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In-Flux

By: David Arnaud
Photographer: Paul Villecourt

Film Review By Evan J. Stafford

Rarely does kayak cinematography truly capture the spirit of wilderness river travel and exploration. The backdrops are so majestic, the gorges so deep and the clean water so invigorating that something always seems to be lost in the translation from actual experience to film reel. French paddler David Arnaud, with his latest film In-Flux, has come as close as or closer than anyone before him to sharing the genuine senses of excitement and courage, sheer beauty and awe that make expedition paddling what it is at its core. He also captures impressive gravity defying aerial action on his home wave the Hawaii sur Rhone and at Montreal’s Lachine waves, but the focus of the movie remains about travel and discovery.

Italy: Photo by Paul Villecourt

Gravity defying at Hawaii sur Rhone: Photo by Paul Villecourt

In-Flux traces two years of international airport check-ins, unique cultural dealings and of course, exotic river descents. There are so many expeditions captured in this 60 minute video that one can only conclude that Arnaud must be a truly innovative fund raiser. Such a collection of far-away destinations and descents shows that Arnaud is commitmented to sharing the sport he loves with the masses via cinema. This film can only serve to fuel the common man’s passion for kayaking. From Morocco to Siberia you are sure to be inspired. From hardcore creeking in Italy to freestyle waterfall running on Reunion Island there is something for everyone, as this film runs the gamut of river disciplines.

Photo by Paul Villecourt

Scenic Italian backdrop

Scenes with native animals and people combine with scenic time lapse shots to create a real sense of place for each separate local visited. Some great new head cam and “boat cam” angles are also explored. Unique globe to ground level transitions provide a nice geographic lesson and work well to link each separate segment. A visit to Siberia captures some of the most remote paddling in the world with two extended multi-day expeditions centered around the world’s largest fresh water lake, Lake Baikal. Tributaries are explored and first descents completed while the kayakers dodge Tigers and Bears along arduous portages. Expedition paddling at its finest.

Cool underwater "boat cam"

Another cool "boat cam," airborne this time

Siberia: Photo by Paul Villecourt

They are out there and you are with them, French translations and all. Everything considered this is an excellent film with beautiful cinematography and kayaking that will hold the interest of any level of paddler. For those in the market for straight kayaking porn this may not be the film for you. There is some serious gradient and boofs in Val Sesia, Norway and others, but much of the film is dedicated to capturing the amazing scenery. This film includes two nice bonus features: an extra Uganda segment and also a slideshow with some interesting commentary by noted photographer Paul Villecourt (www.outdoor-reporter.com). To purchase a copy or to find out more about In-Flux or David Arnaud head to www.thinkliquid.net/in-flux.

Italian steepness: Photo by Paul Villecourt