Must Watch: Brett Rheeder's Moody Short Film 'Beautiful Idiot' is Sublime

Jul 31, 2018 at 9:09
by Harrison Mendel  

Beautiful Idiot takes you on a ride through the mindset and motivations of those who feel driven to pursue greatness, how it can feel to fall short, and the consequences of reaching a lofty goal when the struggle to get there has defined you for so long. Featuring professional slopestyle rider Brett Rheeder.

What inspires an athlete, an artist, or an entrepreneur to choose a harder path through life, towards greatness? What keeps them motivated? And what happens after they reach a goal that has given them purpose for so long?

In Beautiful Idiot — a short film featuring professional freeride mountain bike rider Brett Rheeder — directors Harrison Mendel and Robb Thompson, film studio Grain, and cinematographer Liam Mullany explore the connections between achievements, failures, and personal identity.

The journey through an overachiever’s mind plays out on-screen as a visually stunning series of rides by Rheeder, set against a backdrop of western Canadian scenery that includes Tofino, and the Okanagan Valley.


Beautiful Idiot - Brett Rheeder - Robb Thompson Photo

Beautiful Idiot - Brett Rheeder - Robb Thompson Photo

Beautiful Idiot - Brett Rheeder - Robb Thompson Photo
Beautiful Idiot - Brett Rheeder - Robb Thompson Photo

Beautiful Idiot - Brett Rheeder - Robb Thompson Photo

Beautiful Idiot - Brett Rheeder - Robb Thompson Photo
Beautiful Idiot - Brett Rheeder - Robb Thompson Photo

Beautiful Idiot - Brett Rheeder - Robb Thompson Photo


Directed by: Harrison Mendel and Robb Thompson
Written by: Anders J. Svensson
Featuring: Brett Rheeder
With: Elliot Friesen and Austin Friesen
Produced by: GRAIN and Harrison Mendel
Director of Photography: Harrison Mendel
Principle Cinematographer: Liam Mullany


164 Comments

  • + 102
 That was INSANE. Lost count how many times I had to rewind so I could fully comprehend the riding Brett was doing! Definitely on par with Revel Co!
  • + 119
 the need for a rheeder-semenuk vid is real
  • + 52
 @RedBurn: They seem to be brothers from different parents.
  • + 16
 @gamonoso: and different planets..
  • + 40
 @devinni: and different plants
  • + 3
 3:32 is so good to watch, Brett's one that was in the Cruz Fest 15' highlights is probably my favourite trick on a DH bike.
  • + 1
 @devinni: Hahahaha!
  • + 19
 @RedBurn: Like a Rodney Mullen vs Daewon Song style vid!
  • + 12
 @RedBurn: too bad they low key despise each other hahah
  • + 3
 @Keyboardkilla: is that really true though, considering they were in Not Bad and Not Bad 2 together?
  • + 24
 @gamonoso: I heared both their Moms slept with Chuck Norris.
  • + 2
 @RedBurn: would love to see both of them in a jack links commercial
  • + 2
 i'm crying
  • + 1
 @hostforaxenomorph: Hahahahahaha, so that's true!
  • + 1
 @danodaze: My life would be complete.
  • + 1
 @HCorey: LOL!!!
  • + 69
 Why was he in the ocean
  • + 154
 to score emo points
  • + 5
 The endless abyss of rapture consuming you? Moreover, water is a great element whose power it is so easy to comprehend, it symbolizes also a purification process , as well as giving you the feeling of drowning. It is indeed a mixed bag of hammers!
  • + 6
 @idieot: he already got them, when he got that haircut.
  • + 5
 The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.
  • + 11
 He sent it so big he ended up in the pacific.
  • + 3
 @thinkbike: Unless you get a flesh eating bacterial infection.
  • + 62
 Videography superb, Brett fantastic, commentary... pretentious, at best. I understand that without it, and a story line as a whole thing, it would be jet another vid of fantastic slopestyliler jumping around, but... If they could dial down cliche use a bit, and stop this over dramatic voice over ... Commentary has a "motivation coach" cringe vibe all over it.
  • + 14
 The commentary was okay...well, maybe a bit overdone. There was a bit of cliche but that's a hard thing to avoid in sports. It spoke to the audience. Maybe it's a cultural difference.
  • + 4
 i agree, seems common these days. Riding and filming was amazing, but less is more in terms of commentary and storyline in my opinion.
  • + 12
 Life Cycles influencing a whole generation perhaps?

cheers
  • + 2
 I can't stand motivational speeches. Other people telling me what to do? I have plenty of that in life already.
I love what I do. That's all the motivation I need.
  • + 4
 The narration should have been scripted better and more thought out, since it was such a huge facet of the film. Came across as someone trying very hard to be intelligent.
  • + 5
 @SirWonky: agree narration was pretty hamfisted, sounded like a mastercard commercial
  • + 0
 I can't agree more. Voiceover can be great if done right but here it was really pretentious and businesslike. However, some shots had a stock quality that played well with the corporate vibe of the commentary. The reason for that is the fact that the film was trying to present mtb-ing as sth more than it is or appears to be. Here it is almost like travelling to the moon or making a heart transplant for the first time.
  • + 32
 The only thing holding me back to do the same is my wife.
She does not want the backyard to look like Bret’s.
  • + 35
 See that's where he was clever, his was his front yard after he was specifically told not to 'dig up the back yard'.
  • + 26
 It’s even better if you mute it and turn on metal. Plus you don’t have to listen to the “trying to have deep thoughts while holding back diarrhea” monologue.”
  • + 23
 Anyone else hear Liam Neeson's voice as the voice-over for this?? I was desperately waiting for "Brett has a very particular set of skills....skills he has acquired over a very long career....."
  • + 14
 The video was amazing. But c'mon bret. It's just mountainbiking, we know what we risk, we know that's worth it. This is what it is, nothing more and nothing less...It is all about fun. The video is inspiring, but maybe too much drama. We all envy your lifestyle a little bit. A lot of people is really struggling to make their earns, have health problems... So all that emotional vibe in sports videos in general, and mtb videos in particular, is too much. Nevertheless....amazing video, i've seen it three times and counting, and made me want to go ride!
  • + 10
 Dude I feel you so much. Its funny how dramatic Rheeder and Semenuk get with these videos. They're fuckin killin it, but I dont know why the emo teenager aesthetic appeals the them so much
  • + 3
 @mountainface: Do you really think they make these videos for themselves. They have a target audience of kids/teenagers.
  • + 2
 @bulletbassman: You're probably right, but that doesnt make it any less funny to see their brooding dramatic close up shots
  • + 2
 @Zeeroone Maybe mountain biking doesn't mean the same thing to everybody? You say it's "all about fun" but the video doesn't seem to be about fun at all. Getting 1st place in slopestyle comp doesn't seem any more fun than getting 3rd. I don't know how much the commentary reflects Brett's personal views (I assume they do), but if those are the reasons he rides and tries to progress who are we to argue with that?

@bulletbassman Sure, if we assume that the video is nothing but a product meant to get as many views as possible. What if it were art?
  • + 2
 Eh, I don't think this video is meant to be taken as seriously as some people think. I think the cornball commentary and shots of Brett standing next to the pacific are meant to be like a knowing nod to the whole genre of overwrought sports videos/commercials/documentaries. Doesn't really matter what the sport is, the hyperbole has always been there when top athletes are involved. That's why there is money in sports sponsoring (albeit not much in mtb), because it's supposed to be larger than life.

To me that's the reason why this video worked better for me than Semenuk's Revel stuff (which obviously are also really impressive when considering the riding / photography aspects), because there the tone is just "let's make something artistic" compared to here where the commentary is just so over the top that the whole thing works tonally almost as a spoof. If that's unintentional, I'm fine with that too. Great video anyways.
  • + 0
 You ever watched a f*cking movie? Story is what keeps people entertained. Anyone who doesn’t ride, doesn’t give a shit about trick clips. And it’s those people we need to speak to in order to grow an audience
  • + 17
 This was so good.
  • + 11
 The riding and espacially the audio brought tears of motivation and love in my eyes to keep on working my ass of and to do what I love regardless of who tells me that it is to dangerous or that it will never work out.. Thanks to those open minds who created such a masterpiece I will at least watch it 50 more times !
  • + 12
 I don't think a lot of people realize how blessed we are to have such talented and passionate people making bike movies. That was absolutely, incredibly brilliant.
  • + 12
 How was something this good free
  • + 11
 Agreed! Let’s all go buy a cliff bar.
  • + 2
 I bought a 36 pack of Cliff Kid ZBars today! So, I'm even. You?
  • + 7
 Super good video but i don't know if i totally relate. Brett's story seems like the pursuit of difficult things just because they are difficult. I liked it when freestyle was about the interpretation of environments and creative expression. Flat drop flip can cans and tail whips look pretty much the same when anyone does them but the way a guy like Semenuk slides a roller or does a table speaks to his appreciation and creative interpretation of all the obstacles he rides not just the money jumps. Maybe thats why Brett is always in second.
  • + 6
 im in the camp that brett/nicholi will probably be splitting hairs for top podium spots indefinitely, but i can honestly say brett makes mountain biking seem... not very fun.
  • + 9
 Who's hungry for apples?!
  • + 2
 I had to pause the video when I heard that, to scroll down and look for this comment. And here it is!
  • + 5
 MY MAN!
  • + 5
 What a sick house-garden combo ...! looks so beautiful now with dirt only, but wait some weeks and then grass everywhere, damn haha!

really wonder if Semenuk watched this video Big Grin
  • + 3
 yeah who has the better House/Slope course combo, Rheeder or Semenuk? well earned both those guys.
  • + 8
 nice job dad that was awesome from orin
  • + 6
 ❤️
  • + 6
 Great riding. Could do without the trite metaphors presenting themselves as wisdom though...yes, this is an opinion.
  • + 1
 Opinions are like... ah forget it.
  • + 3
 Beautifully shot film, and the riding was super Rad!!....what more could a bunch of PinkBike critic's need in a MTB movie? Nothing I say!!! I'd give it five stars for sure....
  • + 3
 Incredible riding incredible filming and editing. Narrative over the top but the first things make up for it. Brett is also one of the friendliest pros you'll ever meet. Sick.
  • + 2
 ``Sorry``but i really don`t like that video. Much over-produced, dramatically pathetically emo-bla-bla, with Master Yoda talking hollow bullshits backwards.... kind of the opposite of Yohann Barelli`s videos for instance. Not my cup of rancid tea.
  • + 3
 That was absolutely mind blowing! Brett and Mendel crushed it. Thank you for making such an unbelievably rad vid and posting. That was just insane!
  • + 3
 And the Screenie goes to . . . . . . the builders. Most of the film had me in awe with the shapes created for the rider. Damn can a burm be any sexier. Waterpark style.
  • + 1
 Fantastic! Everything from the cinematography/story line and riding, to the locations and soundtrack. Hats off to Rheeder, Harrison Mendel, Rob Thompson, and all the rest of the crew involved with this masterpiece. Video of the year for sure, Can't think of the last movie that has got me that excited and motivated to go ride. Cheers!
  • + 1
 TREK SALES MANAGER BE LIKE Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab Fab
  • + 4
 This wide-ass videos are not stealthy for office enjoyment! INSANE video, love the style!!!
  • + 1
 nope. video no good. commentator just did not fit in out all. it's just wan't natural but a very artificial feeling through out the video. Liked the riding from breeder, however.
  • + 5
 the key of trolling is to be subtle, so people don't know you're trolling and take you seriously. XX.
  • + 3
 Troll for sure. But I would love to see a spoof of this over-dramatic, platitude-ridden, narration-pushy video style. It kinda sucks. Not sure why everyone goes batty for this stuff.
  • + 1
 Sorry, but perhaps it is my advanced age, but the video didn't do it for me. The kid is an incredible skilled rider, don't get me wrong, but after minute 7 I pushed pause and never went back.
  • + 1
 Sorry you have the attention span of a goldfish
  • + 1
 @Nic-no-K: No need to apologize, but I beg to differ. May I suggest you don't follow popular misconceptions, see www.bbc.com/news/health-38896790?
  • + 4
 Beautiful storyline, Crazy riding... I love it!!!
  • + 4
 wait, so was the beautiful idiot happy with the low hanging fruit?
  • + 1
 Now that is what I needed to see, this idiot had pretty much given up, now I want to get back to riding like before. It used to feel like poetry in motion rather than forced. Ether way im just going to keep trying.
  • + 3
 Masterpiece !!!!! - Dont know if thats Brett's backyard and home but kudos all round
  • + 4
 makes me wanna push my riding even more !!!
  • + 1
 i just got myself a dj bike.... i wanna learn tricks now
  • + 3
 Brett Rheeder needs to host invitational event at his house with that setup!
  • + 4
 Best line, "The other beautiful idiot is hungry for something else"...
  • + 1
 That was some awesome riding. Left my jaw drop, seeing those mad skillz. Most of which was breath taking. Thanks Brett for sharing !
  • + 1
 When it started it looked like one if those sentimental semi boring edits...but then....mayhem unleashed!!! Bangers after bangers!! My jaw was on the floor!!!
  • + 1
 Émotion, soul and sensitivity and of course beautiful spots, fantastically built and fabulously stylish riding. Love Rheeder and His Spirit.
  • + 2
 This whole team crushed it! I'll have this on repeat for the foreseeable future.
  • + 3
 holy shit that was incredible. So much creativity all slammed into 14min.
  • + 3
 my boy brett is good but hes trying to be semenuk way to much
  • + 2
 I thought when he got up in truck he was bout to drive up to Semenuks one-shot course and do the same shit
  • + 1
 ...and then you realize how red your lips are from guzzling down all that over-dramatic, platitude-ridden, narration-pushy Kool-Aid
  • + 3
 does sun ever rise in canada couse here it only sets for some reason
  • + 1
 killer riding Brett! now brandons backyard dont look so cool! i hope he can knock nicolai off the podium somewhere this fmb tour.
  • + 2
 Don't think he's got quite the style of Semenuk but he's surely got the tricks
  • + 3
 I hope Trek is going to make the 26 session park available soon.
  • + 1
 There will still bunches of '16s in stock around the country last year. I doubt they'll release another anytime soon.
  • - 1
 2 things:
1. I need that deep moaning "bwuuuuuhhhhhhh" sound to accompany every take I have.
2. If I had a dream track...and a dream track hoe, I'd have to tire tap my track hoe. Just sayin' @BrettRheeder Wink
  • + 1
 By far the realist video that’s hit pinkbike! Congrats to the filmers , rider , and builders of course !!
  • + 2
 this is by far one of my most favorite videos ever made.
  • + 1
 Outstanding and well done. I need to go ride my bike doing my own ride. Ride on folks and enjoy it for all that it is.
  • + 2
 @CalvinHuth should make a no bad days talk show about this one
  • + 1
 great story(life cycle voice 3), mindblowing tricks, sick shots and nice music. What more can your heart desire?
  • + 2
 wow! sooooo good ! goothbumps,.
  • + 2
 The photos are really something special here
  • + 2
 There’s about to be a huge spike in sales of old Ford F-150’s
  • + 2
 Is Brandon Semenuk going to compete in JoyRide? Can anyone confirm?
  • + 2
 unless he gets injured, yes he is. Automatic entry for winning last year.
  • + 3
 BMX
  • + 3
 Rheeder for the WIN
  • + 0
 ....loading...spinning loading symbol....this is bullshit. I'm trying to NOT WORK right now and NOT watching this video is making me have to.
  • + 2
 Wow, well done. Your serve Semenuk!!
  • + 7
 Eh... I don't think it needs a rebuttal. Cool video but nothing too new or creative here, I was kind of surprised after all the hype. Whereas almost every Revel Co. video is pushing the boundaries with filming and riding. This was just "Life Cycles: the Brett Rheeder story."
  • + 2
 @thepwnstar39: the drop flipwhip was pretty game-changing!
  • + 2
 Finally some new desktop wallpaper. Banger shots.
  • + 3
 Stunning
  • + 2
 Anyone wanna buy a DJ bike?
  • + 1
 Absolutely hands down unbelievable. The poetry in motion, filming and the poetic narrative is next level!
  • + 0
 ... and then you realize how red your lips are from all that kool-aid
  • + 1
 Awesome! Was having trouble getting up for my 5am ride. That got me up real quick!! Thank You!!
  • + 3
 cool vid
  • + 2
 Simply motivational and fuill of spirit.
  • + 1
 Absolutely spot on. Beautiful video and pretty inspiring.
  • + 1
 So fucking inspirational and stylish!
  • + 1
 Great video...shame some of it was in darkness;
  • + 2
 THAT F-150 THO
  • + 2
 Inspiring, well done!
  • - 1
 someone should cut out all the talking and emo crap, add new music, and re release. way too over the top but the riding was amazing.......
  • + 1
 I will rewatch you so many times, you Life Cycles worthy piece of art!
  • + 1
 Thanks for putting this out guys. So good and inspiring.
  • + 1
 Just the best MTB vid I've ever seen. nothing more to say!
  • + 1
 Brett Rheder just updated mtb limits, again.
  • + 0
 Just insane this video made my Day. I hope that you can pull your Dream run in whistler you can definetly win it.
  • + 1
 Good job bro - keep it rolling as I like to say...well done
  • + 2
 Can I spend the night?
  • + 1
 If you want it then I've got it If you need it, baby, I'll feed it If you love it, come and rub it 'Cause there's something I should let you know, oh - 2nd II none
  • + 0
 That Red Trek Slash has Knock Block. How the heck was he able to do a 360 on the bars???
  • + 0
 Riser crown race if I had to guess
  • + 1
 Not a slash
  • + 1
 thats a ticket S with a gyro lol
  • + 1
 That was incredibly inspiring for a filmmaker and a rider. Awesome work!
  • + 1
 Thank you, and that's all...
  • + 1
 para mim, até hoje não existiu clip melhor de motivação como este.
  • + 1
 Anyone know the track at approx. 7mins in?
  • + 1
 hungry for apples?


MY MAN!
  • - 1
 "Sometimes it will break your spirit... your bones... your heart"

First time through I definitely heard 'balls', which I thought was better than 'bones'.
  • + 1
 Don’t .. even.. have.. words.. thanks guys !
  • + 19
 Seems like you had exactly six words.
  • + 1
 Wow, this was truly inspiring. Thank you
  • + 1
 respect
  • + 1
 beautiful)
  • + 1
 Holy shit...
  • + 1
 yes
  • + 1
 So much love for this.
  • - 2
 Face melting cringe and amazing riding in one video leaves me happily confused. Also the jump cuts on that tailwhip backwards tailwhip thing were like stepping on lego.
  • + 0
 Mute and play my own jams. Perfect.
  • + 2
 Then you missed all the story and the motivational speeches ahah
  • + 0
 well shit, guess there's no point to watching another bike film. ever.
  • + 1
 love the demons
  • - 1
 Shots fired, Rogatkin.
  • + 1
 im sure rogatkins weeping in the memory of his recent crankworx victories
  • + 6
 @anchoricex: Adding another spin will never be as cool as style.
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