This new promotional clip for Philips TV and Atomic Skis features several skiers wearing multi-colored LED light suits as they traverse mountains at an Alaskan ski resort at night. The brightly lit suits create a fantastic glow around each skier that illuminates anything nearby. While I don’t see him listed in the credits, the video seems to be an homage to Jacob Sutton’s L.E.D. Surfer from two years ago. (via Vimeo)
First: put on your headphones or turn up the volume, otherwise the beauty of this clip might be lost. Sounds of Paragliding is a new video from director Shams (previously), and sound engineer Thibaut Darscotte who took special equipment into the skies above France to record the sounds of Théo de Blic’s aerobatic paragliding. Instead of amping up the music and intensity like so many high-speed stunt/wingsuit/skydiving videos these days, Shams instead slows everything down to focus on only the sounds created by Blic’s parasail whipping through the air at incredible speed. It doesn’t really get going until after 2:00, but is completely worth it.
This surprisingly lovely dance performance was filmed vertically on the side of Oakland’s 18-story City Hall building earlier this month at the Art + Soul Festival. The dancers are Amelia Rudolph and Roel Seeber from Bandaloop. (via The Awesomer)
First: extreme vertigo warning. When this video begins it seems as though you’re about to witness a fairly typical gymnastic routine on a pair of swinging rings, but then something unexpected happens as the camera begins to move with the gymnast. The twist: there are actually two individuals performing a synchronized routine. The video isn’t a reflection, but rather the camera is mounted to the other performer who perfectly mimics his partners moves.
The video was shot in 2012 by photographer and filmmaker Thomas Hubener (who I believe is the performer with the camera mounted to him) while filming Raphaël Schulé. (via Reddit)
It’s already been a year since daredevil, stuntman and BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner leapt out of a hot air balloon some 24 miles off the ground plummeted at speeds surpassing Mach 1 (761.2 mph or 1225 km/h) back to Earth. The team over at Redbull Stratos finally released footage from the stunt, capturing the view from multiple angles. Ridiculous. (via kottke)
This fantastic bit of filmmaking blends music video and documentary in a new clip for British rock group Django Django’s 2010 track WOR. The subjects of the video are Allahabad’s Well of Death riders who risk life and limb daily to earn money at local melas (fairs) by driving cars and motorcycles inside a temporary cylindrical structure about 25 feet high and 30 feet across. The cars are held in the air by centripetal force and needless to say there’s very little room for error. The Well of Death is extremely risky for both performers and audience members, but regardless, it frequently draws a huge crowd as evidenced in this video. Directed by Jim Demuth, based on an original concept by Vincent Neff. More music video documentaries, please. (via Vimeo)
For the last several years photographer Chris Arnade has virtually embedded himself in an area of the South Bronx called Hunts Point, one of the poorest congressional districts in the country, where poverty and addiction has laid claim to countless struggling individuals. His unflinching and candid documentation of addicts and prostitutes in Hunts Point, Faces of Addiction (warning: graphic and occasionally nsfw), has gained international attention.
One individual Arnade has encountered over the years is a young resident named Jose Garcia, who, along with several of his friends, have a penchant for doing wildly dangerous jumps and flips off of high platforms such as broken-down trucks or buildings. The spectacular photos have grown into a small offshoot of his Hunts Point work called Jose the Amazing. Of his first encounter with Jose, Arnade shares:
Last year I was in a desolate part of Hunts Point, talking to a friend. A group of about ten teenagers came down the street, loud, filled with energy, and seemingly marauding (kicking over cones, jumping on and over stationary cars, etc). I have never had a problem in my twenty years in New York City, but that does not mean I don’t stay aware. As they passed, out of the corner of my eye I spotted Jose do a back flip over a hydrant. Amazed, I yelled out to him. He and his friends, who were also warily eyeing me, thinking I was a cop, were planning to run away but his friend Henry had a sprained ankle, so they stood their ground.
Since then I have come to grow very fond of Jose and his friends, and have done many photo shoots together. Big fans of Parkour, Hip-hop, and Anime, they are fighting against an area where the pressures of poverty, drugs, and limited opportunity weigh heavily.
For me it’s another lesson in expectations. All of my accumulated baggage from popular culture signaled for me to get away from these kids and their bad intentions, all theirs told them to get away from the cop who would treat them unfairly. Neither of us did that, and because of that I certainly have learned a bit more about the Bronx.
As often happens with documentary work like this, Arnade occasionally finds himself drawn into his subjects’ lives as he is unable to walk away after setting down the camera. One such person is Jose, who is filled with optimism, energy and possesses an uncanny physical ability, but is now dealing with extreme adversity. While putting together these photographs Arnade mentioned if anyone connected to any form of acrobatics, circus arts, or stunt work in the NYC area might know of a way to help, they can get in touch. Serious inquiries only. All photos courtesy the photographer.