Welcome to SkiStarMovies.com. This site has not got a review on every ski movie yet but work has commenced.
The ski movies covered here are ski action movies or films where extreme skiing or freeskiing is the focal point. Yes, “Hot Tub Time Machine” is a movie with skiing in it and yes, it was filmed in the excellent ski town of Fernie, B.C. Or consider “Inception”. It also has ski sequences and even has Rossland B.C.’s cliff-hucking madman James Heim as one of the skiers. However, neither film is a ski movie by the definition used here. Those types of films, needless to say, will not be covered on this site.
Here’s my premise for this site:
Ski movies are art. As with oil paintings, music, theatre, whatever, the art and its formation deserve serious appraisal. They may have started out as simple exercises in catching the joy of coasting over white powder on celluloid but with gyro-stabilized HD cameras loaded onto helicopters following gifted athletes down some of the most majestic places on the planet, ski movies are delivering astounding scenes of both beauty and danger in epic scope. Combine the agility of professional ballet dancers in full-on performance mode with the sublime landscapes of painters like J.M. Turner and you have today’s big mountain ski sequence. Combine the street style of hip hop’s best break dancers with the arrangements in the cibachrome phototransparencies of big city settings by Jeff Wall and you have today’s ski movie urban rail sequence.
With artistic teams like those at Matchstick and Teton Gravity Research using helicopters like paintbrushes to render sequences of glorious colour and athletic grace, one can’t help but be reminded of the structure of some of artist Matthew Barney‘s cinematic works – beautifully framed shots of surreal sequences.
While the sports action genre continues to grow with offerings from not just surfing, skiing and snowboarding but rock climbing, wake boarding and snowmobiling and a host of other sports, it will be ski movies that will be the focus of this blog. Why? Simple, it’s because that’s what I do: ski.
My love for ski movies has been long but intermittent. It was the mid-1980s in Whistler where I first saw Warren Miller films in the village bars where my buddies and I would hang out after wicked days on the hill. Those movies were mesmerizing and motivational. After I decamped from the West Coast I didn’t see too many ski movies again for a few years. In 2007, one of the record companies I’m involved with got a call from the people at Matchstick. They wanted one of our tracks for “Seven Sunny Days”. After watching the DVD they sent us, I was blown away. “If this is what’s going on now, I have to find more of it”, I said to myself. Writing about them flowed from that. I had been a rock critic working at various magazines way back in the day so penning a few thoughts about these movies was not hard. Seeing that most of the comments on iTunes Canada about these films were not really much use, I began posting the reviews there. After writing a dozen of them, it seemed that a blog was the logical progression. And here we are.
Most of the ski movie review sites that I could find simply regurgitated some press agent’s blurb about the flick. I want to add something more to the dialogue.
Some of the reviews I wrote early on were pretty short. With passing time came more analysis. I expect the reviews from this point forward will have just that: more analysis.
So read the reviews, vote for your favourite ski films on the individual review pages and keep checking in with the site.