Waking Austin
Directed by Adam Falk

Street: 05.07

After spending some time on Dama Spirit, I found that I was left with more questions than answers—and maybe that’s the point. Perhaps the originators of a site that describes itself as “a creative source dancing with the rhythm of life; moving to inspire and create good vibes” are really on to something. Or maybe it’s yet another pseudo-spiritual brand name designed to relieve cool kids of their cash. With a focus on multi-media presentations, Dama Spirit has helped produce several short films, such as Adam Falk’s Waking Austin. While “short film” might be too strong of an appellation for this project, the term music video fits nicely. Waking Austin is a visual collage of tattooed cyclists, graffiti artists, mop-headed skateboarders and yoga enthusiasts set to the ambiently chill music of Brantenz. While the imagery of effortlessly cool artistic types and their eclectic eating habits is a bit on the nose, Falk’s filmmaking chops are hard to ignore. He’s known for his work as a photographer for Sweden’s winter sports scene, and his work on the slopes translates into some impressive pieces of skateboarding photography.  Regardless of the familiar content (honestly, what major urbanized area in the world doesn’t have a skateboard/graffiti/yoga culture at this point?), the camerawork and editing capture some beautiful shots. Brantenz’s music lends a post–New Age flavor to the mix, which allows the viewer to interpret the production as a zen-like meditation on life as a metropolitan hipster. One’s enjoyment of this collaboration between Falk and Brantenz will largely depend on the year of the viewer’s birth. Millennials will dig this because it’s an honest look at the clothes, art and food of their generation, and pre-millennials will hate it for the same reason.
–Alex Springer