|The official movie poster for My Playground|
|A very strong subculture of parkour exists on the|
Internet through instructional videos, chat rooms,
and networks of practitioners.
Not surprisingly, parkour has finally become the focus of a larger documentary film. Opening tonight at DOXA, My Playground is the work of award-winning Danish filmmaker Kaspar Astrup Schroder and explores the practice of parkour within the context of movement and urban space, and includes interviews with urban planners, politicians, architects and philosophers. Set manly in Copenhagen, Denmark (but also traveling to the United States, Japan, UK and China) the film follows the making of the first dedicated parkour park in the world, capturing all of the potential conflicts that such a proposition invites.
In this sense, the film is unlike any of the YouTube clips and short films seeking to represent parkour circulating on the Internet, as this film attempts to capture a multitude of perspectives related to how and why the practice is developing worldwide. Since the film's premiere at the Shenzhen and Hong Kong Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture in 2009, the film has toured globally and continues to push the discourse on parkour in very engaging directions. As architect Bjarke Ingels, a contributor to the film, explains: “MY PLAYGROUND is a film of course about Parkour, but is also very much about how public life and architecture are intricately linked. Architecture observes human life and attempts to accommodate it, then human life evolves and misinterprets the architecture to expand the realm of possibility and in turn architecture observes the evolved human life and it is this continuous loop of building and living, building and living”.
|The original model for the parkour park in Copenhagen along with visuals|
from its final opening in August 2009. (Image source: Danish blog)
My Playground will be screening at DOXA on Tuesday, May 10th at 9:00pm as part of a double-bill at the Vancity Theatre.