We laud the rise of American manufactured goods, especially the ones that speak to individualism, quality and good old fashion craftsmanship. We also love a good laugh. That’s why The Re Made American Master Plunger is 100% unclogged goodness. A Faux-artisan and video comedian who is clearly not Best Made Co’s Peter Smith-Buchanan spends three minutes and eighteen seconds focused on a corner hardware store bottom-rung toilet plunger and proceeds to extol the wonders it “unleashes”.
The Ingenieur Chronograph Silberpfeil is a direct homage to the famous Mercedes-Benz W25 Silver Arrow that dominated motorsports between the World Wars. These cars were monsters, with oversized spoked rims and massive straight-cylinder engines barely sheathed in metal. The watch’s dial sports the same circular-grained aluminum treatment as the Silver Arrows’ dashboards, and the caseback has an engraved likeness of the car itself. But enough about the watch. This year, a restored Silberpfeil took part in the famous Klausen Hill Climb race in Switzerland — and this video takes us along for the ride.
Put it back together
Andy Phelps is a born craftsman. When a tragic car wreck left him a quadriplegic — and the sole survivor of the accident — Andy found himself at a daunting crossroads. All the hours he’d spent cultivating skills like carpentry and juggling were suddenly of no use to him, but the overbearing urge to make something was undiminished. Juggle & Cut recounts Andy’s story and his discovery of film editing.
When disaster strikes on the mountain, it’s Ski Patrol that comes to save your life. In this teaser trailer for a full-length feature directed by Carson Garner, you’ll hear about the lives and work of some of the most grizzled, experienced Ski Patrol veterans at several Rocky Mountain ski resorts, as well as members of several backcountry Search and Rescue teams.
Remember buying loose-leaf paper for school? When was the last time you splurged on a 200-sheet pack of triple hole punched, horizontal line covered paper? The fact is, with the rise of hi-def displays and polished glass, paper isn’t as valued as it used to be. Still, some refuse to let go. In this video, Monocle reporter Kenji Hall visits Kakimori, a carefully curated stationary shop in Tokyo that still produces good ol’ fashioned notebooks by hand.
Heart of Gold
Bodie Stroud’s 1969 Ford Mustang is custom built with an all aluminum 494 engine, one of only ten built for Mario Andretti’s Can-Am series racecar. It’s even signed by Piedone himself, making the one-of-a-kind car even more one-of-a-kind. In this video, directed by Julian King, you can hear Stroud talk reverently about the car’s creation, and watch a piece of American history come back to life.
Ride on, Kimura
This film, directed by Danielle Levitt, paints a portrait of Shinya Kimura, a self-described motorcycle mechanic. Since 1992, Kimura has been building and racing custom bikes, first from his shop in Okazaki, Japan, and then from Azusa, California. You’ll find yourself wanting one as he describes the reason he rides: “Running with your legs has limited speed.” Right on, Kimura. Ride on.
We’ve all seen surfboards, but how many of us have seen them being made? Watch the process come alive in “Josh Oldenburg Surfboards”, a short video directed by Andrew Truong and Jeffrey Tang. It features footage from the workshop of Josh Oldenburg, a new player in San Diego’s one-off surfboard shaping scene.
Taking photos... the long way
Handling incredibly dangerous chemicals and taking a single, earth-shattering shot — as much as it sounds like a recent happening in Breaking Bad, we’re actually talking about daguerreotype. Invented in the early 1800s, the labor-intensive process laid the groundwork for modern photography. Today, artists like Dan Carillo keep the tradition alive. This short film features incredible shots of Carillo’s daguerreotype process.
The inexorable march of time has confronted us at some point or another in our lifetime. Most of us adapt, bending and conforming to change, but it takes a certain something to stand still or even wade against the current. The Magnetist by Filibuster Productions dives into the anachronistic and oftentimes solitary life of Micke, a man who manages to incorporate the digital cassette into every aspect of his day-to-day life.
Pictures and film — as much as we love them — can sometimes have a hard time expressing things: the vastness of the Grand Canyon, the height of Dikembe Mutombo and the misery of climbing mountains. Look at any picture of Sir Edmund Hillary on Everest and you’ll probably think “boy, that looks like a good time”. This short film by Arcteryx doesn’t do that.
Spinning the big ring
Inspired by the land-speed record arms race on the Bonneville salt flats that paralleled the global arms race in the 1960s, Tom Donhou decided to build a bike with no objective other than going as fast as possible. The result, captured by Spindle Productions, is a purpose-built fixed-gear bike capable of breaking 100 miles per hour on flat ground.
Nurturing Cycling in an Unlikely Place
Jonathan “Jock” Boyer was the first American to ride in the Tour de France and later left the the U.S. to create a cycling program in war-torn Rwanda. What he found there was a group of young men with incredible pasts and immense talent. Rising From Ashes follows the formation and growth of Team Rwanda all the way from an idea to a continental powerhouse.
Blue Water, White Death
The history of shark movies is littered with some good, some bad and some very ugly films. Before Sharknado, before Open Water, even before Jaws, there was Blue Water, White Death, which may just be the greatest shark movie ever made.
It's all in the hands
Though the supremely capable Nissan GT-R is a feat of automotive technology, the craftsmanship behind the monstrous VR38 twin-turbo V8 engines by the “Takumi” is nothing short of impressive. Only four men can boast this level of skill for Nissan and each one prides himself on handbuilding each heavy-breathing beast beneath the hood of the current Japanese supercar. There’s no shortage of skill or humility in these four “samurai of the streets”, and our latest Viewfinder shows you their handcraft in an age of burgeoning technology.
Trial by tire
There is something of Reza Baluchi in all runners, we suspect. The runner takes part in a battle occasionally with his fellow man, often with the elements, but always with himself. Running is a tool for self-exploration — it demands it, and the longer the distance, the deeper the journey inward.
Stitch by stitch
If you’re interested in savings the money, Sunspel’s $50 boxers and $200 sweatpants appear wasteful bordering on offensive. But a wise man once said that all value is perceived value; after all, what is “true” value anyway?
A Rocky Romance
We wish Alizée Dufraisse would talk about us the way she talks about a rock face. The French professional climber acknowledges the focus and discipline required on a difficult ascent, but she finds romance where her peers find only challenge and exhilaration. This perspective gives her climbing a fluidity that, even to a layman’s eye, appears uniquely effortless. Someone who knows what they’re seeing could call it poetic.
The Birth of a legend
When the Porsche 917 debuted at the 1970 Le Mans, it quite literally blew away the competition. Housed in an ultra-lightweight (93-pound) chassis, its 12-cylinder engine and state-of-the-art materials made it both the most formidable and most dangerous car on the road. It would supply Porsche with its first victory at Le Mans and help grow the brand into an icon of automotive excellence. This short documentary pays tribute to the car and its makers.
Well do ya, punk?
This is pretty radical. Yes, we said radical, because that outdated gem of a word is the only one to accurately describe the glorious combination of righteous nostalgia and sheer badassery that this video evokes. The Pre-Mortem One-Liner (who even knew it had a name?) is a staple of the 90s action movie, and let’s be honest: the 90s action movie is the pinnacle of 20th century cinema.
l'allure de l'amour
Watch guy? Rolex Single Red Submariner 1680. Car Guy? Late ’60s Porsche 912. Legs Guy? Well… we won’t give too much away. What we will tell you is that this three minute short written and directed by fast-rising photographer Nicholas Maggio oozes style with every well-framed shot.
Two wheels, friends, and a whole lotta gear
We spoke with Steve Dubbeldam, founder and leader of Wilderness Collective, just a few weeks ago. Since then, we accompanied WC on adventure their #002 — sailing to the Channel Islands (more on that soon) — and learned a great deal more on what the company’s all about. This video is from the first official trip, a dual-sport motorcycle voyage through the Sierra National Forest and Yosemite Valley, a journey of hundreds miles of looming Sequoias, bold, sunny terrain, burbling streams, muddy mires and a terrific amount of good old fashioned outdoor living (but way better).
Prepare for the profound
Carl Sagan could read a cookbook (apple pie recipe?) and it would sound profound. Hearing that inimitable voice recite his own writing, rich with musings on the nature of the cosmos and humanity, one cannot help but well up with wonder and zeal for the awe-inspiring majesty of our universe. Reid Gower’s Sagan Series, which consists of little more than Sagan’s dictated writings cut with sweeping imagery and music, was created with the sole purpose of inspiring scientific literacy and appreciation.
A world of infinite perception
What if our attention were undirected? What if our curiosity were undying and our perceptive capacity far broader? What might the world look like? How many stories could be told? This witty Spanish language short by writer/director Victor Carrey presents such a world –- a world of infinite perception.
Building a Machine
Even in the data-obsessed collective of Type A personalities that is the world of endurance sports, cyclists exist in a league of their own. For many reasons, they are increasingly regarded as finely tuned machines — defined in the aggregate by a collection of numbers that would baffle a non-athlete. This clip, produced by Kirk Docker for Australian television, provides a glimpse into the life and training of Olympic track cyclist Shane Perkins.
Nature's (scary) beauty
However fearsome and destructive their power, tornadoes and hurricanes possess a rare and striking beauty that commands our attention. Photographer Mike Olbinski understands and embraces this beauty, devoting his career to seeking out and recording those massive storm systems while everyone else gets the hell out of the way.
A contented craftsman
Few people are even aware of what a horologist is, let alone the unfathomable patience and care required of such a craftsman. Michael Swift has humbly practiced that expansive profession, encompassing everything from watch repair to the study of timekeeping, for nearly four decades. This micro-documentary from Big Baby Productions sheds light on Swift’s lifework and allows him to reflect on the trade.
Did he just do that? He just did that
The Imaginate project has been in development for two years, which is entirely believable considering this video is so unbelievable that, short of a Faustian pact or magic lamp involvement, only after years of practice could even a seasoned pro execute these kind of maneuvers. Ladies and gentlemen… Danny MacAskill.
A visit to fly fishing paradise
This video, a special cut of “Off the Grid”, a full-length fishing documentary about finding and fishing in places that are untouched or simply outside the norm, pretty much has it all. There’s a quick summary of the epic trip that makes up the entire film, full of monster fish doing their best jaws impressions on happily bobbing flies; then we get to meet two young trout bums living the dream in northeast Ohio.
Take cover, so no one catches you watching it
Videogame fans get a bad rap. For all their insistence about the artistry and sophistication of the medium, gamers exist in the minds of other creative artists as….well, something like this guy. “Killzone: Intercept”, a lavishly produced live-action short based on the popular game franchise, does substantial damage to that conception.