Few Words, 2012.
Directed by Matt Pain.
Starring Candide Thovex.
A fresh insight into the illustrious career (and personality) of French Ski Legend Candide Thovex, from his triple gold X Games success to a major back injury and resulting World Freeride Championship glory.
It’s been a long time coming. Two years, to be precise. Two years and over a thousand hours of footage come together to create the much anticipated feature documentary spanning ski legend Candide Thovex’s life and career thus far – Few Words. Winner of three X Games Gold medals, and World Freeride champion in 2010 (despite breaking his back in 2007), Thovex was finally granted his own movie courtesy of long time sponsor – Quiksilver.
There has been a certain anticipation building up to the release of Few Words. Six months previously a teaser trailer swarmed the Internet. The soundtrack was sober, the footage was unreal and the cinematography was stunning. This was the skier’s ‘Art of Flight’.
From the offset Few Words certainly looks the part. The vast mountainous forests of British Colombia roll on as a camera pans the snow-laden landscape with breathtakingly stunning views. Director Matt Pain combines thought provoking cinematography and a penchant for slow motion action to add to the ‘wow’ factor.
With aesthetic success, it is in the action however where Few Words stutters in delivery. As an exhilarating opening sequence calms into generics of documentary filmmaking, skiing sequences become too few and far between. Though what action we get is ‘epic’ in its own right: jumping ‘Chad’s Gap’, extreme big mountain skiing, slicing off a snowman’s head with the edge of a ski whilst in the air to name but a few eye widening scenes; the sombre use of a soundtrack along with a consistent ‘sandwiching’ of interviews and archive footage fails to pack a punch. There is too much talking, too much describing, too little momentum and not enough avalanches. From the powerhouse of a trailer, Few Words just doesn’t seem to step up to the mark. It becomes quickly apparent that this is quite simply not The Art of Flight.
With a world tour of premieres spanning from Europe to Canada, Thovex is hitting his audiences hard. Such a false advertisement in the trailer however may leave viewers disconcerted, as well as feeling a little cheated. To consider Few Words as a documentary, I can only congratulate. The viewer is taken on an intriguing journey tale of a legend that most ski enthusiasts would feel privileged to be a part of. It is however quite important to state that this is not a ‘Ski Movie’.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★