If you look hard enough at this photo, you’ll see someone in yellow ski pants climbing what appears to be a concave piece of cliff to the top of Le Croix (“The Cross”) up at La Balme in La Clusaz. That’s local hero Candide Thovex. He climbed to the top with his skis and poles, then cruised down, making the descent look easy. It’s not.
Candide has been to lots of places around the globe to introduce his film, which talks about how he grew up loving moguls, then adapted traditional ski jumping into his own style, becoming the World Champion Freestyle Skier, breaking his back on Big Bertha (a jump at La Balme built each year for the Candide Invitiational), recovering, and becoming the World Champion Freeride Champion just two years later. It’s an interesting and inspirational story, with lots of La Clusaz moments.
After months of introducing his film in different countries and cities, Candide returned to his hometown, where La Clusaz aired the film for free on two separate nights. This is a guy who is pretty famous around the world, and hoards of locals and tourists lined up to watch his film. I was in the crowd, although I’d already seen the film on DVD. The mountain shots are massive, and a big screen is best for viewing!
The film was great, but the kids were pretty entertaining too. Candide was there to introduce the film in his usual down-to-earth way. He then mentioned the giveaways, producing hats, t-shirts, a helmet and a few other goodies. The front of the cinema became a gaggle of kids running around saying “cadeau!” (“gift”) and demanding the goodies. Candide seemed to think it was pretty entertaining too, throwing items into the crowd with a big smile on his face.
But back to the film. If you get a chance to see Few Words on the big screen, take it. The filming is truly beautiful, and the talent and ability of that French man simply enhances it further.