Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Being Evel

Here's something else you might be interested in: a documentary of Evel Knievel titled Being Evel.

What you need to know about Evel Knievel, first and foremost, is that he was an asshole. A giant, unrelenting asshole, a truly despicable person.

He also wasn't a great jumper. Somehow, though, the fact that he wasn't a great jumper actually played in his favor, because the possibility that he might crash made him exponentially more entertaining.

There are three facets to the documentary, and they're all well done. The first chronicles his jumps and the phenomenon he became, and there is a ton of outstanding footage (remember that Caesar's Palace jump, or the one in Wembley Stadium?). The second facet focuses on his personal relationships, which were uniformly disastrous. The third facet, which I'd never even considered before, is the incredible influence Knievel had on the development of extreme sports. Kids started copying (on their bicycles) what Knievel was doing on a motorcycle, and everything went from there.

If you know who Knievel is, and remember him, then this is a must-see. If you don't, but you're curious, this is an excellent introduction.

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