GENERAL // 01 SEP 2022
MEDIA REVIEW FALL 22
Looking for something to watch or read? Here’s some pieces I enjoyed over these last 3 months that I think you’ll like too!
This book works as both a heartfelt love letter and harsh critique of ski culture from Heather Hansman. Traveling to different ski communities, Hansman is guided by a single driving question: is it still possible to be a ski bum? Framed through her personal experiences in her pursuit of an answer, Hansman takes a deep dive into the history of ski culture.
I personally learned a lot while reading Powder Days. As someone who didn’t grow up immersed in ski culture, this novel provided a solid foundation of knowledge of the ski industry, towns, and icons. I also felt that Hansman struck a nice balance between her passion for skiing and an objective perspective on the darker sides of skiing. Overall an incredibly informative and relatable read.
“Skiing, at its simplest, is the feeling of slipping past gravity. Skiers chase snow and freedom and wildness, at the expense of a lot of other things. I’m still trying to understand how something so ephemeral can shape your whole life.”
“Or maybe you’re compelled to push harder and farther into the mountains, even in the face of trauma and loss, because your body is the one thing you can control. That churn of adrenaline is exhausting, but you—we, because I do it, too—still call it living the dream, even when it’s destructive.”
A devastatingly beautiful film that explores both the grieving process and self-actualization, Ride Your Wave will make you tear up, smile, and stoked to surf. Directed by Masaaki Yuasa, the story follows 19-year-old surfer Hinako Mukaimizu, who recently moved towns to attend college and surf. Clumsy and unsure in daily life, Hinako radiates confidence in the waves and on her board, but after a tragic loss she loses her footing both on land and in the water. Following Hinako on her healing journey, we watch her both recover from her trauma and self-actualize.
The way Yuasa animates water is captivating and it is easy to tell that lots of love and care went into animating the surfing. There is one paddling scene in particular that was a little too relatable and had me cackling. This movie is cloyingly sweet, and sentimental, sometimes teetering on the edge of too much. Still, Ride Your Wave manages to be a feel-good movie that will charm you with its lively animation and heart-warming story.
Following non-binary climber Lor Sabourin as they project a five-pitch 5.13+ trad line, They/Them is a climbing documentary about so much more than climbing. Using the trials and tribulations of their efforts on the route as a narrative vehicle, we follow Sabourin both up the wall and through their journey to understanding and accepting their gender and the impact that process still has on them today. Acutely self-aware, Sabourin’s mindset on fear, perseverance, and what it means to be successful will change the way you approach challenges, both on and off the wall.
Packed with so many valuable life lessons, there was lots to think about after the credits rolled. Sabourin is incredibly open in this film, sharing their internal and external struggles as a trans person. Touching on some heavy topics (check trigger warnings before watching this film), the weight of even the heaviest situation is lifted by Sabourin’s patience and kindness to themself on the wall. In the end, the sense of victory in this film doesn’t hinge on if Sabourin sends the climb, it instead stems from the pride of seeing their growth as a human-being.
Released in Spring 2022, Ruining Skateboarding is a monumental milestone for the queer skate community. Produced by There Skateboards, this feature length skate film is unapologetically queer from start to end. The soundtrack is killer through the each part, fitting the skater’s aesthetics perfectly. This along with the Super 8 film and animations from Jeff Cheung keeps the whole piece feeling cohesive and, most importantly, fun.
With parts from Marbie, Myles De Courcy, Leo Bañuelos, and many more, this film is packed with awesome skating. Whether it’s Kat Sy’s goofy yet creative style, or how Chandler Burton charges forward into heavy terrain, you’ll come away from this film inspired and ready to jump on your board to try something new.