Alan Rickman's Skate Video Reviews | Simply Ranked

Plus: de Keyzer sparks outrage with perfect pants, knowing your limits, picklecels, and more.

Alan Rickman's Skate Video Reviews | Simply Ranked
The definitive weekly ranking and analysis of all the skateboarding and other online things that I cannot stop consuming and how they make me feel, personally.

Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity

Rank: 1
Mood: 🏃‍♀️ 🏃 🏃‍♂️

A surprising amount of people quote tweeting this are quick to point out that the national survey of American parks referenced in the above tweet came out in 2016—and also attack Max for supposedly being in the pocket of big pickleball, one person even lobbing the term “picklecel” in his direction—but despite the year it was released, it still contains a lot of interesting, relevant data.

Only 5.2% of the 174 parks surveyed at the time contained a skatepark, yet they were the third most-used feature behind only walking loops (345 total weekly person-hours) and pools (301). Among children and teens, skateparks were tied for first as the feature where the most weekly MVPA (moderate-to-vigorous physical activity) hours were spent. While I don’t have hate for the lonely tennis court (full disclosure: I’m currently trying to figure out my backhand), even back in 2016, this was a pretty clear indication that skateparks are a more effective use of public space and that there should be more of them.

Also, to note, the oft-forgotten park bleachers raked in an impressive 113 weekly person-hours. From my own teenage experience, I imagine most of that time was spent underneath them drinking beer.

Alan Rickman’s film skate video reviews

Rank: 1
Mood: 🎞

The late, great actor Alan Rickman was as astute observationally as he was captivating on screen. The Guardian recently released an excerpt from Madly, Deeply, a forthcoming collection of his meticulously kept diaries. Among them, Rickman’s bright and occasionally “withering” movie reviews are a fantastic insight into his tastes and character. Yet, the feelings within them are universal, and with some slight rejigging, also work surprisingly well as reviews for skate videos past and present.

The Piano, 1993 Bunny Hop, 2021

For half of it, I thought it was a slightly coldly accurate rendition of the script Yeah Right. But somehow it kicked in. Holly Hunter Carlisle Aikens was wonderful. They all were. An inspiration.

The Last Seduction, 1994 The Flat Earth, 2017

Great reviews, Linda Fiorentino Jamie Foy, etc, etc. Bodes well. But a deeply cynical, joyless, diminishing piece of work and we decide to leave. An espresso is more rewarding.

Good Will Hunting, 1997 Away Days, 2016

Ultimately a bit of a let down. Matt Damon Silas Baxter-Neal is a really fine actor skater, however. But the film feels as if it is looking for a sense of purpose, or that it has too many. And Robin Williams The Gonz is too sweet from the word go.

Trees Lounge, 1996 In Search of The Miraculous, 2010

Steve Buscemi’s Pontus Alv’s beautiful film. Complete rethink on the being-in-it-and-directing question, although it has such a central quietness you forget anybody is acting skating or directing something. V inspiring.

About a Boy, 2002 Palasonic, 2017

The kind of depressing wonderful English film where single mothers fashion moguls and Amnesty workers poets are ugly beautiful people in oversized sweaters.

Dang it, Bobby

Rank: Also 1
Mood: 😡

If you take one of skateboarding’s most technical, stylish, and powerful practitioners and pair them with one of skateboarding’s most gifted videographers and editors, chances are the result will be pleasing. •BOBBY, from Bobby de Keyzer and Ben Chadourne is just that. The skateboarding is precise and otherworldly. Paris is a backdrop that offers its character in full. And all of that is captured and held together with a soundtrack that adds moments of emotional weight without tipping the whole thing over.

Then there are the pants.

As a person currently, if not perpetually, stuck in a state of crisis over finding and maintaining a solid supply of pants that not only look good but skate well, this video part required multiple viewings. For the first watch, I was wholly focused on the pants. The variety of colours and materials, the relaxed but not overly-baggy fit, how the top half of whatever de Keyzer wore paired so well with the bottom. The second watch was the same. I stopped halfway through to google de Keyzer’s clothing brand Faces of Another and immediately closed the tab as if I’d been threatened by malware once I spotted the prices.

This led me into the semi-regular wormhole of looking for pants online, which is a particularly dangerous place to be because I already have pants. Lots of them. But for some reason, they’re never just right. There’s this constant, prodding feeling that there’s a new, better-fitting pair around the corner. Maybe in a new colour, with a bit more stretch. I’ve tried to stop this nibbling at the back of my brain for the sake of my wallet and body image, but it’s difficult. So while I’m grateful to de Keyzer for the stunning showcase of on-board ability, the least he could do is drop a detailed, timestamped breakdown of every pair of pants worn in •BOBBY along with a coupon code or two.

No clips, just vibes

Rank: 1 again!
Mood: 🌞

Over the weekend, a friend and I went out street skating. The goal was to film. To capture tricks on whatever spots might allow. None did. Our attempts were considered and swiftly rejected by an unforgiving cityscape. Still, it was a beautiful day. We drove. Walked. Rolled. Felt the sun. Contemplated concrete with a seriousness that we all assume appears strange and naive to the passerby.

At one spot—a steep hill, up a crusty curb to a steeper bank—a man watched me struggle from a distance. I couldn’t calculate the angle required. My legs loose in an unhelpful way. Gelatine. As I resigned myself to failure, the man approached and asked if he could take a photo of me “playing,” saying that he’d seen me here before (he hadn’t). I told him I was done playing, and he asked if he could take a photo the next time I was here. Sure, I said, wondering if, for this man, I was every skateboarder who came here to ogle asphalt, to suffer and frolic. Our shared wonder and agony enough to make our features blur.

As the day reached its end, we lounged in front of a sculpture we’d deemed skateable—just not for us at that moment. So instead, we drank our respective hard seltzers and talked about what spots we wanted to hit next weekend. It was a beautiful day.

No clips, just vibes: addendum

Rank: 2, but a good showing
Mood: 🗡️

Sure, there’s something to be said for having unbridled, unending confidence in yourself that you’re able to wield like a sabre at every skate spot you go to. It can help you cut through obstacles with ease or lead you to overreach and smash yourself off of them; your person a constant, wincing puddle on the ground. But you know what’s also good sometimes? Honesty. It’s okay to know that you might not have shit for the spot, but you’ll still try anyways. Maybe. If you feel like it.

Something to consider: Donating to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society for Orange Shirt Day | National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Good thing: Jeremy Klemin’s essay in the New York Times about skateboarding, disability, and public space.

Another good thing: The pants on this giant phantom jellyfish.

Until next week… allow your imagination space to play. Luxuriate in a daydream. Paint a picture of the mind—anything you want to create can be, your palette limitless. NBA pre-season has begun, which means we’re almost at the start of the regular season, your fantasy league team draft mere weeks away.