Every year--sometime around mid-September--I get to the point where I start looking longingly at the outline of Bogus Basin. Show me even the slightest dusting of snow and I'm warming up the iron to wax my skis. If there is one thing to get us through this purgatory-like season while we wait for the snow, it's the annual parade of ski movies.
The first one of the year came to the Egyptian Theatre (preferred ski movie venue) on Sept. 26. Teton Gravity Research presented Way of Life, to a throng of Patagonia- and North Face-clad people who probably cast glances toward Bogus as often as I do.
Seeing a ski movie in a theater is great, not only for the visual thrill, but also because you become part of a community--the type that makes snide comments about snowboarders and spills a little beer. But I wasn't that impressed. It felt like a compilation of footage that looks the same after awhile, interspersed with the generic "I'm so lucky I'm livin' the life" interviews.
What peeved me the most: It took almost 30 minutes for a woman skier to appear and, when she finally did, they shot about 20 seconds of her struggling on down a mountainside that the men shredded. The voiceover guy was saying something like, "She's strong and confident and she can do anything the boys can do." Of course she can, so why pick this footage?
The next time we saw our token female, she lay in a makeshift sauna with some tasteful side-boob. Because everyone brings their bikini to a wilderness snow camp, right?
Lucky for me, and any other woman who crossed her arms during that one, there are myriad other films heading our way. Into the Mind, by Sherpas Cinema, claims the Egyptian on Friday, Oct. 11. It promises to take us around the world with the sort of innovative cinematography that gives goosebumps. It features more than skiing, too. There's also kayaking, mountaineering and surfing thrown in. And hopefully bad-ass women.
On Thursday, Oct. 24, it's Matchstick's turn. This year, the crew came out with McConkey, a biography of Shane McConkey, a pioneer freeskier and ski-BASE jumper who got married and started a family shortly before dying in a BASE jumping accident.
What if you could go to a ski movie and support a good cause? The Backcountry Film Festival on Friday, Nov. 1, brings 10 films from renowned filmmakers trekking the globe, to grassroots filmmakers on weekend expeditions, and proceeds go to the Winter Wildlands Alliance. Funds go toward raising awareness of winter management issues and avalanche safety.
And of course, the classic bring-all-the-kids-and-dress-up-in-your-ski-gear family tradition visits the Egyptian for three days this year. Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride will show Thursday, Nov. 21-Saturday, Nov. 23. Miller is the Disney of ski films, both in production value and entertainment.
Be assured, we have enough ski films this year to hold us over until we can start making our own.