Despite the fanciful daydreams peddled by Marvel Comics and Greek mythology, human beings can't fly. Not yet, anyway. But that fact hasn't stopped a brazen subculture of crazy people from giving it a whirl in new, increasingly weird ways!
As if skydiving weren't enough to keep a concerned mother awake at night, over the past few decades, a group of thrill-seekers known as "wingsuiters" have taken to jumping off cliffs. They're sort of like polyester-clad parodies of flying squirrels. But as it turns out, this is as riveting a concept for a documentary as it is nightmarish for those of us with even an iota of survival instinct. (That is: wecan watch this movie, but don't expect us to be joining in on the cliff-jumping tip.)
Documentary Club is a weekly feature in which we watch and discuss the finest documentaries available to stream on Netflix. Joining this club is very exclusive and requires an elaborate hazing process best described as "watching a documentary." Get in on it!
THIS WEEK'S DOC: Birdmen: The Original Dream of Flight
If one film justifies the existence of GoPro cameras, it's this one. Director Matt Sheridan's 2012 look at wingsuiters, their ambitions, and — surprise! — their startlingly high death rate, contains what is surely some of the most gorgeous, unthinkably harrowing imagery ever filmed. Chronicling the history of solo flight from before the Wright Brothers era until now, Birdmen not only shows you how some of the most extreme athletes in the world spend their time — it also reminds you that adrenaline is one hell of a drug. And at only 52 scant minutes, this is one documentary that glides by quickly.
You now have four days to watch this thing. Come back on Friday and we'll talk about it in greater depth! Unless you suddenly decide to take up wingsuiting in the interim — in which case, bye forever? In the meantime, get more Netflix at netflix.kinja.com.