Favorite Films (Part One)



DamNation beautifully tells the story of the history of dam building in the United States and the ecological, social, and economic consequences. DamNation offers stunning scenery along with social analysis. And in the end, the film leaves you moved and motivated to act.


Come Hell or High Water

A film about bodysurfing?! Come Hell or High Water tells the story of the torpedo people — watermen and women who hang up the surfboard and simplify things with hand planes and fins. More than anything, this film captures the spirit of people who love to play at the beach.


Zen & Zero

This one is tough to put into words. One of the most difficult challenges an outdoors enthusiast can face is adequately describing the meaning behind what they do and what motivates the journey. Zen & Zero uses the work of Allan Weisbecker (In Search of Captain Zero) and gets behind the heart of what surfers (or others) do.


180° South

in 1968, Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins took an extraordinary trip to Patagonia. In 180° South, Jeff Johnson retraces the journey will examining the environmental consequences of “progress.” Great scenes of climbing, surfing, sailing, and exploring.


Running Down the Man

As ridiculous as this sounds, this film changed my life. The opening scene of anglers rigging up and hopping on a dune buggy to chase down roosterfish on the beaches of Baja drew me to saltwater. When I watched this film, saltwater never seemed cooler, and within no time, I started the first of my saltwater trips. Also, this film features anglers who took on a new specie in a new destination with a new method. For that, it’s inspiring.


Eastern Rises

Okay, maybe I’m a sucker for Felt Soul Media films. In Eastern Rises, anglers head off to Kamchatka in search of the best wild trout fly fishing in the world and maybe even Bigfoot. Eastern Rises captures the absurd: leaving home in the midst of a recession to take Soviet helicopters to the far out backcountry of Eastern Russia to catch trout amidst many hungry grizzly bears. While absurd, what these anglers do is inspiring. And as they explain their passion and motivations, they tap into that part of my own soul — what drives me to abandon what’s rational in exchange for a chance at tight lines.


Valley Uprising

I’d be afraid to find out how many times I’ve watched this film. In short, it’s about climbing in Yosemite. But more than that, it’s about those who turn their backs to social norms and expectations. It’s for those who feel more connected to rocks than kitchen appliances. It’s about people who gave up everything to have everything.

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