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Movie Natters: May 31, 2006 Archive

Holy Cow, Batman! Don't try this at home!

Posted at 2:29 PM on May 31, 2006 by Euan Kerr (1 Comments)

Watching the Batman TV series was a rare treat in the Kerr household when the show first aired in Britain. Like millions of youngsters in the 60's, the sibs and I took it very seriously, completely missing the cheesy satire delighting the adults around us.

We all listened very carefully at the beginning of every show when Batman and Robin came on screen to warn against trying to replicate any of their stunts. As none of us had a proper bat-costume nor even a utility belt, we quickly nodded at the wisdom of this, and wished the show would get going.

Imagine my surprise this morning to discover from my colleagues in the MPR newsroom that they never saw such a warning. Apparently the ever-benevolent British TV controllers thought we young viewers were stupid enough to try some of this stuff, and decided to use a pre-emptive bat-strike.

I was thinking of that because I have been watching "District B13." It's the directorial debut of Pierre Morel, the cinematographer perhaps best known for "The Transporter" with a Luc "The Fifth Element" Besson script.

David Belle vaults into action in "District B13" (Image courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.)

It's biggest selling point is it features David Belle, one of the co-inventors of Parkour. For the uninitiated, Parkour is the fine art of moving through environments in interesting ways. That means running, jumping, dodging, weaving, up, down, and around whatever is in your path.

Some of Belle's coolest tricks involve jumping out of, or between, buildings, and over moving cars. It's amazing stuff

The film's web site has links to a number of Parkour sites, including lots of 'how to' instructions. That's what got me thinking of Batman's warning. Parkour (and Belle in particular) is riveting to watch, but you have to wonder how many people, who aren't quite ready, are going to give it a try themselves.

Perhaps someone can find that old Batman tape somewhere.

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