Keeshlife. Even seeing that name pop up in the video section is enough to get me stoked. In the words of Antti Ollila, they aren't "a team, production company or a project, just a group of homies who like to ski, film it and not take it too seriously". But the combination of creativity and technicality they possess is matched by only a select few in skiing. And while Keesh may not be a production company or a project, their first full movie drops tomorrow, right here on Newschoolers. I got an early look at the film a few weeks back and have been considering how to put my thoughts into words ever since.
When Antti first told me about the film he warned me not to "expect a big budget ultra HD epicness. We got the idea of making a movie so late that we didn't even try to look for any sponsors, so it's filmed and edited by ourselves". I took this to mean that it was filmed on a potato and randomly put together. But while true to his word, it isn't ultra HD, it's actually very clean and easy to watch. The skiing is placed front and center, no fancy editing, no insane heli/drone angles or super megamo slomo.
And what skiing it is! The whole project was filmed over about 60 days and it's 100% street and backcountry, so the fact that they have produced 25 minutes of seriously high quality skiing is a minor miracle in itself. But what sets Keesh apart for me is the range of styles within the crew. There's something for everyone in here with super gnarly spots, weird creative tricks and flawless style all on show. The fact that you have most likely never heard of at least two thirds of the skiers in the crew goes to show that you can still be unknown in skiing and nonetheless be fucked up good.
The crew all skate together in the summer and you can see the skateboarding influence throughout the movie with abundant gnarly drop ins and ollies over rails to high speed tight space ride aways etc. What's more, 5050s/5-0s/creepers (do we have a decision on what to call these yet?) will never be the same again. Lauri Kivari throws down at least four or five of the most insane instances of that trick ever done. Anttu Oikkonnen makes abundantly clear why ON3P have just added him to their team, hitting some of the largest spots ever hit on skis. And Antti, well if there was any doubt that he is one of the very best, there won't be after this. Every single segment has at least a couple of what the fuck moments. On which subject, the bails, holy fuck! Markus Fohr has potentially the scariest street bail I've ever seen and Pontus has pretty much an entire segment's worth. Oh and 'that rope from Pleasure' is back and all kinds of inconceivable things happen over it.
I wanted to avoid spoiling any surprises with this review but when Keeshlife drops tomorrow you should drop everything and watch it from start to finish. BE Inspired was the next level, the craziest thing I watched this year. But there were huge chunks of Keesh where similar feelings of disbelief were provoked, and that's about as high praise as it comes. Put simply it's a banger.