Reel Life Athletes Put on a Good Show
Ski movies, what’s not to like?
High-octane celluloid heroes and heroines pushing themselves — not to mention their film crews — to insane limits to pull off the latest snow-filled trickerations in often exotic locales all to be captured by the eye of the lens.
That’s what I’m talking about.
And it’s that time of the year — early to mid-autumn — when production companies, both major and minor, trot out their latest releases, generally filmed the previous winter, for the assembled skier and snowboard masses.
Here is a handful of the more prominent ones that will soon be in a theater near you:
The Face of Winter
Warren Miller, who practically (well almost) invented the feature-length ski film/travelogue back in the 1950s, died last January, so this season’s Warren Miller Entertainment release is an homage to the late filmmaker, the man who “launched a thousand quips.” The assembled athletes and camera crews visited some of Miller’s favorite locales, covering territory the master had skied and shot many times over a half-century career. The Face of Winter makes its world premiere on Oct. 12 at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, Ore.
Matchstick Productions has upped the ante by releasing a ski/snowboard movie that features women athletes who are looking “to disrupt the male-dominated ski film formula.” Directed by Scott Gaffney, All In is “light on story, high on action and full of fun-loving personality” while proving that “skiing isn’t exclusionary, true fun in the mountains can be shared by everybody.” All In made its world premiere in September.
Ode to Muir
Protect Our Winters founder Jeremy Jones directed and stars in this Teton Gravity Research production. Accompanied by two-time U.S. Olympic snowboarder Elena Hight, Jones blazed a 40-mile trail over nine days through the John Muir Wilderness of the Sierra Nevada, making some grueling climbs and epic first descents on his splitboard in the process. Ode to Muir makes its world premiere on Oct. 12 at the Boulder Theater in Boulder, Colo.
This Level 1 production “documents a lifestyle of contradiction, love and money, natural and synthetic, powder and slush. … Swerving left, right and diagonal, yet never asleep at the wheel.” Athletes include Parker White, Laurent De Martin and Sami Ortlieb. Zig Zag makes its world premiere on Nov. 2 at Skifest at the Portland, Ore., Expo Center.
Another Gaffney-directed film for Matchstick Productions finds its lens centered squarely on Eric Hjorleifson, the Canadian big-mountain skier who scored major “has developed an incredibly fast, fluid style that makes moving down massive mountain faces look effortless.” Hoji makes its world premiere on Oct. 17 at the Boulder Theater in Boulder, Colo.
Twenty-one skiers and snowboarders, including such TGR regulars Angel Collison, Jeremy Jones and Colter Hinchliffe, explore the far reaches of the Northern Hemisphere in search of cold smoke before reaching their final destination, the little-known Albanian Alps. Far Out made its world premiere in September.