23 Dec 2011

Get Closer to the Edge, fast

A good friend recently gave me a DVD version of the recent documentary film, TT/ Closer to The Edge, also visible in some countries on the big screen and in 3D (now that could be scary!). Here is the official trailer, which, as usual, only gives you the shadow of the real thing... 

All I can say, if you love motorcycles and motorcycle racing, is get your hands on this as soon as possible. It has to be the best-made film about bike racing that I have ever seen. And not just any race: Closer to the Edge is about the mythical and totally crazy Isle of Man TT. It focuses on the preparation for and the full racing week of the 2010 edition, which saw the likeable and highly individual Guy Martin, who has yet to win one of these but is a regular favourite, survive a memorable crash at about 170 mph that saw his bike literally explode. He says in the film, on his hospital bed: "I'll be back: he's just making me work for it." And indeed he raced there again in 2011, making a second and 3 third places in four races. I have mentioned Martin and the TT before, in this article which includes a film sequence of one of Guy's practice laps around the legendary mountain course.

The film is not just about one rider though. It's about the whole thing, including the drama, the people and all the rest. There is some very moving footage of the widow and children of Paul Dobbs, a Kiwi rider who was killed in one of the 2010 races. She says some strong things, such as "you can't change what you've got, but you can at least decide to enjoy it or not". Don't look back, but just remember, in other words

You may find it hard to follow Guy Martin when he is talking. This is partly because he talks even faster than he rides a bike! Someone said to me that he sounds like Donald Duck with a speeded up voice effect. But the man is funny, quietly determined, and does not run with any pack. I hope that he wins one of these soon, probably after listening to Otis Redding:

What is so good about this film?

The emotions
The contrasts
The speed
The madness
The drama
The work
The history
The people
The machines
The filming
The sound track
The editing

Go for it!

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