photos courtesy of Seeking Nirvana
Seeking Nirvana, though essentially a ski film series, is the kind of project that helps win the argument that NOW is a helluva good time to be alive. Many folks (at least the ones living examined lives) have seen through the veneer of mindless consumption, mass produced crapola, and all-inclusive travel packages. No need to toss your iPhone out the rickshaw and live in a grass hut (though that’s cool, too). Rather, we’re living in a time of choice, a time of choosing which rad, lightweight tech devices we want to take on old-school human/wind/horse-powered adventures and voyages with a couple of our closest friends. Think: yellowed analog maps, brass compasses, iPhones, hemp sails, axes, Vimeo, beards, brass&rosewood telescoping spyglasses, Armada Skis, GoPros…you get the idea.
This is exactly the vibe Riley Leboe, Matt Margetts, Joe Schuster, and Mike Henitiuk have brought to Seeking Nirvana – adhering to the wisdom of the late Doug Tompkins – “Sometimes progress is turning around and taking a step forward.” Sure, they use crazy digital cameras and GoPros and editing software, but they never let the process bog them down and get in the way of adventure and discovery. The series, like Bob Dylan’s music, feels old and new at the same time. They pay their cinematic dues with subtle nods to the likes of Wes Anderson, Stanley Kubrick, and Warren Miller – all while maintaining a style completely their own.
Production time, from shoots to finished product, can be counted in months, sometimes weeks. This is a testament to the crew’s desire to share their art and talent with viewers in the most direct and hassle-free way. And their speedy turnaround doesn’t mean they are delivering a poor product – they’ve received multiple Vimeo Staff Pick Awards and stellar reviews in Powder Magazine.
So kick back in your hammock, your couch, your boat, on the chairlift, and lose yourself in this “Series of Strange Adventures.” Let the Sam Elliot-esque voiceover warm you like whisky, inhale the snow-scented sea off Vancouver, skateboard down the alleys of Chile, make moonlight turns in celestial powder, feel the nautical rope rub your hands raw…and be happy that you are alive today.