TRH Bar, on Boulevard St. Laurent in Montreal has become the de facto location for ski movie premieres in the city. It is a quintessential spot: skate coping rims the dancefloor, the walls are painted fluorescent with layers of graffiti tags and the folks who run the place are seasoned hosts.
Over the years, Trash Bar has screened a lot of ski films, from the very amateur to the very peak of this industry’s creative output. On Thursday night it was a triple bill: Blank Collective’s Canvas, Burrrlapz: the Movie and Montreal upstarts Not So Local’s bad lands.
Around 11:30, after the bar had filled, spilled icecubes had been crunched underfoot, and the bowl in the back had been warmed with another night of claustrophobic skating, the lights went down on Canvas.
Two things struck me while watching: first, a young crowd itching for street skiing will not always comprehend the savagery of a backcountry flick; second, I think cinematic soundtracks are bad for ski movies. At times, these factors can reinforce one another. Still, Alexi Godbout and company put together a stellar film, and their tribute to Maxim Arsenault at the end is cause for reflection on the joy of true friends and the importance of safety heading into this new season.
Thursday was also the unofficial worldwide premiere of Burrrlapz: the Movie, which is amusing given the number of people in attendance who had heard the word Burrrlapz before. At one point Josh McSkimming laced a big switch 540 on screen while the entire crowd looked the other way at the man standing on the bar. I reckon Josh would have been stoked.
At another point, people were nodding in conversation as Essex Prescott grabbed Tindy on a nifty pillow line in Japan. And yet when Chicago’s September came on during a segment, the whole place broke out dancing in the glow of the kids on screen. If you’re young enough not to fear litigation, score your movie with pop songs, rock songs and funk.
The main event in the eyes of the crowd was the latest from Not So Local. The crew represents a new generation of skiers emanating from the island of Montreal and they were ready to show off their product Thursday night. As a skier, to present your work to a room full of people, in front of all of your friends, is a special experience.
When it all comes together and the opening sequence rolls, those are your long nights, slams and stomped tricks on screen. So climb up the walls and holler until you can’t, because that’s worth getting stoked on. The scene inside Trash bar as LC Pilon's movie beamed from the projector was truly one to behold.
Like that, it was over. The place drained and we emptied out into the unseasonably warm November night. The view from here is that we’re all ready to go skiing. Any day now.