I’m not the most adventurous guy. Not physically, anyway. I watch a lot of films, and I’m really into adventure documentaries, the kind that take me on a raft across the Pacific Ocean or to the ends of the world, whether in the form of encounters or expeditions. It’s not that I don’t like the outdoors. I’ve done my share of camping and even trekked across a Patagonian glacier and hiked up most of Mount Fitz Roy. Those days are over, though, as I’d rather sit at home and watch other people risk their lives in extreme travels and stunts.
That means I’d be into the movie segment of Outdoor Rise, an adventure festival based in New York City that kicks off this year’s events on Saturday. Most of the offerings involve such physical activities as hiking, kayaking, boulder climbing and parkour. It’s mainly introductory classes, as the dangerous stuff is left to speakers leading other events about survival skills and the life and experiences of a mountaineer, as well as to the three programmed films, which focus on long-distance hikers, mountain climbers and snowboarders.
Lucy Walker’s The Crash Reel is the best of them, and while I think it’s a strange doc to screen as an “adventure film,” given that it’s not necessarily in favor of the life-threatening sports that it’s about, that’s kind of all the better reason for people to check it out if they’re partaking in the rest of the fest. Plus it’s only $5, proceeds from which go to the Discover Outdoors Foundation and its programs for inner-city youth. Hopefully none of those programs encourage professional snowboarding, because that would be hypocritical.
The other films showing at Outdoor Rise in the next week are As It Happens: Pacific Coast Trail, which is a sort of travelogue of two guys’ six-month hike along the PCT, and Cold, a short film about an historic climb of a treacherous Pakistan peak. Because the latter is only 19-minutes yet costs as much as the two features, it’s followed by a special Q&A with a Himalayan sherpa.
Neither of these two have the kind of prestige that Walker’s feature does, but they both offer some mesmerizing footage that will make you feel like you’re on the adventures alongside the filmmakers. And again, you can’t lose when it’s for a good cause.
Watch the trailers for the three films below followed by info on their screening dates and times.
As It Happens: Pacific Coast Trail will screen on June 24th at 7pm ET. See here for details.
Cold will screen on June 25th at 7pm ET. See here for details.
The Crash Reel will screen on June 26th at 7pm ET. See here for details.