Brett Nichols: Pathways 2 & Broadway
Brett Nichols is the epitome of the skateboarding underdog, with a vicarious passion for each and every aspect of the activity ranging from its technical practice (Brett himself having quite the history of some great skating under his belt) to every possible social and cultural extension of it; that’s including its relationship with the skated terrain, under the form of a certain fascination with architecture; its variety in form, resulting in the vast knowledge of even the most niche scenes worldwide and video initiatives such as Állatkert (not to mention a rather dedicated independent DVD collection); and its documentation, complete with a great filmmaker’s eye to boot. Brett’s general curiosity for a world that may be intimidating to navigate if it weren’t for the reassuring lens of skateboarding to try and better tame it especially shone in Pathways (2016), a skate video masterpiece relaying the best tendencies in independent skate filmmaking worldwide only for the author to spin those influences around his own way and into something fresh, unique and particularly (but not just) architecture-focused, with important attention to detail everywhere. To this day, we’re talking a must watch that is only relatively niche, very possibly, due to the difficult shape and form of skate media broadcasting altogether at the time, but is worth (re-)searching. Now, this year at Vladimir will be presented in person not just one, but the two new full-length films Brett has been cooking up ever since: Pathways 2, six years in the making and Broadway, seven and especially centered around the older architecture of the Bay Area, without stepping foot in San Francisco, primarily filmed in Oakland and the greater East Bay.