It's Like Porn

Presenting the best of a new generation of action films, from mountain biking and snowboarding to skiing and climbing.

   

Roam

MOUNTAIN BIKE
Roam
(2006)
This film, by Vancouver-based The Collective, used color-saturating 16mm cameras set on zip lines to capture panning images of mountain bikers doing backflips from Whistler to Morocco. Filmmakers have tried to replicate Roam's in-the-moment feel. None have succeeded.

SNOWBOARD
That's It, That's All (2008)
The fluid, hi-def shots of big-mountain riders like Jeremy Jones flossing down alpenglow-bathed slopes in New Zealand and Tokyo stand up to anything ever shot on snow.

KAYAK
Dashboard Burrito (1998)
Paddler and videographer Chris Emerick's 28-minute film, shot across the West, captured modern kayaking at its point of inflection, when boats were suddenly small and agile, freestyle moves were being invented, and sponsors were flush with cash. Ah, 1998.

SURF
Step into Liquid
(2003)
Maverick's; Cortes Bank; Laird flying on a hydrofoil board; bikini-clad pros ripping glassy barrels—this is the only contemporary surf documentary that holds a candle to Riding Giants.

SKI
High Life (2003)
Because the music is better than most, the cinematography is top-notch, and the bros do little talking, choosing instead to stick to what they know best: skiing some of the most impressive big-mountain lines ever filmed.

CLIMB
Alone on the Wall (2009)
This short movie by Sender Films is not so much action epic as it is a thoughtful profile of free soloist Alex Honnold. But the footage of Honnold scaling Yosemite's 4,800-foot Half Dome is more terrifying than any climbing act we've seen on film.

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