Reviews of Stealing Altitude
(Did We Coin a
"a stylish and unsettling documentary... achieves a grainy,
black & white visual poetry"
- Kevin Thomas, LA Times
"a literally breathtaking look at men who jump from tall
- Kenneth Turan, LA Times
"... remarkable for what it
tells us about its subject..."
- Ken Eisner, The Georgia Straight, Vancouver BC Canada
"Since they are rarely screened
elsewhere, the chance to see documentaries is one of Park City's
most satisfying joys. Whether they are full length, like
Marco Williams' movingly autobiographical "In Search of our
Fathers," or tantalizingly short like "Stealing Altitude,"
a literally breathtaking look at men who jump from tall buildings,
by USC film school grads John Starr and Roger Teich, these documentaries
alone make the trek to ski country worthwhile."
- Kenneth Turan, LA Times
Film Festival '92
"In my view, the best is the lone documentary in the
bunch, "Stealing Altitude," a student film from the
University of Southern California, which was also a much-discussed
short at the Sundance Film Festival.
This 10-minute black-and-white
exercise in cinema-verite gets right to the point as it chronicles
the adventures of "base jumpers," people who steal into
half-constructed high-rise buildings at night, then wait until
dawn to parachute to the street below.
What we witness, of course,
is a covert sport, and the film neither endorses nor condemns
the participants, as it shows both the hazards and the thrills
connected with base jumping."
- Chris Hicks
Deseret News movie critic,
Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah, online review of The 1st International
Festival of Short Films
"Stealing Altitude was one
of the strongest films for me. The University of Southern
California filmmakers' shots showing the subject making pre-dawn
parachute jumps from high-rises to major city roads are as powerful
as any Omnimax special effects."
- Ann McLaughlin, The Vancouver
Courier, reviewing 1st Annual Festival of Short Films.
"Two of the student films here
are excellent. Stealing Altitude (1990) by two University
of Southern California students, is a jaw-dropping documentary
about men who parachute from skyscrapers."
- Elizabeth Aird, Vancouver Sun, reviewing 1st Annual Festival
of Short Films.
"... a 10-minute gripper about
a peculiar cadre of thrill seekers who practice "BASE jumping"
in Los Angeles."
- Calvin Ahlgren, San Francisco Chronicle, reviewing 1st Annual
Festival of Short Films.
"The film was outstanding.
More than just a series of launches and free falls from high places.
The film told the story of how jumpers rationalized leaping off
buildings with parachutes on their backs... The applause lasted
well after the credits had rolled, and continued as John and Roger
were introduced. It was clear Stealing Altitude
was the people's choice for the evening."
- Nick Di Giovanni, the Fixed Object Journal, reviewing Stealing
Altitude's premier at USC.