Slowing down modern life’s pace and re-connecting with nature is the gist of “Loop,” a documentary that pulls rather disparate material into a disarming, sometimes exhilarating whole. Equal parts extreme-sports pic (helmer Sjur Paulsen previously made Norway’s first digital theatrical release, snowboard pic “Soul Deep”), portrait of several eccentric personalities, and existential meditation, “Loop” may rep a difficult sell conceptually. But myriad auds could find themselves engrossed if they gave this docu a chance. TV sales rep strongest potential for offshore exposure.
Paulsen trains camera on five protags: Two 30-ish slackers (Ronny Dahl, Terje N. Larsen), whose leaky-vessel commercial fishing business is just a thin excuse to access remote ski slopes; middle-aged paramedic Per Evensen, who spends summers isolated atop a national forest’s fire-watch tower; rock climber Kristen Reagan, who videotapes himself during the near-suicidal solo scaling of a huge, sheer face only conquered previously by a full team; and 92-year-old philosopher Arne Naess Sr., who is still spry enough to hike his beloved childhood mountaintop. Beautifully shot pic climaxes in two utterly astonishing plunges (via skis and parachute) from impossible heights. Original score and chosen indie-rock tracks are both excellent.