What We’re Watching — November, 2019

Update 11.28.19: A bunch of great videos have been released since we first posted this roundup, so I’ve added several new films and edits. And stay tuned next week, cause the first week of December is already looking like it’ll be a good one when it comes to free ski movies…

Last month I said that October was one of the best times for ski media, but November has been giving it a good run for its money. We’ve got full, free movie releases, new episodes of classic series, more season edits, and several excellent all-female videos. Oh, and I snuck one non-skiing video in, just cause it’s so dang good.

As always, please let me know about any other films, edits, etc. that you’ve liked, and stay tuned for updates to this post since I know of several great films that are going to be released in the next week or so.

Michelle Parker — “Originate”

I’ve talked about Michelle Parker’s “Originate” series in the past, and this year she’s already published three new episodes for season 2. They cover everything from ripping around Michelle’s backyard of Lake Tahoe with Danny Davis, Brock Crouch and Red Gerard; to shooting photos in Jackson Hold with Aaron Blatt, Mark Carter, Alex Yoder, and Nick Russell; to what’s probably my favorite episode so far: the new women’s mtb freeride event, Formation, where a bunch of the world’s best female mountain bikers built and rode lines at an old Rampage site.

Cody Townsend & Jeremy Jones — ”Peak Obsession”

This week’s episode of Cody Townsend’s “The Fifty Project” is a two-for-one, and features legendary snowboarder Jeremy Jones. Cody, Jeremy, and filmer Bjarne Salen venture to Alaska to ride two massive, iconic peaks: Meteorite Mountain and Pontoon Peak. As you’ve become accustomed to if you’ve been keeping up with The Fifty Project, this extra-long episode features plenty of suffering, bushwhacking (with Cody’s new machete, the “Zombie Slasher”), and frigid creek crossings. But they also managed to find some pretty good conditions which, combined with filming assistance from TGR, made for an excellent episode. And what I really love about The Fifty Project is how much of an emphasis Cody and Bjarne put on telling the story of not only the amazing lines they get to ride, but also the massive amounts of preparation and constant risk evaluation that goes into these endeavors. There’s a lot of not-super-sexy stuff that needs to be done to ride these lines and actually make it home at the end, and I’m very glad that they’ve decided to showcase that.

Sam Kuch & MSP Films — ”Sam Kuch Segment from Return to Send’er”

It’s crazy to think that, just a couple years ago, Sam Kuch was basically unknown outside of the small community of Nelson, BC. But after he linked up with Stan Rey, Anna Segal, ABM, & Mike Riddle for the Whitewater episode of “Beyond the Powder Highway,” he won the “Discovery of the Year” award at iF3 — and for good reason.

When Moment’s Tyler Curle was in Crested Butte a few weeks ago, we got to talking about Sam Kuch and Tyler was equally blown away as I was, with the punchline of our conversation being “he can basically throw a 7 off anything.” Sam proved that and more in his highlight reel from MSP’s film, Return to Send’er, and I can’t wait to see more from Sam over the coming years.

Bobby Brown — “Dynamic Medium”

We can’t embed this video here, but you should head to RedBull TV and watch it. This is Bobby’s passion project, initiated when he got injured in a slopestyle competition. Bobby, with the help of his brother / filmer, Peter Brown, head all over the western US to build some ridiculously big backcountry booters, ski some pow, and mix in a few park shoots. As you’d expect from Red Bull, GoPro, and Peter Brown, the filming and editing is all very clean and well done, and Bobby once again proves himself as one of the best backcountry freestyle skiers in the world right now. Highlight for me: the extremely long, single-shot follow-cam at Winter Park.

Hugo Burvall & Bjorn Eklund — ”Phantom Brickworks”

It’s rare that I find myself calling solo projects “a work of art,” but I can’t come up with a better way to describe Hugo Burvall’s “Phantom Brickworks.” Hugo’s skiing speaks for itself, but Bjorn Eklund’s filming and editing turns it into something much more than just skiing. This is another one of my favorites from this year, and if it leaves you wanting more from Hugo, just go and watch Hugo’s SLVSH games with Emil Granbom. They’re insane.

Jeremy Pancras — ”Keep It Real”

Jeremy Pancras’s film last year, “Would You,” was one of my favorites for its combination of phenomenal skiing and storytelling, and his film this year moves more toward the storytelling side of that spectrum, though there’s plenty of amazing riding in between. Last year Jeremy traveled around the world to ride and talk with a diverse cast of characters within the snowsports industry, including Henrik Harlaut, Jacob Wester, Jake Carney, Noah Albaladejo, and more. Each person offers their take on why they do what they do, and Jeremy fills all the gaps with some excellent skiing and riding from Quebec to Andorra to Chamonix to Japan and beyond.

Alex Beaulieu-Marchand — “Avenue”

For some reason, I’ve always thought of ABM as a comp skier, but his X Games Real Ski urban edit (and numerous appearances in films in the past that I somehow forgot about) proved that he’s far more than just some guy who can throw triples on perfectly sculpted jumps. “Avenue” documents the filming process of his Real Ski segment, and like Phil Casabon’s “En Particulier,” the process shown is straight-up brutal. If you’ve ever thought of urban skiing as some “less than” version of skiing, you should definitely watch “Avenue” and “En Particulier.” ABM’s segment is full of ridiculous tricks that have no right being thrown on the features he uses, and at least for me, it showed off a side of ABM with which I was not familiar.

Strictly — ”Welcome”

Do yourself a favor: set aside 36 minutes of your day, grab your beverage and snacks of choice, some headphones or a big speaker, and watch this film.

Last year Strictly set the bar very high for themselves with “Strictly Business,” and they’ve returned with my favorite movie of the year so far, “Welcome.” Last year I praised them for creating a film with big-studio-level quality without losing the relatable nature of a lower-budget “just skiing with your friends” film. Somehow, they managed to improve upon both of those aspects with “Welcome.” The filming is insanely good, so is the editing, and so is the skiing. While many of the folks in “Welcome” might not be familiar to you, they should be. I really can’t say enough good things about Strictly and “Welcome.” It’s an amazing film, and I cannot wait to see what Strictly comes up with this season.

Faction — ”THE COLLECTIVE: X Women’s Segment”

Faction currently has one of the most stacked women’s teams in the world right now, and last year they got most of their crew together to film a full part for Faction’s movie, “THE COLLECTIVE.” Faction just released said part, and it’s excellent. Featuring Kelly Sildaru, Sarah Hoefflin, Mathilde Gremaud, Giulia Tanno, Caroline Claire & Margaux Hackett and filmed / edited by one of my favorite directors, Etienne Mérel, this short-but-sweet segment is well worth a watch. To learn more about the crew and “THE COLLECTIVE” film, click here.

Alex Hall, Hunter Hess, & Owen Dahlberg — “MAGMA”

Alex Hall and Hunter Hess are busy guys. They spend a lot of their year competing and filming, with Alex in particular managing to bring home 2 X Games gold medals last year, and filming multiple parts in Faction’s team movie. Hunter seems to fall under many people’s radars, but he’s one of my favorite skiers to watch right now. Last summer, they headed up to the US Pacific Northwest to meet up with Owen Dahlberg and film a passion project with no big sponsors, custom parks, massive lines, etc. The result is “MAGMA,” and for me, it’s up there with “Welcome” when it comes to my favorite movies this year. Alex and Hunter spent a month building features around the backcountry of Mt. Hood, Mt. Bachelor, and South Sister, Owen beautifully documented it all, and the tricks they managed to throw down in that timespan are insane.

The Blondes — “2019 Season Edit”

“The Blondes” consist of Emily Childs, Janelle Yip, & Tonje Kvivik, who spend their time ripping around the steep faces, pillow lines, and deep snow of British Columbia. Their 2019 season edit showcases some excellent skiing on some seriously consequential lines, and it’s one of the better backcountry edits I’ve seen this year.

Dylan Siggers & Jake Strassman — “The Rounds”

Surprise! This isn’t a ski film, it’s a bike film. And it’s a really, really good one. You may recognize Dylan from our Blister Podcast and Jake from Line’s Traveling Circus series (see below). The two linked up to film a phenomenal bike edit, and while I’m now realizing that I sound like a broken record, it’s another one of my favorites. I think Dylan can make just about anything look stylish, and Jake’s filming and editing are a perfect match. From the streets of Fernie to their bike park to the beautiful trails surrounding the mountain town, this edit covers a huge range of terrain and conditions, yet it seamlessly blends together. I feel bad for the berms around Fernie…

Line Traveling Circus — ”Ep. 12.2 – Hard Tellin’ Not Knowin’”

Whenever Line drops a new Traveling Circus episode, I drop what I’m doing and watch it (don’t tell Jonathan…). Their most recent episode again takes us to the US East Coast, and features what you’ve come to expect from the Circus — creative tricks, wacky features, and plenty of laughs in between.

Tatum Monod — “Bad Guy”

Tatum Monod hasn’t been lucky when it comes to injuries, but last season she was finally healthy and back at it. Her edit with MSP, titled “Bad Guy,” reinforces her role as one of the best backcountry skiers out there. Big lines, deep snow, and while some might not like it, I think the combo of Tatum’s skiing with Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” is just about perfect. I’m super excited to see what Tatum accomplishes this season.

Yoke & Shane McFalls — ”A Shart Film”

As you might guess by the name, this film isn’t all that serious. But it is hilarious. There’s an Ian Compton puppet, hysterical long-arm steeze, and some actually really good skiing mixed throughout. Short story: I haven’t laughed this hard watching a ski edit in a long time.

Jesper Tjader — ”Unrailistic 2”

If you watched Jesper’s first “Unrailistic,” you’ll probably have an idea of what goes on with “Unrailistic 2.” Just when I thought he couldn’t do anything crazier on skis, Jesper releases this video. He’s one of the best rail skiers in the world, and this edit definitely showcases that. Few people in the world are capable of what Jesper (and fellow rail-guru Oystein Braaten) do in the Unrailistic series (who flips on and off an S rail, let alone one or the other????). I don’t want to give away all the tricks, so I’d just watch this one to see what the hype is about.

Legs of Steel — “121”

As you might have guessed by the name, athletes, and cover photo, “121” is partially a way to showcase Volkl’s new (and quite good) pow ski, the Revolt 121. But this is way more than some marketing video — it brings together some excellent skiers, including Markus Eder, Ahmet Dadali, Paddy Graham, Colter Hinchliffe, Tanner Rainville, Tom Ritsch, Fabio Studer, and more, and covers a variety of pow-filled terrain. You get dubs being thrown off backcountry booters, pure Japow face shots, and more.

Leo Brunel, Loris Cavalier, Camille Jalabert & Oscar Malet — “Hors Piste”

I haven’t seen a fully animated ski-related film in a while, and this one is just awesome. Apparently it’s already won 46 awards at various film festivals, and I see why. The short film documents two of the worst ski patrollers of all time, and their quest to get an injured skier (who was somehow upside down on the very top of a huge mountain) down to safety. You should definitely watch it, but for now, I’ll just say that things don’t exactly go according to plan for the characters involved…

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What We’re Watching — November, 2019, BLISTER
What We’re Watching — November, 2019, BLISTER

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