White Knuckles, Big Screen
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The kayak action genre is generally known for pounding sound tracks and huck-a-minute waterfall drops. Wildwater, a new half-hour film from director Anson Fogel and narrated by kayak legend Doug Ammons that's making the festival rounds now, takes a slightly different approach. Shot with a Red camera, the film focuses on rivers themselves—tributaries of the Amazon in Ecuador, the Grand Canyon, a steep creek in Colorado, and Idaho's famed North Fork of the Payette—rather than the athletes who ply them. Ammons, who's been a vocal critic of the kayak porn genre, bills Wildwater as “a love story.” And to that end, it features a half-dozen kayaker die-hards each explaining why their is about the best thing in the world. The level of stoke can be a bit over the top at times but, ironically, it's the action shots that come to the rescue. In a freak twist of fate, Fogel happened to be on hand for the biggest flood in modern history on the North Fork of the Payette. Mr. Love Story ended up capturing some of the most insane kayak porn footage of all time (below)—just proof that an action movie can be both reverent and thrilling. —Grayson Schaffer