The Bunch is not a single, clearly defined crew, they don’t fit the mould. “That’s not the important part” Par Hagglund explained to me. “It’s funny how people... every interview I’ve ever done is like ‘Who are in the bunch?’” That’s missing the point, he said. “It’s just: The Bunch. Weird people attract weird people. People we like, we hang with, and we ski with them. That’s how we work.” The formula is simple, and it breeds a rare creativity. The Bunch’s offerings, including last year’s Finesse, are creative in a way that is weird, that messes with traditional definitions of style. Their work shapes the boundaries of freeskiing’s potential. Their new movie, FINITO was released yesterday.
Tobias Sedlacek | P. Douglas Kallsbo
As the title suggests, FINITO is the Bunch’s final full length movie. The inflexibility of putting together a full feature runs in contrast to the crew’s spontaneity. “We just wanna fucking get out there and try to do something else,” said Hagglund. Before they move on, though, the Bunch has challenged the norm one last time.
P. Douglas Kallsbo
The movie opens gradually, with shots of riders’ boots and skis, their movements and facial expressions. The window is cropped, only showing one aspect of the whole shot. Slowly, it opens to fill the frame until Maximillian Smith shreds, no poles, down a wind lip somewhere above the Arctic Circle. He is suddenly tiny in front of the huge frozen landscape, just one aspect of the entire scene. Each little window in the introduction – feet, arms, eyes – reveals the bigger picture, suggests that skiing is a matter of everything happening together.
LSM | P. Peyben
Peyben | P. Maria Marsa
There are no labeled segments in FINITO. None of the skiers are named when they appear, and it’s intentional. The Bunch didn’t want to make a movie that was “segments on segments on segments,” they were looking in the other direction. Feeling is a common discussion in skiing. For a lot of people, the feelings that skiing brings (read: joy, possibility, frustration, celebration) are what keep them coming back. In FINITO, the focus is shifted from the location, the individual skier, to the feeling that underwrites the shot.
LSM | P. Douglas Kallsbo
P. Douglas Kallsbo
The result is a movie that doesn’t feel like your average ski flick. “I think our way of filming, and doing stuff – not shooting RED cameras or fs700s – is just, like, bringing it closer to actual skiers” said Hagglund. “Being out in the shitty street with like a HVX or something, that’s something anyone can do.” Although not just anyone can get lip 270 onto a quad kink rail like the Bunch can. We all get the feeling though, and Hagglund confirmed: “As long as people feel something, then we did something right.”
Magnus Graner | P. Peyben
I think what he says is true. I think that in FINITO the Bunch capture something that has been stepped over by many people making ski movies. They turned the spotlight away from the guy in the shot and shone it instead on the million little things that make stomping a trick feel so damn good. Watching the closing minutes of the movie was something like a celebration. I couldn’t remember the last time I watched a ski movie that ended in this crashing triumphant crescendo that really felt like the people who made it, meant it. And what’s more, I wanted to stand there with them and shout and clap along to the finale. You can’t fake that.
Douglas Kallsbo | P. Benedicte
P. Douglas Kallsbo
So now it’s on to the next for the Bunch. Almost all the crew is going to India, in search of new heights and new levels of creative weirdness. And they’ll be hosting Creation Nation again, in Bjornrike. FINITO marks the end of a three-year era but also signals the beginning of many new chapters of skiing. “Shoutout,” said Hagglund, “to the people actually reading the credits. Cause it’s an important part of the movie. It’s what made the movie; without all those people we would have never gotten to where we are, you know?”