When the guys at Forge Motion Pictures wrote to tell me about their latest web movie Cascada they played it down as nothing special. “The new short film is pretty simple kayak porn with soul, 5 minutes,” they said via Facebook, “not anything too significant.”
I beg to differ on all points but one. Set against the raging water falls of a Mexican jungle this captivating little gem actually runs 7 minutes-plus with graceful images of passion and skill that can hardly be called porn. Segments shot in slow motion decelerate the action just enough to let the viewer fully experience long moments of speed and free-fall that in fact lasted seconds. But like rifts strummed on a blues guitar Cascada plays a melody of barely contained fun and excitement that is indeed full of soul.
Narrated by director Anson Fogel the storytelling style barrows heavily from the dark monotone of Nick Waggoner’s 2012 series On the Road with Solitaire. But the loan is paid back with interest to deliver an original tale that celebrates the life of adventure film making and expresses a profound gratitude for the opportunity.
“Crawling through the heart of the place, staring through lenses off the bow of a kayak, we’re covered with the blood of it, head to toe mud, river water, rain leaves bugs and viruses,” Fogel says in the film. “But we’re so damn lucky. I keep thinking, we’re so damn lucky.”
Searching for that perfect waterfall pro kayakers Erik Boomer, Tyler Bradt and Galen Volckhausen tag along with photographer Tim Kemple, Fogel and co-director Skip Armstrong. The journey depicted in Cascada illustrates the possibilities that await those brave or foolish enough to venture out into the unknown to discover the beauty that lies in the natural expression of movement through sport and the art portrayed in the filming of it.
“Puking into the abyss, hanging on a rope in the rain, puss coming out of my feet from hundreds of bug bits I look around and see everyone doing precisely what they love to do,” Fogel says. “Athletes, artists the line between the two is gone now. Every moment, each day is perfect.”
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