Early on in his career, Spike Jonze made a handful of short films with his skateboarding friends. Before I even knew who Spike was, I was watching his tiny movies that peppered the Girl and Chocolate videos. He'd have Rick Howard bump his head on a car trunk in the city and suddenly find himself in the middle of the wilderness. And what do you do when you wake up surrounded by jungle flora? Well you skate it, of course. You grind fallen logs. You kickflip over turtles.
Looks like Spike hasn't left skateboarding completely in the wake of Fame. He returns with “Fully Flared“, a video he did for Lakai Limited, a shoe company. LIke every skateboard video, a company puts up the money (Lakai, in this case) so that all the little kids who later watch it will think that the reason they can't nollie over their sister is because they don't have a pair of Lakai skate shoes. So, yes, it's a 1.5-hour shoe commercial, but it's brilliant and beautiful, the best shoe commercial I've every seen, and the snippets directed by Spike Jonze are nuggets of gold. Skateboarders falling and shattering like glass. Skateboarders grinding exploding walls. Skateboarders shooting laser beams out of their eyes and melting a handrail. Magical realism for your skate park.
Come watch. It's tonight at 8pm, at the Aalto Lounge (SE 34th and Belmont). And it's absolutely free.