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Independent DVD Review: b.EAST
b.EAST, The Heliconia Press, February 2006
“It's more than a passion, it becomes a lifestyle.”
This “inspir-actional” kayaking film is about being EAST... Eastern Canada... for some big volume kayaking. Paddler interviews are spiced up with some big volume playboating and creeking shots in early spring. It's not so much about shots of extreme kayaking (don't expect an extreme kayaking porn with trashy music), it's more about a lifestyle, motivation, inspiration and is intended to provide a look into paddlers heart and the passion that drives them. This film will definitely make you fell desperate for spring (just in case you aren't yet).
The film shows big volume kayaking ranging from ww IV to ww V… Waterfalls and drops, steps, surfing with tons of Pan Am's and aerial loops... First, paddlers share theirs thoughts on spring, surfing, their motivation and creeking. Later, Eastern Canada is the topic: Ottawa and Quebec, which is “untapped'”, “has a lot more to offer than people think” and “[once it is fully explored] will probably be one of the worlds top kayaking destinations''. Unfortunately, the creeks and location are almost never mentioned (well, I wouldn't reveal these spots either).
As I said, this film is mainly about what's behind kayaking, the lifestyle: “about the people, the atmosphere, being outdoors, the current, the water, the places, the time you have and the adventure... all wrapped up in one thing” and gets it to the point: “[Kayaking shows] how simply you can live life and how little you need to be happy”. (Well, it's also about having fun, just check out the mustache challenge!)
This DVD is more of a low-budget production: so no trips to distant destinations (why would you if you report about the rivers at your door step) and no DVD chapters (what did I just say about how little you really need)… The interview sections are well balanced with a good mix of playboating and creeking shots. Often the kayaking shots would blend into each other. The shots are taken from helicopter, speedboat and from the riverside. The mix of background music ranges from electronics, to funk, to pop rock (I told you, no trashy music).
This film provides a different, probably more serious, perspective on the topic. It may not be as spectacular to watch as any extreme kayaking film, but shows that there is so much more to it. I feel strongly about many statements and this film kept my thinking beyond the 32 min play time. If you want more than “just” extreme kayaking, this is your film... And the recommended retail price is below USD 20, which is nice too.
- A film by Lisa Utronki, an award-winning videographer and one of Canada's top whitewater paddlers, which works on her own line of inspir-actional kayaking films, focusing on a combination of action and inspiration (statement by the producer).
- Featuring: Steve Fisher, Tanya Shuman, Tyler Curtis, Andrew Holcombe, Mariann Saether, Patrick Camblin, Ruth Gordon, Vincent Dupont, Jon Church, James Roddick, and many more.
- Special features: Trailers of b.EAST, Riversense, Withewater Kayaking for Women, Sea Kayaking and Wet House; Links on kayaking in Eastern Canada.
- Play time: 31:54 min
- Language: English
- Recommended retail price: below USD20.
- THP website: http://www.helipress.com/
- Trailer on Playak Videos