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Posts Tagged: Seriously go watch this

Senna

Saturday 4th June 2011

When I wrote about Closer To The Edge a few weeks ago, I mentioned that there was another motorsport documentary due to be released, this time about an F1 driver. The driver in question is Ayrton Senna, the Brazilian three-time world champion, and widely thought of as the greatest racing driver ever.

I went to see the movie today, and it’s brilliant. It’s quite a different form of documentary, because as much as possible the film makers have avoided using narrators or talking heads to tell the story; instead they’ve used footage and recordings of Senna from during his career, and so largely he is telling his own story as it’s unfolding. It’s extremely clever, helps bring everything to life and draw you into Senna’s story. And it’s a fascinating and dramatic story, told extremely well. For instance, the way the film builds the tension when the story gets to That Weekend – even from the first shot, taken from a helicopter as it flies towards and over Tamburello, which genuinely made me shudder – is really quite remarkable.

You do not have to be a petrolhead to appreciate this movie (I saw this with my Mum – who finds F1 boring – and I think she enjoyed it as much as I did). As with Closer To The Edge, it’s largely not about obsessing over this race and that, about watching and admiring what he did on the track. Instead it’s about Senna as a man, about what made him tick.

I can’t think of much more to say, other than to urge you to go and see this (and to see it at the cinema rather than waiting for the DVD; it’s definitely worth it). Even if  you have absolutely no interest in motorsport or F1 and think it’s the most boring thing in the world, you will not be disappointed by this movie.

Posted In: MotorsportMovies Tagged: | 2 Comments

Closer To The Edge

Wednesday 18th May 2011

I’ve had exams the last couple of days. My next one is on Friday, so after this morning’s exam I decided to take a break from revision for the rest of the day. And as I was in town anyway, I thought I may as well go and see a movie. Specifically, TT3D: Closer To The Edge, because I read a review of it in the last issue of Grand Prix+, and thought it sounded interesting.

It’s a documentary about the Isle of Man TT, a bunch of motorbike races held every year. The circuit is 30-odd miles long, on narrow public roads. The bikes average about 130mph around the lap, and reach a maximum of over 200mph. There are buildings, trees, walls, sheer drops and all number of other things lining the track, which makes it ridiculously dangerous. And one hell of a spectacle.

The movie basically tells the story of last year’s event, mostly following one particular rider in his efforts to win his first TT race. As a motorsport fan, there’s lots to like. Lovely shots of bikes whizzing around very quickly, and some stellar onboards. But it’s not just about that. The TT is a hell of an event, and the story of that event is really quite interesting. It’s a dangerous race (on average, 2 people are killed every year), and so the first reaction is to question why the hell anyone would do something so stupid, to risk their lives like that. The people who made the film did a really good job about answering that question, and of making something which seems completely crazy, look like the most sensible thing in the world. It’s not just a movie about motorsport; it’s about passion. The passion and the drive that makes people do extraordinary things.

I’m always going to like films about motorsport, but this is genuinely something that I think most people would find interesting. And also incredibly exciting. It’s shot in 3D, and this is probably the first 3D movie I’ve seen where it’s actually added something to the experience, not just felt like a pointless gimmick (hello Avatar). It really conveys the speed, and the sheer thrill of racing those bikes in that place. And there are quite a few shots that are absolutely beautiful. If I’m honest, the 3D is probably the main reason I went to see the film; motorbike racing isn’t really my thing and I actually didn’t know much about the TT before I saw this. I just wanted to see how it looked in 3D, so that I enjoyed the film so much (and not just the 3D fast-bikeyness) is really quite impressive.

As ever, I’m aware that this entry will go unloved, as do all my motorsport-themed blogs. But honestly, if you get the chance to go see it, I seriously commend it. You will enjoy it.

Oddly enough, there’s another motorsport movie out in a few weeks, about one of the most talented F1 drivers ever. Apparently it too has been made for a wider (non geeky-motorsport-fan) audience, and all of the reviews I’ve read bear that out. I know more about the subject of that movie, and bloody hell I can not wait. Expect a post about that in a couple of weeks, where I shall probably urge you all to see that too…

Update (23/5/11): And here’s Mark Kermode’s review, to give the point of view of someone who isn’t a motorsport fan.

Posted In: Motorsport Tagged: | No Comments