Today, I did the same thing I do every working day: I woke up (slightly earlier than I’d have liked), ate a quick but nutritious breakfast, and went to work. Some 9 hours later I left the lab, grabbed my skateboard and shoes from the boot of my car, and went for a skate. These after-work skates clear my head like nothing else can; it’s me and the board, and nothing else – not that I have a choice, if I want to stay on my feet anyway… It’s a ritual that has quickly become essential. I do it everyday after work, come what may – I’ve skated in the pouring rain, on ice, and in near total darkness amongst other potential hindrances. Today I worked up such a sweat that I soon found myself wearing only the t-shirt I had on under my work clothes, despite it being a nippy 5°C.
Sometimes my session alone isn’t enough to satisfy my skateboarding needs, however, and today was one of those days. The cure today came in the form of Polar Skate Co.’s I like it here in my mind. Don’t wake me this time. The movie (which you can watch in its entirety here: https://polarskateco.com/theatre/ – though I own a physical copy nevertheless, worth owning [in my opinion anyway] for its packaging’s aesthetic alone) is a genuinely unique project work of art.
As much an art film as it is a skate video, Pontus Alv’s brainchild mixes early avant-garde (especially surrealist/dada) cinema, cartoons, and artistic shots of landscapes – amongst other tidbits – with the skating itself. The whole project is gloriously lo-fi, combining aged-looking grainy shots (in both black-and-white and colour) and higher quality shots (after all, this is in fact a skate film made between 2011 and 2015) with visual effects and transitions reminiscent of 1970 TV (as is the project’s 4:3 aspect ratio). Even the soundtrack, between the occasional philosophical monologue, includes songs from some of the skate classics of yesteryear…
Oh, and the skating’s good too. Check it out.