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Trailer released for Thom's A Fistful of Key

Arts News: World Ski and Snowboard Festival brings artist and ski maker together



The movie trailer has been released for A Fistful of Key, a labour-of-love, shoestring western shot by late artist and filmmaker Chili Thom and 20 of his closest friends.

The film was made this past fall in Utah. Thom passed away in November following a 14-month-long battle against cancer.

"Making it was a trip. There were six motorhomes and over 20 people rushing around Utah to iconic western locations Chili had researched online, but never been to," says Thom's co-conspirator Feet Banks.

"Due to this, and the fact that he had an idea but no firm script, the shooting was pretty loose. We got lucky a bunch of times with great backdrops or super legit-looking old buildings and stuff."

The cowboys would do their own crazy stunt falls, and the ladies ran around the desert in corsets and full western dresses for hours at a time, he says.

Banks and Thom discussed how he wanted the film to look.

"We ended up with a film about a lone hero, a brothel inspector, on the hunt for a gang that has been tormenting a group of prostitutes. There's a shootout, our hero takes a bullet, and in the end he rides off into the sunset in Monument Valley," Banks says.

"Only Chili could have assembled that many incredible people to do what we did with 100-per-cent support and love — and it worked."

Banks hopes to have a feature ready for screening at Thom's retrospective show of his art, which is taking place at the Audain Art Museum in June.

Banks calls Thom "one of the most fearlessly creative people I've every met," adding: "A Fistful of Key is kind of about a dude battling cancer who just wanted to go out with all guns blazing."

To watch the trailer, visit www.vimeo.com/197557211.

WSSF plays incubator for ski art collaboration

Ladner artist Jon Janzen was at the 2016 World Ski and Snowboard Festival (WSSF) in Whistler as part of the festival's State of the Art exhibition, when he caught the attention of Vernon, B.C., ski-makers Skevik Skis.

The design embraces Janzen's rustic woodblock style, with a stylized black-and-white elk's head at the top, on a maple background. This style came out ,of his first show at WSSF in 2014.

The design is available on all of Skevik's ski styles.

"My biggest inspiration was nature, so that is an easy avenue for creating an art style that is basically a visual language. I had previously done a lot of lino-cut work which is like wood cut, and I wanted to get more traditional with it. It's the oldest version of mass production printing... I wanted to be a part of that long history," Janzen says.

He plans to return to State of the Art this year.

The skis are not currently sold in Whistler, but can be purchased online at www.skevikskis.com.