25 May, 2010

Yer Man

Some glorious stuff here...

Watching old film of motorsport is always jaw-dropping. They did what? And the safety equipment was..? Holy crap! But doubly so here. It starts off with Yer Man Joey Dunlop preparing for the 1977 Cookstown 200 which obviously means full speed testing on the public highway... jeans and t-shirts of course and a road full of inquisitive kids. The kids in particular, the clothes and their demeanour give a massive nostalgic rush of memories from the late seventies.

The race itself is incredible. If you think contemporary footage of Formula 1 seems low key this'll knock you out. Race bikes in cow stalls and a racestart that seems to be taking place on a farm track. It's all beautifully shot in 70s-O-Rama a lovely quality to the film-stock, nicely composed shots and not slathered with Sigur Ros, Snow Patrol and a hyperbolic script telling you what to feel. It's a documentary style that television doesn't do any more as the amazing film-maker Adam Curtis noted recently.

It's also worth bearing in mind that the excellent on board footage will have been captured by a bloody huge film camera.

In a lucky coup the film-makers managed to capture Joey in preparation for his maiden TT win and there's more great contemporary footage of the Isle of Man here in clip 3. Unfortunately somebody has seen fit to drizzle the latter half liberally with shite music and several Powerpoint style transitions in tribute. Ach well.