With great anticipation it was finally here! Bikers and outdoor enthusiasts alike in Stateline, NV on the south shore of Tahoe anxiously awaited the doors to open for the Teton Gravity Research (TGR) and Anthill Films premier of the un®eal movie. Around the Lake there’s always plenty of action. South Lake Tahoe is especially littered with events all summer long. It makes sense that some of these events overlap. That’s what happened with this stop on the tour. For this leg it might have been a good thing. Originally scheduled to premiere in late June the tour was postponed to allow for a scheduling conflict. This only built the stoke and excitement to see the feature that much more!
On a sunny evening film-watchers...
stepped into the Mont Bleu resort walked through the casino floor and to the entrance of the theater.
The mecca of mountain biking in California most believe is Downieville, just a few hours west of Lake Tahoe. Although it may not be the hub in California, Tahoe is still a legit presence. Actually, the sport is exploding in the area. This was evident as many members of the Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association (TAMBA) crew were on hand to represent. They were there to bring awareness to the new Bijou Bike Park being constructed and to see what all the un®eal hype was about.
The lights dimmed and the film started to roll. All the waiting was finally over. The previews were first. In true TGR fashion, these were all about snow! Clips from the Sammy C Project and the new TGR film Paradise Waits got the crowd amped and primed the adrenaline for the feature film.
And scene…noise, lights, the daily grind in the urban jungle of Vancouver, BC. Streets filled with anger, chaos, and angst showing most just trying to survive the daily onslaught of life, stuck in the rut repeating the same routine over and over and over. It was very real for many who can relate to this mind numbing cycle. A deep voice explains that everyone repeating this routine just wants to escape. Like a daydream the noise fades and the lights dim. True peace and quiet followed by one sound. It was the buzzing of a freewheel zipping down a mountain. A course becomes visible by the light of the moon and lit landings. The rider takes massive jump after massive jump in a thick gladed forest. Each trick on these huge kickers is a quick shot making you feel like you are watching a horror movie.
Ice Ice Baby
Next, you are transported to the open ice fields and glaciers in the deep alpine. Normally, snow, ice and mountain biking don’t mix…that is unless you are James Doerfling. His edit is from a different universe. With metal studs and wider tubes he does the unimaginable in this frozen world. The attack on the terrain would be more fitting on skis and even then it would be a serious challenge! A huge back flip over a bottomless crevasse to out of control carves down a steep icy face all on a bike. Words can’t describe the insanity shot in this part segment.
Back to scenes of the daily grind. Shots of people working for their small piece of the pie in one way or another again fade away. You are transported to a beat up GMC pickup cruising down a country road without a person in sight. The truck comes to a stop at the top of a massive green pasture. Brandon Semenuk steps out in jeans and a t-shirt. No fancy gear, just a blue collar guy getting ready to put in work. At this moment there is a calming excitement that begins to build. The music starts and he drops into the longest, smoothest line ever seen. Every bump, roller, and jump is so smooth and effortless the fluidity of his movement is mesmerizing. You can’t take your eyes of the screen. Definitely a highlight of the night.
Action and Humor
From Tom Van Steenbergen’s hyper-speed biking through a forest with fallen trees while he outruns a bear to “dirting” fresh dirt out of the sky at Whistler like it’s a powder day for the dirt lover. The ludicrous level of riding this film has is more than just an adrenaline junkie feast. As one would expect, TGR and Anthill have set the bar unbelievably high for this collaboration. Pairing these two powerhouses was a match made in heaven that’s apparent in the end result. It’s almost as each edit is a highlight with enough story line and excitement for all.
The Modern Day Aesop’s Fables
Upon arriving we were prepared to take on an action packed 60 minutes of pure adrenaline. Don’t get me wrong we definitely got that, but there was more. This one was deep…there was also a life lesson camouflaged in all dust and dirt. The message was to break away from the herd and be our own individual. Choose your own reality. It’s up to you to define what your life is about. Don’t wait, get out there and make your life un®eal!!!!
For additional showings check out the TGR calender. For those that can't make a movie premier Un®eal is now on iTunes as well.
Image taken by Local Freshies