Posted by
• 04.25.11 11:00 am

Franz Otto: Ultimate Highballer is a documentary about a larger than life figure in the tree-planting industry.

If you’re a frog, click here for a version with French subtitles.

Franz Otto: Ultimate Highballer is a documentary about a larger than life figure in the tree-planting industry. It tours through the reforestation community in search of its most notorious, feared and reclusive figure — a legend that has passed through generations of planters, enshrined in the Tree-Planter Hall of Fame yet shrouded in myth, a man known only as “Franz Otto.”

A documentary that has been called “pretty chill,” “thoughtful,” “arty” and in one instance, “inspiring,” Franz Otto: Ultimate Highballer screened privately in living rooms and small venues across Canada, at Anthology Film Archives in NY and at Chelsea’s PPOW gallery. With sponsorship from the planting company Brinkman and the shovel company Bushpro, it is now being released online through No Budge. We think it’s pretty cool that, with the help of sponsors, you can give away a movie completely free online, but if watching stuff on the internets still isn’t your thing (what’re you, 80 years old?), you can hope that there’s an upcoming screening happening somewhere close to you, grandpa.

And if movies aren’t for you (seriously, who are you?), you can check out this article Gavin wrote about planting trees:


  1. daveg says:

    Thanks for that.

  2. Goonie Goo Goo says:

    Fighting forest fires is way cooler. Do that instead.

  3. luis says:

    This really shows both the beauty and strangeness of “white people.”

    Take a ridiculously mundane task, give it some deeper meaning and have it done in a beautiful setting and it suddenly becomes a higher calling.

  4. Bathtub Avenger says:

    What the fuck, didn’t these blissfully oblivious citizens enjoying a youthful life passage get the memo about how they are slaves to a communist health care system? And what about that the average illegally-hired Mexican laborer would kick Franz Otto’s ass for 30 years for 1/3 his pay? They should call Canuckistan Disneyland instead. Semi-rational countries are underprofitable and so they make my portfolio underperform. This whole healthy happiness shit needs to stop right now.

  5. mr.meat says:

    didn’t read/watch this yet but i wonder if anybody knows whether it’s feasible to culture giant redwoods (to full size) in ultimately gigantic petri dishes. Like if there’s some type of speed growth hormone that the scientists could inject and through constant care by tree nurses (for maybe 4 or 5 years), we could have a/some fully grown redwood(s). Of coarse the petri dishes might be more of a problem…well wait, no. If they could be produced then we could have them float out on the oceans.

  6. nobel tree-ologist says:

    ^ i think mr. meat may be onto something.

  7. nobel tree-ologist says:

    i meant to say mr meat must be on something. Shrooms? Mop n’ Glo?

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