I have an old friend, Mark Hicks, who I haven’t seen since we were at University together some time ago. A bunch of us used his families place in Pembrokeshire to defrost after surfing cold, blustery Fresh West in the wintertime. I remember sketchy paddles, beers and trips into Tenby to rent questionable videos.
Back then, his Dad shaped surfboards – these days, Mark is known to carve out the odd strange craft from time to time, including a boat – he recently spent 6 months floating around the Med after sailing out of Tenby, entrusting his self and Mrs Hicks to the buoyancy of his own workmanship.
Luckily for me, Mark also likes to drop onto the Hickory Nines page now and then. After seeing my previous mountain post, he thought necessary to steer my attention toward a production company based out of Colorado (also Japan) called Sweetgrass, who are making some mind-blowing, mountain backcountry-based films.
Filled with interesting, subjective narratives; formidable, magnificent backdrops and soulful, considerate, sometimes ethereal camera work, they are premium pieces of cinematic art. In Mark’s own words on the subject of the film Signatures (trailer below): “It’s basically a mountain-soul-surfing movie for those of us who lean towards wide swallow tails, wooden fins and trimming high on pointbreak waves. Oh, it also has a very, very good soundtrack.”
Since being introduced to them a few weeks ago, they’ve come out with the preview of their fourth movie – Valhalla. As a trailer, it looks sublime. The film is released by Patagonia next Autumn. We’ll be sure to update you then.
These three tasters warrant your unwavering attention. Grab a mince pie (or suitably festive alternative), something to drink that’s at least 5% proof, put your feet up and enjoy. And if you dig them as much as I did, the full movies of Signatures and Solitaire are both available to buy via the Sweetgrass website, here.
As a small aside before you do, I just want to make a brief mention of thanks to all our guests we’ve had over the course of the year: a very eclectic, polite and soulful bunch. No doubt some of them will be back. Also, to all who send in suggestions of content, such as Mark – you’ve opened my eyes to some pretty amazing work (see the trailers below…)
A warm thank you as well to all of you who check back here regularly and, on a personal note from myself, a very sincere thank you to the rest of the team, who have helped this site find it’s natural groove.
Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to you all x
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