FRESHtival is over and the ski season is starting, but we didn’t get the usual face-to-face hangouts, so let’s take the time now to chat ski movies!
There are so many ski films out there these days it’s mind-boggling. It makes you wonder, "Why are ski films so important to us?" Do passionate swimmers watch Youtube clips of swimming at work or school when no one is looking? Or is the escapism we all seek in skiing unique and a natural theme for visual mini-escapes? All we know is that everyone needs a little bit of escape from things these days!
Let’s start with 20 minutes of dreamy escapism from Eric Pollard.Drawn From Here is a beautiful film and just moody enough to draw you in. The art and ski design snippets are intriguing, but it’s the skiing that will keep you watching. There are powder sequences to make you drool, destinations to make you dream, and creative lines skied with a style that’s all Pollard. The slash turns he leans in to will definitely inspire you next time you click in.
Also from the Line Skis family, comes a equally unique film, Left Right Left by Rob Heule. At FRESH, we admit we are a bit biased, but we definitely recommend this romp through our local mountains and river ways. So fun. So Albertan. So unique. So stoked!
Did you know that humans can gain muscle memory that improves their performance just by watching others? So yes, to some small degree, you can get better just by watching skiers who are better than you. The skiers in these next movies are definitely that!
Follow the Forecast by Blank Collective is 40 minutes of rowdy ski action with just enough laughs, faceshots, and travel to keep you from being going numb to the gnar. This is a classic action-first ski movie and the action is as good as it gets. There's a lot of Western Canadian content as the crew hunts powder, pillows and big air in towns and mountain ranges that many Calgarians will have visited.
There are new jaw-dropping displays of talent every year. This year you can check out Sammy Carlson’s Resilience to witness some state-of-the-art freeskiing, or you can follow Candide Thovex on Instagram. He doesn’t post much but almost every clip he releases makes the freeski world stop and freak out. He is seemingly on his own level and it’s beyond everyone else. We just wish there was more content he put out every year. If you haven’t before, start with his 2012 feature, Few Words.
How about some historical perspective and nostalgic laughs?
The Blizzard of Ahhs is perhaps the most classic of the classic ski films. It motivated an entire generation to travel to the Alps or dropout and live the ski bum dream where ever they were. In short, it ruined many lives, but if you haven’t ever watched it, you aren’t a real skier.
If you want a trippier, crazier, more obscure cult classic, check out Apocalypse Snow. There’s a plot but you don’t need to know it. Just sit back and enjoy the bright coloured, matching one-piece suits, the monoskis, the Zorb balls, the chase scenes, the monsters. Just take a look. You have never seen a more 80’s, more French movie. It’s amazing!
Let's bring it back down to reality after that fantastical flight.
A way more current film that you’ll want to check our is Motherload. It’s not free online, but for $17 you can have access to a lineup of good films from the Vancouver International Mountain Film Fest including this one from the Lynch Sisters (Zoya and Izzy - both originally from Calgary). It’s a bit of a tear-jerker and way more honest than most ski films. It dives into single parenting, loss, and skiing with kids. We highly recommend it when you are ready for a bit more emotion in you ski viewing.
Let's bring it back to the city with a couple of urban edits.
You’ve seen it before, but take five minutes to enjoy the JP Auclair street segment from Sherpa Cinema’s All.I.Canagain. It went viral like very few other ski edits have and it still stands apart from all the copycats by being the most fun ever captured in an urban ski segment. JP was a legend and friend of the shop. It makes us happy every time we watch it again!
If you are looking for something a little more current that will not just get you motivated to hit the streets of Calgary, but also show you the outer limits of what’s possible, start with the World of X Games Real Ski 2020. Then hit the streets of Cowtown and find your own spots!
That's our lesson in freeskiing for today kids. Now go mimic the best of what you've watched and maybe have a friend film it for the rest of us to enjoy!