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Narratives Worth Exploring

Environmental Protection, Film Review, Mountain Film, Podcast / 07.07.2010

An interview with director Louie Psihoyos

The truths discovered in documentary films often reveal far more than meet the eye. In his Oscar winning movie "the Cove" photojournalist Louie Psihoyos takes us on an adventure that perhaps shows us more than we want to see. “I lead an elite team of activists to penetrate a secret cove in Japan to reveal a dark secret,” Psihoyos said. The Cove, part action thriller, part nature film is the exciting story behind a covert operation to document one of the most horrific atrocities of the 21st century, the systematic slaughter of dolphins. “They kill more dolphins than anywhere on the planet right there at this cove, which incidentally is in a Japanese national park, a marine sanctuary,” Psihoyos said. That’s the irony of this whole thing. But it’s also the scene of the captive dolphin trade. Most of the captive dolphins in the world come from this little cove.”
Assignment Earth, Environmental Protection / 28.06.2010

For millennia, water has spread across the broad expanse of the Florida Everglades. But in the last 100 years or so man has blocked its path with roads and dug canals to drain and reroute its course. Now some parts of the Everglades have too much water and some have too little. "The problem is the Everglades are our water supply." said Eric Buermann of the Southern Florida Water Management District. "And there's only 40 percent of the natural Everglades left after man's drainage and decimation of the natural environment." Investing almost $1 billion the state for Florida has instituted a research program to correct the growing problem. Engineers hope to apply what scientists learn to get water running again where there's too much of it and let it flow into places where there's much too little of it, like the Everglades National Park.
Banff, Breaking News, Cycling, Film preview, Outdoor Recreation, philanthropy / 25.06.2010

My good friend adventure filmmaker Dominic Gill is in a tight spot and he needs your help. Just when he was about to embark upon another epic transcontinental bicycle trip his partner Ernie Greenwald has taken ill. The 76-year-old cancer patient suffered a bout of pneumonia after a round of chemotherapy  and simply can not peddle along the 4,000-mile journey as planned from California to New York. But Dom still hopes to make the ride. And in the classic fashion of his award-winning film of the same title he hopes to find a few people across America to "Take A Seat" and cycle their way across the country in Ernie's place. There's only one catch. You have to be disabled.
Climbing, Music, Podcast, Special Events / 24.06.2010

One of the great pleasure of putting together this podcast every week is finding those amazing individuals whose work bring art and culture together to tell the story of adventure. Unfortunately it’s not often that I can make a more direct connection to the active lifestyle through the performing art of music. But more two years ago I became acquainted with the work of climber and rap artist Kris Hampton, a singer known as O-Dub. His name was derived while a blending his love for music with his passion for climbing wide cracks on rock walls commonly called off-widths. “I was recording songs in a studio in a bad neighborhood in Cincinnati. I was the only white that recorded in the studio,” O-Dub said. “And I came out of the booth one day to record a song…the song “Off-Widths.” And these thugged-out guys with white T-Shirts down to their knees are all staring at me like I’m an idiot. Like what is this guy talking about? “They understood the spirit of the song, but they didn’t have a clue what I was talking about. So they caught onto the word off-width and started using it like ‘off the hook’ or ‘off the chain’ like ‘Man! That was off-width.’ So they used it all week while I was in there recording. And they started calling me off-width and then someone shortened it to O-Dub and it just went from there.” With topical lyrics and bouncy jams authentic to his own experience Kris O-Dub Hampton brings the art of song writing to the sport of climbing. Through his rap songs he’s creating new anthems to both inspire and chronicle the life of adventure but with a modern twist that still’s reminiscent of the poets and ballad writers in the classic style of the mountaineering tradition.
Film Review, Fun Film Friday / 18.06.2010

This film by Julie Gautier from Bluenery Productions puts free diving in the same adventure category as BASE jumping. Nothing before filmed under water gives you the same thrill as Steph Davis soaring through the air in wingsuit or Andy Lewis hurling himself off a bridge. Shot in 4 minutes 18 seconds you'll hold your breath right along with free diver Guillaume Nery as he descends 663 feet to touch the bottom of Dean's Blue Hole, the world's second deepest underwater sinkhole in a bay west of Clarence Town on Long Island, Bahamas. Gautier describes this feat as underwater BASE Jumping. But since this environment is neither a bridge, antennae, span nor earth we're going to need another letter.
Climbing, Interview, Podcast, Special Events / 16.06.2010

Once you reach a certain point in your career it’s great to be able to sit back and reflect upon what you’ve accomplished. It’s gratifying to see in hindsight how far you’ve come and this vantage point you can also look forward to what you have yet to achieve in the future. At the age of 29 professional climber Chris Sharma is in a good position to see the route his life has taken so far and start making plans to a forge a new line, a course of travel into the years that lie ahead. Known as one of the strongest sport climbers in world today, Chris Sharma continues to set the curve for aspiring and professional rock monkeys alike. Appearing in several feature films he first came to my attention back in 2007 during a pre-release screening of the movie King Lines. In this production from Sender Films Sharma introduced audiences to the emerging discipline of deep water soloing where climbers scale incredibly hard routes on rock faces high above ocean pools. In King Lines he works a particularly difficult problem whose crux is a 7-foot dyno to be stuck or risk a 60-foot fall to sea below. Combining athleticism and a profound appreciation for the natural world Chris Sharma is a climber of both strength and grace that defines the lifestyle and passion of a man comfortable in the profession he loves.