One Crazy Ride / Riding Solo to the Top of the World

Movie Information

One Crazy Ride will be shown at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7, and Riding Solo at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 8, both at the Carolina Asheville Cinema 14. Riding Solo will also be screened at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, at Firestorm Cafe & Books. All screenings are free admission.
Genre: Travel Documentary
Director: Gaurav Jani
Starring: Gaurav Jani
Rated: NR

I cringed when I was asked to take a look at these two travel documentaries by Gaurav Jani done from motorcycles. They simply didn’t sound particularly appealing—and all the buildup I was given about Jani’s do-it-yourself filmmaking wasn’t helping matters. What a pleasant surprise the films turned out to be! Jani’s approach may be do-it-yourself, but what he does himself is more often than not visually stunning—even breathtaking.

Both films are, as noted, travel documentaries. One Crazy Ride involves Jani and a small group of other motorcyclists as they make their way across uncharted roads in the Himalayan state of Arunachal Pradesh in northeast India. Riding Solo to the Top of the World features Jani doing a kind of Survivorman shtick as he travels from Mumbai to the remote Changthang Plateau in Ladakh, bordering China. The films are both visual treats and offer some interesting insights into the people of those far-flung regions—and Jani himself is an agreeable host. The only downside to it all is whether or not you personally have sufficient interest in what’s being shown—no matter how well done—to undertake the 90-plus minutes of each film. If you do, however, you’re in for a treat.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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