Creativity in curb sides. Soul in swell. Might in motion. Skating and surfing are internationally represented, culture-blurring sports, but there’s a point of convergence. You’ll find it in every private, knee-skinned, t-shirt torn moment. In every heart-in-mouth duck dive. Defiance. Expression. Joie de vivre.
Our studio recently played host to a micro film festival of slide culture, as we worked through armfuls of surf and skate films for a feature in the new Kodachrome magazine (out soon) and fed our creativity in the process. Wheels whirred. Boards slammed. Fibreglass ones rip-ripped and skittered over the water.
What we found was a community of cascading colours. Some in public, brash and imposing. Some in the wee hours, hidden away. All of them feisty and passion-ripe. As it happens, many of them were #shotonfilm, too.
The result of an innocuous pile of metal tubing, a handy skater and a filmmaker who thinks about things in a way you don’t.
Fred Mortagne is no small name in skating. Here, he takes us back to a classical age; a time when art whispered, inferred, suggested. In this stalling, scrapbook edit, we see the human form flashing by in a geometric, industrial landscape. And my my, if it doesn’t do it in style.
Make no mistake. This is a surf film. Sepia tones, rushing water, long, wistful piano notes and sitar drones. Cinematic shots finally break away to the first glimpse of surfing. It’s almost 15 minutes long and, although the slow-motion sequences gives us viewers the conspiratorial glimpses we crave, it’s featured in this roundup for one specific reason. Style.
To quote the YouTube comment: “Rainbow fish soul arch!”
Skip straight to 8 minutes and 17 seconds if you don’t have time to catch the whole thing (although we recommend carving out some time for that too, of course).
Cuatro Sueños Pequeños
Let’s talk about rhythm. The ebb and flow of action and inaction. Thomas Campbell’s Cuatro… (Four Small Dreams) meanders through forests, impossibly smooth highways and, for a few unsettling seconds, into the drink. Then you get to the sucker punch. It’ll take you over a minute to see just how well Javier Mendizabal can skate. It’s worth the wait.
Louisa Menke: Colorblind
“What did you do before television was invented?” Louisa Menke gets it done in the way we remember from the 1990s: improvisation, guts (with falls to prove it), fisheyes, grainy footage and slightly dodgy special effects. Street skating pure and simple. As a photographer, there’s little doubt she had something to say about the filming too.
Light Therapy comes over as a big budget feature film. But the steady soundtrack and dream sequence landscapes keep it grounded, which is more than you can say for the surfers, who pull off some impressive airs throughout this short film.
You’ll have to scroll to get through a chunky list of awards and nominations to get to the comments.