Our focus this weekend is on speed flying. Speed flying is a combination of skiing and paragliding, a combination which results in what is without a doubt some of the most stomach-clenching POV footage ever shot. Super cool stuff.
I first saw speed flying at the 2013 Warren Miller film No Turning Back. Unfortunately that particular segment doesn’t seem to be freely available online. If you have never been to one of Warren Miller’s ski films, I recommend the experience. At the time I saw Ticket to Ride, I was not even skiing or snowboarding very much, and it was still exhilarating. The cinematography is top-notch and they give away plenty of skis and gear at the showings. Warren Miller is a cool outfit.
And Warren Miller introduces you to cool stuff such as speed flying. Which brings us back to our ski video Sunday.
Our first video comes from 2006, before the advent of the GoPro. If you look closely, you can see that these guys have duct-taped cameras to their helmets. It is POV footage of the first speed flying descent of the Eiger.
Our second video is a more professional, controlled scene showing a team of speed fliers descending Mont–Blanc. The removed perspective gives you a sense of the beauty of this movement.
Hope you spent your weekend doing something life-affirming. I went to the X-Games. Those guys and gals don’t need the parachute to go flying. Post on it coming soon. Anyways. Have a good week, and
I saw “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” tonight (Only spent $54 at Cinebistro this time). The movie is mediocre. The only moment of strength or emotion comes courtesy of Jennifer Lawrence’s haunting performance of an original song “The Hanging Tree,” set over images of revolution.
The lyrics to the song were taken from the Mockingjay novel and set to music by the indie-folk band the Lumineers. There is no version of “The Hanging Tree” sung by the Lumineers, unfortunately (I bet it would be great). The song provides the movie with a much-needed emotional punch. While there is an interesting story to be told about war propaganda, Mockingjay Part 1 does not ever elevate beyond a boring semi-action movie. You’d have thought the split to two movies might have allowed the producers wider thematic latitude, but I guess you don’t take chances with a franchise as big as The Hunger Games. You don’t have something to say, you just have a good story to tell.
“The Hanging Tree” is the only place where “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” feels like it has something to say. It’s just making a musical statement, instead of a filmic one.
“The Hanging Tree” is quite a hit; it’s actually charted on the iTunes store, and has seen big popularity on the streaming sites as well. Curiously, it is NOT included on the Lorde-curated “Official Soundtrack,” a release from which only one song appears in the movie (Yellow Flicker Beat, over the credits). “The Hanging Tree” is included on the Official Score, a release credited to James Newton Howard (for the ID3 freaks like me out there).
Whenever I hear a catchy, understated song like this, my first thought is always “I can’t wait to hear some remixes!” “The Hanging Tree” is no exception— there are several quality remixes already on YouTube and Soundcloud. Below are a few of my favorites— please share in the comments if you know of some that I haven’t posted here, I would love to hear them.
The Smija rework adds instrumentation and a strong bass line
Moshy delivers a trippy, slow-paced and syncopated remix
AntonMcGeezus created a pulsing, dance-oriented track
There are more out there (definitely a fewer faster, bouncier dance tracks), but these three are my favorites so far. Take an hour and scour around YouTube and Soundcloud for some hidden gems— it will be a better use of your time than seeing “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.”