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Mark Kermode | 14:06 UK time, Thursday, 21 April 2011

There's a new documentary out this week called TT3D: Closer to the Edge, about the infamous Isle of Man motorcycle racing event. I have no interest in sport in general or bikes in particular but this film is about much, much more and really impressed me.

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  • Comment number 1.

    Almost unrelated, but on the subject of death in the persuit of something you believe in, did you hear about the death of Tim Hetherington, director of Restrepo, in Libya?

  • Comment number 2.

    You've sold it to me Dr K, my flatmate (a biker) has been nagging me to go see it with him for the past three days, and each time I have flatly refused for the same reasons as you, I'm not really into sports as a whole, let alone biking, but this looks like it might actually be really interesting. Now it's just a question of whether to see it now in the big multiplex, or wait a while and see it in the glorious Hyde Park Picture House...

    Thanks (and also thanks on behalf of my flatmate, no doubt!),
    Jonathan, Leeds.

  • Comment number 3.

    On a slightly similar note, being a huge Formula 1 fan I'm keen to hear your thoughts on the new Ayton Senna documentary and whether it’s as good as you say TT is. I know a lot of people have seen it already (despite not being released in the UK nationwide until June) and was wondering if you had as well. If so do you have any early comments on the film?

  • Comment number 4.

    Hi Mark! There is a wonderful film (if you don't know it already) called Baja 1000. I'm not a biker at all but because the film is about the people as much as the race, the film was captivating and moving... I was welling up by the end! It's a very well made docu-movie too!

    All the best!


  • Comment number 5.

    Great recommendation. Will have to check this out once it's out in wider release or on DVD. I wonder if The Kermode will go easy on Fast Five when he reviews that one.

  • Comment number 6.

    By a coincidence, Fast Five also comes out tomorrow. I wonder if that will have the same emotional impact...

  • Comment number 7.

    Drat, Elijah Joon, I didn't read your comment!

  • Comment number 8.

    @Freddy_Jones: No worries, mate. I'm looking forward to The Kermode's inevitable rant on Fast Five moreso than the actual movie (which, c'mon now, looks pretty sweet in a guilty pleasure of the summer sort of way).

    Do you hear that, Kermode? The fans are expecting another epic rant-slash-review from you on this one. Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson impersonations are always welcome, of course!

  • Comment number 9.

    Guy Martin is a total legend, like Christopher Eccleston crossed with Wolverine.

  • Comment number 10.

    @Chris_Page: I'm so glad someone else mentioned the Wolverine thing first! Thanks chief!

  • Comment number 11.

    There's an elephant in the room here Dr K, 3D.
    You saw the 2D version. I've not yet seen this film, but the trailer footage looks fantastic. Would 3D add to the race footage's visual impact? I suspect the answer is yes.

    As has been chewed over many times on this blog the most important cinematic factors to a film's success are: good story, characters, style, tone, mood, intellectual weight and so on. A good film succeeds (and will continue to do so) on it's own merits, even the most low budget 2D films shot on the most basic equipment; in its own way way a low budget or 'reality' edge often adds to their appeal.

    The Harry Potters also don't need 3D to be a success, most have been 2D; Clash of the Titans is an example of a film that nothing could save, not even 3D. (Avatar works in both 2D & 3D; I liked it as a story and spectacle, some didn't; so it goes.)

    But a very visceral, dramatic and visual subject like the TT demands a very visual style of story telling. Does 3D enhance it?

    On a similar theme Wim Wenders has done an documentary film about a highly influential dance company and its choreographer - in 3D.
    Does the 3D enhance his filming of the dancing?

  • Comment number 12.


    No problem, Chief!

  • Comment number 13.

    Best "competition" doco for me was "King of Kong: A Fist Full of Dollars".

    As you say it's about the people and in the case of this brilliant work the people are mesmerising.

  • Comment number 14.

    I live on the island,i work at the hospital, so i see the consequences at very close hand.I was on call on Mad Sunday.Some one asked me what it was like and i said like being in the film M.A.S.H.
    You might think then that im against the races, but im not. I love the TT and i like to watch it.It isnt like spectators at the Colleseum,because at various parts of the course the audience does share some of the danger.Some marshals have been killed and some spectators ,some recently. If a biker comes off,he and his bike or parts of it can fly anywhere.If im feeling brave or stupid, depending on your point of view,i watch at the bottom of a hill,when they come over the brow at 180mph they are heading straight for me,the road then curves away from me to the right. A lamp post does offer me limited protection,but if im unlucky i could loose my head, thats a risk i choose to take.
    The TT is an expression of a very simple truth, life isnt safe. It never was, never is and never,ever will be.The TT is abought freedom,obsession and yes danger.Some peoples obsession is watching beautiful acting in a wonderful story on a big screen.Others peoples is entering a race,riding a motorbike at over 200mph on a road and knowingly accepting to play chess with death and see who wins.

  • Comment number 15.

    I also have to wade in and give my support to "The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters". Quite simply the best documentary I've ever seen.

  • Comment number 16.

    I managed to get a free ticket via MCN to see the Premiere at Westcroft (conditional on wearing helmet for the photo in cinema :-) Its a great documentary/story for those who would like to know more about the IOMTT and the racing side and how the riders are a down to earth bunch of lads. The racing on the IOM can be very scary now for the riders, no mistakes allowed, full concentration required when the AVERAGE lap speed is over 130mph. I'm sure they must drink gallons of red bull before the race to slow everything down.

  • Comment number 17.

    I really want to see this film as well - the problem is the only screening at my local cinema is at 8.45pm and getting home afterwards will be a problem as I don't drive and bus services at that time of night are few and far between. As much as I would prefer to see it on the big screen, I may have to wait for the DVD.

    I'm also really looking forward to the Senna documentary.

  • Comment number 18.

    The drivers are 100% aware of the risks of the event when they take part, the race is not compulsory. If the TT race is banned you might as well ban bungee jumping, sky diving and crossing the road because they all have a risk of something going horribly wrong.

    Like a few other posters I am looking forward to the Senna documentary.

  • Comment number 19.

    I really want to see this film - I wonder what the chances are that Kingston Odeon will be showing it? They didn't show Restrepo so I'm not holding my breath. They only have 14 screens so it must be 0h-so-hard to squeeze in the occasional documentary.

    Rant over.

  • Comment number 20.

    On a slightly related note, love The Onion's interview with the scriptwriter of the new Fast Five movie out this summer ...,20188/

  • Comment number 21.

    Oh, bad luck locohero (above). I saw it at Kingston Odeon last night! It was a fantastic film, and I'm not a biker. But it is definitely one to go and see in a cinema, as the audience was half-full of bikers who made great comments and laughing at all the bits which would have passed by us non-bikers!

    The film hangs on the charisma of the featured biker, who really does come out with laugh-out-loud comments. He's a great double act with his boss, who is in complete contrast with a quiet and restrained manner, and a look of resigned fate to the antics of his star rider. And all excellently filmed to make you feel genuinely scared with the speeds.

    Well worth seeking out to watch.

  • Comment number 22.

    I saw this at Brighton Cineworld, I am a massive bike fan (my '68 Benelli Cafe Racer lives in my lounge as modern art for example) so I am biased in a way, but after being exhausted from previous day in Devon I was wide awake watching it transfixed....

    my thoughts and my take on it with my kermodian review:

    Now I'm looking forward massively to superheroes Thor,Green Lantern & Cap America this summer but even better have just seen real life superheroes on Closer To The Edge - yes it's
    more documentary than movie but funny,clever,subtle use of the 3D - not overdone at all & the shots over the mountain section was just wonderful !

    There's a bit of swearing and IMO some unecessary quips about masturbation so be warned if young kids about when it's eventually on DVD
    It talked inevitably about the crashes which media focus on normally & to the wives/widows but moving piece was listening to Paul Dobbs wife it wasn't dwelt on too much.
    Star of the piece was Guy Martin, familiar to BBC viewers on the boat that guy built series but a true character & hard racer.

    If the Senna documentary is half as good as this it's going to be a great year

    BAFTA please !!!

  • Comment number 23.

    Probably the biggest thing to come out of the Isle of Man for a very long time, and they are showing it on the Island in a cimema that seats 150 people. Not really that surprising if you know the Isle of Man

  • Comment number 24.

    i gotta see this



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