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Catching Out: A Film About Trainhopping and Living Free (2008)

Various , Sarah George  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Sarah George
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Microcinema International
  • DVD Release Date: January 1, 2002
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0017LFKU6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,964 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

CATCHING OUT features several contemporary hobos who dissent against mainstream American consumer culture by traveling for free on freight trains.

About the Director

Sarah George made her directorial debut with CATCHING OUT. In 1995, she received a grant from the King County Arts Commission to make a documentary about contemporary hobos. After exploring the topic on her first trainhopping excursion, she became an enthusiastic rail rider. George spent seven years making the film and then took CATCHING OUT on tour, hopping trains between venues in North America. In the process, she has traveled over 10,000 miles by freight. A graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, George focused her studies on sustainable development and worked for a local conservation organization in Tanzania. Her documentary work continues her commitment to a sustainable future for the planet and it s people.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hop a ride with "Catching Out" July 22, 2008
"Catching Out" is an authentic, heart-felt look at four people living on the fringes of society who - illegally - hitch rides on trains as a means of getting around or just as a way of seeking the next adventure. Sarah George does an excellent job of capturing stories while keeping the viewer entertained and showcasing some beautiful scenery along the ride. George also does a decent job of contrasting and comparing the lives of these tramps and hobos to the ideals that a consumerist society imposes. Do not miss "Catching Out"!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the call of wanderlust July 31, 2008
I LOVE this film! the scenery is beautiful and the music is not that hokey banjo stuff that usually accompanies trains in other movies I've seen with trains.
I was moved by the subjects' stories, especially Lee, the hobo anarchist who lives in a tree house. Each person in the film speaks of the American dream which isnt so much about buying into the american nightmarish"keep up with the Jones", but following their spirit.
Still when Switch and Baby Girl go at it in the 'mainstream world', I was rooting for them to succeed.
Anyone interested in the modern day train rider, should get this film and watch it in the comforts of their cozy couch! Sarah George captures the essence of modern train riding with poignancy and great artistic flare without venuring the hardships and truths of this hard core lifestyle.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected, but in a good way! July 13, 2008
The truth is, I'm not sure what I expected. "Catching Out" isn't a train movie (but there's lots of beautiful shot, gestural train footage); It's not really an alternate lifestyle movie (though it revolves entirely around the various subsets of Hobo Culture. But in the end, "Catching Out" is a visual tone-poem on the idea of freedom. Is freedom "just another word for nothing left to lose?" Or is freedom actually this romanticized notion we're indoctrinated into as the highest American ideal? Or maybe it's both; or neither?

Don't look for answers in "Catching Out". (Don't look for locomotive fetish photography either!) Instead, against the expansive backdrop of the American West, there are ultimately only questions in this absolutely American film: questions about Frost's path in that yellow wood, about Thoreau's quiet pond; about what it means to chose your own destiny and (maybe) find your a little peace of mind along the way.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome film! May 12, 2008
Length: 1:37 Mins
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made me want to hop a train!!! March 23, 2010
By ross
I saw a screening of this film several years ago and now I'm very excited that it's come to DVD, because this is a film I could watch again and again.

"Catching Out" captures the restless spirit of those who have sacrificed the comforts of conformity for the unfettered life of hobo-ism. Yes, you may be dirty, cold and occasionally in danger, but you're really out there seeing something (as opposed to in here, typing something).

99% of us in this country would choose a sedentary life instead, and that's all the more reason you need to see this movie, because it's the closest you'll come to seeing this exhilarating alternative lifestyle.

Check it out!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hobo culture in the 21st century September 18, 2008
Sarah George's documentary is about people who hop trains and live a kind of contemporary hobo's existence. Her camera captures the sense of an escape from the straight world with its tedious responsibilities and appalling hypocrisies as the wheels clickity-clack under your butt on the hard cold bed of a box car.

Well, that's how I would imagine it. Yet when you're young (in heart as least) and feel the wind in your hair and no load on your mind, a train ride snitched from society may indeed be something like a return to the freedom of some bygone day.

Surprisingly there is an entire counterculture devoted to trainhopping complete with a 'Zine and annual pilgrimages to sacred places. George's film concentrates on some people who have taken up this way of life. She shows them hopping trains, riding trains, being interviewed, dodging "bulls," and in some cases visiting family and friends and talking about the life and themselves and their hopes and dreams for the future. They pass the number around and look askance at the camera and talk about what the future holds. They are not just lost men with nothing better to do with their lives, or young people still seeking what it is they haven't found. Instead George introduces us to a wide range of people including women and married couples, a lawyer, and even some anarchists who try to thwart hunters by scaring their game away with bull horns.

There is a Jack Kerouac feel to this way of life, a pride taken in being outside of society, of being free from the indoctrination and the boxed-in life of the wage earner or the corporate cog. But there is also the terrible question whispering down the track, how long can you go on living this way?
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