PHOTOSET: My first Macy’s parade. Nothing says America like 30 unopened packs of fake, cancer causing sweetener spilled on the ground and left in a puddle of coffee soaked trash.
So I lied. I didn’t write a full movie review at all, just some thoughts. Welp, writing isn’t an honest sport any more than road biking in the 90’s or 20-naughts. I wasn’t convinced what to think of Into The Mind until “Chapter 6: Into the Darkness”. After the four minutes and two seconds of that, I walked out.
That quick street skiing segment featuring JP Auclair and Tom Wallisch, which has spread like wildfire via electronic media over the past week, is nightmarish. I don’t mean the dated Justice track or the dark (ooooh, spooky!) spotlighting. I’m referring to the skiing it features, as a vision of the future of freeskiing. The tricks and presentation of the skiing are blander than the craft services food the athletes and uncountable crew feasted on during production in Calgary, AB. But forget about that, they ski through some trash! Skiing is, like, totally grimy, in an awesome Brooklyn (or Vancouver or Toronto!) way.
The segment is something the masses can understand because, haha, the skiing is harmless. It’s obscured and filmed dark because none of the skiing is worth watching—sometimes shadowy and obtuse is good, but when all it obscures is a couple 360s, missed grabs and the BANGER finishing 9-stair handrail, the quivering gloom is just a manifestation of being afraid or unworthy. It isn’t the brutal reality featured in other street segments from this year and it’s a weak presentation of the style and talent of Wallisch and Auclair.
Let’s not lie, it’s a great advertisement for Sherpas to get jobs—shoot for Visa, make a clip for Dunkin Donuts, the best footage some Coke-owned iced tea company could buy. I was going to say we should be more worried about this segment than about the Olympics, but you see, they made this for the Olympics, to take advantage of that groundswell. The tricks aren’t a worthy representation of the skiers’s talent, but the general public will never care. And gone is the environmental angle of JP’s All.I.Can street segment, replaced as far as I can tell with a “hire us for your commercial” yelp.
The cheap laugh is that the filmers and JP are Canadian, eh, so they ski across a hockey rink and Bertuzzi some motherfucker. My girlfriend chuckled, so I guess they succeeded at the whole, “make someone who doesn’t care fuck-all about skiing” part. Anyway, see you in Sochi (where we’ll be getting slow-mo, 1000 fps, 8k resolution landscape shots of the ski venues and and guy-in-the-sky action. Mom is gonna LOVE IT!)
So here’s my nightmare: 12 years from now, freeskiing is a novelty event, still in the Olympics, but, like aerials and moguls, with no passionate fans. So pass on by and embrace the amazing skiing out there right now. Buy The Wallisch Project, watch Ahmet’s Level 1 segment, cringe your way through Mutiny's gnarly reality, queue up Wreckalections or spend your time breaking down any of the other great street skiing edits—all available online now. Watch All.I.Can. I still believe it changed ski moviemaking (in a great way). The big mountain guys rip, the story has heart and JP’s street segment is among the best in the history of our sport. And finally, the next time you can, go skiing and think about our sport. Be true to it. If you’re inspired, take a photo, make a video or write a story about it. Skiers deserve that.