Wednesday, September 24, 2008

let it out (the documentary movie)

i came across something interesting while on a very random surf on the internet. and while it's tenuously triathlon-related, it is very much sports-related, as well as life-lessons-oriented, and so i thought worth passing on to everyone.

some time ago the Kleenex brand of tissues had a series of commercials featuring a faux-talk-show-host setting up a table and a couch for guests in random locations around the country. by random, i mean random, with the entire set placed in the middle of street corners, people's houses, city parks, highways shoulders, etc. the hook was that apparently random strangers walking by would be invited to sit on the couch and talk about something personal in their lives. invariably, in the course of conversation, the tears would start to flow and the host would predictably bring out the Kleenexes to wipe up the blubbery heart-string moments.

well it appears they revived the concept, at least on-line, and did so in relation to athletics. and they did it not as a commercial, but as an actual 40-minute documentary, with the focus on former Olympic athletes and their own personal stories of what sports meant for them and their families and how it altered their lives.

check it out when you get the chance:
i think this turned out rather well. i suspect this was actually produced in time for this past Beijing Olympics, as part of the drum-up leading into the games, since it carries a presentation style clearly intended to pull at the emotional appeal to great Olympic moments. on a more general level, though, the documentary does a very good job of delving into the personal nature of sports and the significance it takes on for athletes and spectators, and highlights some of the more admirable qualities and contributions of athletics. in doing so, it points out the capacity for sports to contribute to humanity and the human condition--and however maudlin and trite that may sound, i still think it's a commendable one. especially since it is well done.

i've written at various times on this blog about the various aspects of sports, and discussed its nefarious aspects as much as its transcendant ones. but i've always tried to treat sports--in my case endurance and adventure sports--as a mechanism for sublime human experiences, and a way of realizing higher truths and nobler ideals in life. as a result, i always gravitate towards presentations that promote parallel or matching messages. i think this is one of them.

and yes, i know, it's a promotional advertising tool for Kleenex. but i'm willing to look past this and see the documentary as a work of art by film-makers. because the message they give about sports and athletics still comes through.

try to watch the documentary in its entirety if you can. preferably in a block of time without distractions. i think you'll like it as much as i did.

No comments: