The Crash Reel
Those who are fans of extreme sports will know that a “crash reel” is just as horrific as it is compelling to watch. Clip after clip of snowboarders stacking it and causing themselves serious injury is a popular form of entertainment amongst fanatics of the sport. Thus, the prospect of a 105-minute docu-film called The Crash Reel would be enough to put a lump in one’s throat. However, as a piece of cinematic work, it far exceeds the meaning of its title.
The story hinges around the life of former US champion snowboarder Kevin Pearce, who suffered life-threatening injuries when attempting to perform a double cork 1080 during his practice season leading up to the 2010 winter Olympics.
Made up of homemade and vérité footage, the viewer is instantly transported into the thrilling world of snowboarding. The movie is immediately fast-paced, wasting no time introducing the audience to various characters before grinding to a halt once high-flying Pearce crashes headfirst into the hard snow.
From there on in things slow down and become far more serious. Without knowing the extent of the accident we are taken back to Pearce’s childhood and his ascension into the sport, in which he takes the world by storm and becomes Olympic champion, Shaun White’s friend and biggest rival.
Oscar-nominated director Lucy Walker does a stunning job juxtaposing the high-octane lifestyle of the snowboarder against the realities of the dangers they face, and the people who are affected by their loved ones putting their lives on the line for competition.
The parallels drawn between White, Pearce and his brother Dave Pearce – who has Down’s syndrome – are used to great effect to show the fine lines and margins that separate the experiences of an individual. Important issues are also highlighted in relation to the limits an athlete is prepared to push the mind and body.
The Crash Reel is a fantastic motion picture and has rightfully won multiple awards including the Official Selection of Sundance and the SXSW Audience Award. The tag line: “The Fall and Rise of Snowboarder Kevin Pearce”, couldn’t be more appropriate. Equally impressive is the soundtrack which includes songs from the likes of Underworld, Jose Gonzalez, M83 and Bon Iver – all synched extremely well.
This film is a must-see and will blow you away.
The Crash Reel is released nationwide on 11th October 2013.
Watch the trailer for The Crash Reel here: