I caught a movie that I wasn’t anticipating on HBO this week. The movie is called The Crash Reel. It’s a brutal and insane look into a human being’s addiction to action sports and the lifestyle and problems that come with it. I quite enjoyed it. You should check it out.
I wanted to talk briefly about the documentary format, because I think it is an interesting avenue for filmmaking. The question if what makes a good documentary has puzzled me for a long time. It’s actually one of the most elusive ideas, not only because the judgement of the fineness of a product is subjective, but also because it requires so much for a documentary to be good.
A documentary has a ton of different moving peices. First off, you need to have a subject. Your subject is going to require interest and a good story. The best subjects have a story or journey that they are already on. They have to agree to show their whole lives in a camera. They need to be exposed and real. They have to create a world with their own action.
Then, you need to have something happen. Something goes wrong. Something requires more and more space. Someone has to make a change. And it is in that turn that things become interesting.
Kevin Pearce was a major snowboarder, who participated at the highest levels, hit his head very hard, and struggled to recover. We watch someone’s livelihood and personality change and be destroyed. We see the world that he lives in. We hear from other stars and the people he came up with. His family, friends, and others.
We see how people are destroyed by the injuries, and yet how these people are so devoted and desirous of these lifestyle. They want to get higher and do it better, and yet…
It’s a shattering documentary. You see people at their lowest. You see relationship shops broken by damage and by people who have decided to dedicate themselves to pushing themselves. You can see their devotion and dedication. And you see them get destroyed.
This is not a political blog, and this isn’t a blog that is devoted to that kind of discussion, and I am not a health professional. Please, don’t hit your head over and over. I know that the most exciting things can happen when you are on the edge, but God, I want to take care of you. Please, take care of yourself.