Tuesday, February 11, 2014


We all have a list of films that we could watch over and over again. Some titles on my rather brief list include: Annie Hall; Wild Rovers; "Stanley Kubrick movies"; Plan 9 From Outer Space; and a few others. The repeaters are not necessarily movies that I consider great, although most are, but they just have that replay pleasure.

Those are the feature films.

Over the years I've watched hundreds of short films; I have a fondness and appreciation for the type. The narrative dramatic feature film is what constitutes "movies" to the general public, although documentaries have become super sexy over the last couple of decades, but I often prefer the abbreviated model.

One short flick I saw back in the mid 1980s tickled my fancy. So much so that I ended up watching it about three or four times. Claiming that after viewing the 16mm print, I just rewound and re-threaded it so I could watch it again would not be too much of an exaggeration. The film, Sky Dive!, made by filmmaker and BASE jumper Carl Boesch, was exhilarating, and I wanted another fix. While well shot in admittedly restrictive conditions, there is an emphasis on the sound work. The title song has markings of the late 1960s and early 1970s sound, but it wraps nicely the theme of the thirteen-minute short's cohesive bundle of various parachute shenanigans. The use of Franz Liszt's "Les Preludes" is brilliant, as though skydiving was the inspiration for his classic piece of music. (It was good for the Larry Buster Crabbe Flash Gordon serials, too. Maybe...) As a matter of fact it was this film that made me hyper aware of "Les Preludes" and made me want to acquire a recording, even if it took several years to do just that.

Something pressed me to make an effort to see if there was an upload of Sky Dive! onto Youtube. There is. Poetry in motion... if not free-fall. Wonderful.

And, no, I have never sky dived.

(Just one note before the show: Watching Sky Dive! on Youtube via my laptop computer makes me appreciate my original 16mm screening from years ago. That nice bright projected picture was part of the reason I was bewitched.)


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