Past Video Reviews
Big Mountain Little Skier: Free Heels
The majority of the film is composed of footage earned via skin tracks and the videography is excellent. Combine dynamic fee heel skiing, outrageous powder shots, and a custom composed soundtrack and what do you get? An inspirational movie that will leave you scraping together your cash for a trip to Cananda. $25. 1-800-227-2054. Free Heels
|Revenge of the Telemarkers - Circa the late twentieth century (1989), Revenge of the Telemarkers offers classic freeheel footage as the sport began its true rebirth in the late 80’s. A mix of technique and open ski footage, the movie is very entertaining. The skiing is top notch for its time (just try and ski bumps at A-Basin like these guys do on the gear they were using). If you think telemark skiing began with the invention of plastic tele boots, you need to see this film. Dickie Hall and friends do a damn good job with the equipment of the day (leather boots and darn skinny skis). The movie is actually a follow up to an earlier movie by Dickie Hall called The Telemark Movie – likely the first widely distributed freeheel movie ever.
Revenge of the Telemarkers captures the free spirit of the freeheel movement and is a must have for the ski library of any freeheel aficionado. Footage includes Mt Katahdin, Maine; Tuckerman Ravine, New Hampshire; Arapahoe Basin, Colorado; Mt Hood Oregon; and Mt Rainier, Washington. www.telemarknato.com
|Ski Your Ass Off - Continuing with the vintage ski film theme, Ski Your Ass Off is an early film by Bill Heath the maker of Sinners. It is the film that scored Bill work with Warren Miller. Although not exactly a backcountry film, Ski Your Ass Off is a great window into the ski culture of the 70’s and 80’s. The skiers featured in this film deserve high praise for their antics on long skinny skis in the steep and deep of Whitewater, BC. If you were born after 1980, this movie will give you a new perspective on “old school”. If you are old enough to have skied in the 70’s and or 80’s, this movie is sure to prompt a flashback or two of the old days. We consider Ski Your Ass Off a must have for any well rounded ski film library. www.bhandf.com|
|Sinners – One of the most soulful ski films in years, Sinners artfully honors the beauty of deep snow skiing with mouthwatering footage. Bill Heath, the man behind the movie and professional film maker, captures a home spun soulful feel that makes Sinners a standout in the crowded world of ski films. The movie is an honest and creative window into deep snow skiing and ski culture that surrounds it. Filmed around the Nelson, BC area, Sinners is a movie for skiers and sets a new standard in tasteful dreamy ski footage. Heath steps away from the ordinary cookie cutter ski film outline and never looks back. High quality footage, an inspiring soundtrack, and artful presentation give Sinners its soul and earned it Best Mountain Sport Film at the Banff Mountain Film Festival in 2004. This is must have for any ski film library. www.bhandf.com|
|Sanctified - As the title implies, Sanctified has a message, a message saying our mountain environment is a sanctuary that demands respect and deserves protection from over development and unchecked resource extraction. The presentation includes great and varied ski footage, talented skiers and riders from every discipline of snow sliding, and interviews with a wide variety of like minded skier types. We like the music, we like the footage, and we agree with the message. Sure there are a few lines we think should have been edited and there is a degree of “not in my backyard” attitude here and there. But these guys are not trying to single handedly save the earth, they are trying to share the message that we live in a changing world and we need to work together keep our wild places protected. Modern skiing and the associated ski culture are not exactly environmentally friendly but that does not mean we can’t help affect policy, respect the wilderness, and live with a healthy planet in mind. It is nice to see a ski movie move away from the same old ego driven ski frenzy that we all know too well. www.kgb-productions.com|
|Cross Violations – This film hails from Mt Hood and is of the homegrown variety. We must admit a backyard bias here. Hood is our home hill and it is always fun to see footage of your local terrain. Filmed and produced by Mt Hood Meadows Ski Patroller Paul Klein, the footage documents the work and play of the patrol. Like any good ski film there is plenty of deep snow footage and unique to Cross Violations there is good footage of patrollers at work conducting snow control - ski cutting and bombing terrain at Mt. Hood Meadows some with dramatic results. The film is not high gloss or slick in any way. It has an inescapable homegrown feel. Sure, it can be repetitive at times (what ski film isn’t), the film work sometimes begs for higher quality equipment (more or less a trademark of homegrown films), and with some careful editing it could be shorter. However, these guys are living the snow life, taking the good with the bad (which there can be plenty of at Mt. Hood). Paul and the crew in the film are dedicated skiers and this comes through in the film. A good blend of music compliments the work and antics of the Meadows Patrol while cool footage of skiing a few of Hood’s big northside lines come spring are a nice addition to movie that just makes you want to go skiing. www.skipatrolfilms.com|
|Powder Whores – Like the title implies, this movie is all about powder. Although not a high dollar film, the quality of the filming is, for the most part, a step above true low budget grassroots films and these guys obviously have some previous experience. Decidedly Utah centric in its content, Powder Whores cashes in on Wasatch pow for sure. Most of the footage is sure to keep the go fast, go big, go steep crowd happy, with plenty of big drops, steep lines, and, big radius turns, the highlight for us are the big deep days in the Aspens. No place serves up Aspen powder skiing like the Wasatch and Powder Whores does good work of capturing a day in the woods. Compliments are also due to the crew for the fact that they were hiking for their turns more often than not in this movie. Skiing includes both freeheel and locked down varieties all of a high caliber. Our primary criticism is simply that the movie does not break new ground. It takes the basic outline of go big, go fast and repeats it. There is little creativity with the presentation; the exception being, Master Piste Theater with Andrew McLean. This short clip is a highlight for sure and shows hints of creativity that could serve future productions well. The music is mixed and thankfully original compared to high dollar ski porn. The skiers highlighted are all strong accomplished athletes and the movie is sure to help fuel the fire.
|Fire On the Mountain - Fire on the Mountain is an award winning film that tells the story of the 10th Mountain Division of the US Army, an elite ski/mountain corps that evolved just before the United States entered World War II. The film captures the story of the 10th Mountain with incredible historical footage from Camp Hale in Colorado to the first winter ascent and descent of Mt Rainier. The 10th Mountain Division story and their contribution to World War II are remarkable enough but the film goes on to document the post war lives of many of these soldiers. The influence of these men on skiing and mountaineering in North America is equally as remarkable. From Paul Petzoldt (National Outdoor Leadership School), to David Brower (Earth Island Institute), to Friedl Pfeifer (Aspen Mountain Ski Resort), the men of the 10th Mountain Division have made lasting contributions to American mountain culture and fueled the fire behind America’s ski industry. The film is a great window into skiing’s history complete with great footage and the voices of many of the folks who were there. This is a must have in any ski film library. Produced in 1996, the film does not have a dedicated web site but can be sourced with a short Google search.|
|Free Slaloms – This French ski film is available free on the web. Despite being free and web based it is more than just a low res clip in a small computer based video player. It is a nicely crafted ode to powder. Sure we would have preferred the mono skier footage be replaced with a skier or even a snowboarder but that does not change the quality of this short production. The film follows three different skiers/riders through the pow in Austria and melds it with some smooth electronic euro music. Easy listening and easy watching. It is great to see a less macho approach to ski filming than we are so often bombarded with in North America. If you have a high speed connection – give it a download – six minutes of ski footage with a great soundtrack that you are sure to watch several times. www.tkbfilms.com|
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