Short of the Day: Rev Up Your Engines and Enter the ‘Globe of Death’

A daredevil documentary.
By  · Published on June 29th, 2017

A daredevil documentary.

I assume if you follow Film School Rejects and One Perfect Shot that you’re familiar with Derek Cianfrance’s film The Place Beyond the Pines starring Ryan Gosling. In the opening sequence of that film, we’re introduced to Gosling’s character as he walks through a carnival on his way to ride a motorcycle inside a large, metal mesh globe. This is an actual stunt called the Globe of Death, and it’s existed almost as long as motorcycles have. Inside the globe, multiple riders can race any direction they like. What looks like sheer chaos is of course a carefully charted and controlled plan, but that doesn’t make it any less dangerous. One mistake of a millimeter and everyone dies. The Globe of Death takes more than a mere stuntman, more than a mere daredevil, it requires a man of steel nerves and infallible focus, a man like Brazilian Lucius Zafalon, subject of today’s selection for Short of the Day, from London-based production company Autobahn.

For Zafalon, the Globe of Death is more than just an insane skill, it is an artform, a visual performance, a dance between men and machines set to the roar of engines and pounding of hearts. I honestly wish this film was much, much longer, because Zafalon and his team of riders are fascinating subjects, and of course their proficiency on motorcycles is beyond breathtaking, beyond awe-inspiring. Autobahn has made a poetic, thrilling, contemplative film that will resonate with you much longer than its brief runtime. Enjoy.

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