on a river in Norway, then returned to it 8 years later to conquer it. The filmmakers were at the festival, and at the end got the prize for best film, judged on a seemingly very prescribed "clap-o-metre" judgement.

After this we went home where we caught up with Miguel who had also been there, and after grabbing a quick bite to eat and a couple of beers Miguel and I went out to the Dancing Sasquatch (a club in town) for the after party.  The kayak film guys who had won the $350 prize were there, as well as a coupe of French guys who had made the film that was runner up for the prize. The Kayak guys were a lot of fun and bought everyone drinks, which meant I didn't spent a single cent all night - cash-back! I also spent a while talking to the French guys who were really cool, so although the club wasn't very busy it was a cool night.

Right now Alex and I are enjoying the treat that is Canadian day-time T.V. Later on I'm gonna take my boots down to get the bindings on my skis set and bring them back to the chalet. I'll take a couple more pictures then and throw them up on here.


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