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Relentless Film Previews

We preview a trio of clips from the forthcoming film Lives of the Artists

Lives of the Artists, the first feature-length documentary from Relentless Energy, directed by Ross Cairns, seeks to identify the indomitable spirit that unites artists working across a wide variety of disciplines. Shot in the icy wastes of Greenland, on the southern tip of Tahiti (in a place known as “The Wall Of Skulls”), and on the road in America, the film documents the trials of two surfers Tom Lowe and Fergal Smith, the punk band Gallows and snowboarder Xavier De Le Rue, as they face near-death experiences and push themselves to the limit in the name of their art.

Dazed & Confused: Why do you refer to all of the people featured in the film as artists?
Ross Cairns: I always felt it was the most noble term for what these guys do. It’s beyond just physical; it’s the ability to sacrifice themselves in pursuit of their goal. As soon you get over the categorisation of an artist as someone with a paintbrush in one hand, you can understand what an artist really is – it’s anyone who does things that normal people wouldn’t do.

D&C: How does your film differ from a more traditional extreme sports film?
Ross Cairns: I wanted to tell a story. The last thing the world needs is another snowboard or surf film. You look at those and they’re 95 per cent action and five per cent people talking bollocks. We wanted to discover these guys; tell their stories and bring some significance that resonates with normal people, rather than just making something for aficionados who are only interested in the shapes guys throw on a board. It’s not about surfing, it’s not about snowboarding, it’s not about hardcore punk. It’s about all these characters who have chosen to do this thing in these areas.

D&C: Does it reflect the macho image of extreme sports?
Ross Cairns: No, it’s almost the antithesis of that. We were in some seriously dangerous places that would have made for the most amazing shots ever, but the golden rule is live to snowboard another day. There’s no point in killing yourself for the shot.

Here are clips from the film showing Gallows, Tom Lowe and Fergal Smith and Xavier De La Rue:

Lives of the artists will be released in October 2009. For more information check updates on or join The Order for email updates and exclusives including tickets to the world premiere. To learn more about the Lives of the Artists visit Relentless Energy website.
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