Skip

New kid in the ghost town
May 28, 2014 3:55 AM   Subscribe

Scottish bike trials scamp Danny MacAskill has been at it again. His latest video shows his talents in the ruins of Argentinian tourist resort Epecuén.

Gratuitious product placement at 6:25, but it's obviouly thirsty work. Masterful, playful and generally gobsmacking riding for the rest of the time.

Previously. Previouslier. Previousliest.
posted by tim_in_oz (23 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
The Redbull site apparently doesn't play well with mobile, or at least not with mine. Too bad, I really would like to see this.
posted by Literaryhero at 4:15 AM on May 28


Ewww a product shot
posted by fullerine at 4:19 AM on May 28 [2 favorites]


Ok it works fine on my phone but not my tablet, so who knows. Anyway, awesome video and awesome place. I had never heard of Epecuen before. Amazing. Also, maybe I am getting older, but I kept finding myself considering how recently he had gotten a tetanus booster. Phew!
posted by Literaryhero at 4:28 AM on May 28


I remember playing Way Back Home for my wife's grandfather, an avid cyclist in his day. He insisted that what Danny does is impossible, against the laws of physics, and required camera trickery. I was not going to change his opinion. But maybe now with a few more videos under his belt I have more evidence to prove my case.

That being said, the mix of memorial for a devastated town and bike stunts in this video doesn't really feel right to me.
posted by bwilms at 4:28 AM on May 28 [1 favorite]


considering how recently he had gotten a tetanus booster

Epecuen looks like a very painful place to take a dive. Still McAskill is consistently amazing, if that is possible. Even with product placement.

Here is Pablo's Villa, the award winning documentary about Villa Epecuen's sole resident. He also cycles around Epecuen.
posted by asok at 4:55 AM on May 28 [3 favorites]


I must be getting old, because I watch him go off big drops and my knees hurt just watching.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:32 AM on May 28 [2 favorites]


Say what you will about the product placement. As much as I hate advertising, I am very glad that we live in a world where someone will pay Danny MacAskill to do nothing but this.

And oh man, that sign assisted flip at 9:10!
posted by 256 at 5:47 AM on May 28 [1 favorite]


this place is like a tetanus theme park
posted by Mach5 at 6:06 AM on May 28 [3 favorites]


Just came here to say something about tetanus. I find I am not alone. This is really cool, although nothing is going to beat his early ones for me.

Red Bull tastes like plant food and Marmite, and it makes you fat.
posted by cromagnon at 6:32 AM on May 28 [1 favorite]


cromagnon: " This is really cool, although nothing is going to beat his early ones for me."

That may depend on whether you're afraid of heights or not. He's recently been spotted a bit closer to home, filming on top of the Finnieston Crane in Glasgow for a forthcoming Commonwealth Games promo.
posted by Jakey at 6:40 AM on May 28


I remember fondly having to re-swallow my heart when he did that front-flip off Edinburgh Castle parapet, right at the beginning of Way Back Home. That was awe inspiring. I liked the tune too. In fact, I shall take me off and listen to it right now, for nostalgia's sake.
posted by YouRebelScum at 6:50 AM on May 28


That being said, the mix of memorial for a devastated town and bike stunts in this video doesn't really feel right to me. -- bwilms
I can't say that I agree. I found it to be -- personally -- almost the opposite; something in the way the music, scene, and action came together evoked a melancholy response in me that I think went beautifully with the devastation of the town. I'm glad things like this exist.
posted by ChrisR at 6:55 AM on May 28


I was lucky enough to visit Villa Epecuen in April and this really does it justice. We were there for a couple of hours and didn't see another soul (didn't come across Pablo unfortunately), the place was completely and utterly deserted apart from a large group of flamingos in the lake by the abandoned playground.

You can't help thinking that with the changes in the climate that are taking place that this sort of disaster will begin happening more and more often. Although in this case the rising of the lake water happened slowly enough for the residents to evacuate safely, a resort town went from thriving to 25m underwater in a matter of weeks. A sobering thought.
posted by jontyjago at 7:11 AM on May 28


I was coming in to say, "Epecuen must be Spanish for tetanus. " Instead, I am going to say, "ill3 does not have an original thought in his head."
posted by ill3 at 7:19 AM on May 28 [2 favorites]


Is Epecuen literally pronounced Epic Win?
posted by MangyCarface at 7:34 AM on May 28 [3 favorites]


Bike trials gives me the willies. All I can think about is what happened to that other accomplished trials athlete Martyn Ashton.
posted by Popular Ethics at 8:19 AM on May 28


something in the way the music, scene, and action came together

Whoever produces these videos really loves The Jezabels. They're the second song in both Way Back Home ("A Little Piece") and this one ("Long Highway"). I bought their album and EP after seeing the former. Good stuff.
posted by stargell at 8:44 AM on May 28


That being said, the mix of memorial for a devastated town and bike stunts in this video doesn't really feel right to me.

I agree. I doubt that, without the financial goading of RedBull, anyone would think to film bike or other stunts in a similar place.

In fact, RedBull has a history of similar 'stunts', wherein sponsored athletes effectively stick their middle finger up at history and the rest of the civilized world's values around sacred spaces. In 2010, they sponsored an alpine bolting fiasco that echoed around the climbing world, high on the Compressor Route. Read accomplished alpinist Colin Haley's excellent synopsis.
posted by Dashy at 8:56 AM on May 28


That being said, the mix of memorial for a devastated town and bike stunts in this video doesn't really feel right to me.

Not that I am one to defend Red Bull in any way but the ruins are not a memorial as such. They are just ruins. Nobody died there and there is no real sense of sadness or that they are keeping these ruins as they are out of respect for the town or its inhabitants. It's barely signposted from the nearby town and main road and there is a small museum about 3km out of the centre which was shut when we were there.

Due to its economic booms and busts Rural Argentina has many, many abandoned structures, this being the largest collection I know of, but you certainly get the sense that if somebody came along with enough money there would be no compunction about razing the lot the ground and starting again. This is not a sacred place.
posted by jontyjago at 9:34 AM on May 28 [3 favorites]


Cormac McCarthy finds a trials bike
posted by whyareyouatriangle at 9:59 AM on May 28 [2 favorites]


There is something about how unsettling it is, but I don't think it's really the fault of McCaskill or Red Bull, it's this ping-connected world we live in. You find out about something on a blog, and it's forgotten and mysterious, and before you know it you get into kokogiak's In Focus and then, bang, a promotional video. The same thing happened, nearly, with Hashima Island, which went from Ghost Island in 2006 to James Bond movie to Google Streetview.

I think that frustrates all of us and undercuts the sense of mystery and intrigue, but it's more a modern problem than a moral fault.
posted by dhartung at 10:35 AM on May 28


Not that I am one to defend Red Bull in any way but the ruins are not a memorial as such.

I wasn't really concerned about Red Bull profiting on the destruction of a town. The mix of intro sequence and music made me sad for the place, so I wasn't quite in the mood to watch flips, stalls, and skinny riding. To each there own.

I think Danny is an awesome rider. Maybe I would have been more enthused if there was a more rockin' soundtrack and he soared over the old guy in the beginning while sipping two Red Bulls from a beer can helmet. Maybe I'll turn off the sound and crank up my own tunes.

Nonetheless, Epecuén is an interesting space of which I was not previously aware, so that's cool.
posted by bwilms at 11:43 AM on May 28


Is Epecuen literally pronounced Epic Win?

No. You can hear the pronunciation around 0:33 here.
posted by palbo at 8:51 PM on May 28


« Older Quitting Opium Song 戒煙歌 and other classics   |   A painting, a smile, a... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post