GFF video/DVD review
Trout Bum Diaries - Kiwi Camo - A New Zealand AdventureA New Zealand Adventure
Instructor, narrator, producer etc.: Angling Exploration Group
Reviewed by Martin Joergensen About 56½ minutes into this DVD one of the participants says: "When we woke up in the morning, we had no idea where we were. It kinda looked like we set up camp in some farmer's driveway. We walked down to the river and took a look at it. The first thing we saw was two big browns feeding on the surface. That was a sign that it's probably gonna be a good day."
These wise words occur after a scene where one member is happily trying to repair the broken down van while singing merrily, another member is aimlessly chopping down roadside bushes in the background while the third and fourth are by the river waving a fly rod and recording said words.
The whole incident is followed by a couple of minutes of fantastic fishing after huge browns in some extremely clear and calm pools - very skilfully filmed and edited and accompanied by soothing and laid back music. This scene again cuts to blurry and grainy campfire footage followed by rusty morning voices and a very short cut where an angler inspects a fly while a bungee jumper passes down and up again in the background.
These few scenes and the editing is very typical for the productions of The Angling Exploration Group, who are the team behind this DVD. And this way of mixing everyday scenes like any angler anywhere in the world could have experienced them with hefty action and soothing sequences is the reason I love this DVD.
This new installment brings us to New Zealand (why do these guys pick all the places where I want to - ought to - go?), and again it mixes action, beauty and a grungy, dogma, improv style into a wild journey centered around some fantastic fishing. It makes you want to be there, in spite of sand flies, heat, thirst, too much pasta, sheep, angry locals and broken down cars. Again this type of video footage reminds me much of my own attitude towards fishing and the trips that I take with my mates. We just eat better...
It's a far cry from the run-off-the-mill productions that have been seen coming out of the US for decades. A very welcome breath of fresh air if you ask me, and I'm glad to see that others have picked up the style.
Of course there is a bit of "sequel" feeling to this DVD. The first diaries from Patagonia were really ground breaking, and the new chapter can never have the same impact. But it manages to lift the heritage nicely and delivers what we expect: entertainment. I think this round has a few things going for it, and I get the impression that it has a few more slow parts (in a good way) and a few more moments to linger. That becomes it well. The music is also a bit less frantic and the DVD has several long stretches of ethereal music and uncommented video footage which allow the viewer to relax and really enjoy without being on the edge of the seat. Not that that is bad...
I'm split between a 5-Excellent for being a sequel and a 6-Global Class for being just as good as its predecessor, and I have decided on encouraging AEG into doing more of this by pronouncing this DVD yet another Global Class production.
Buy it! It's a NZ roller coaster ride from minute one.
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