Eyes Wide Open (Field Productions 2009)

Watch the Eyes Wide Open Trailer

Filip Christensen and his band of, largely, Scandinavian skiers go bigger, farther and spin more times than ever before.  Christensen’s vision of what a ski film should look like is coming into its own as his edits get more inventive and intentionally, or not, more dramatic.  Nothing engages the attention like leaving the shot when a skier is still up in the air in the middle of a certain crash and cutting to the same skier on the same run but in another attempt.  Simple, but it  works as a visual hook.  Opening with an awesome sequence at Mica Heli Guides’ locale in south-central British Columbia with Norwegians Asmund Thorsen and Eirik Finseth along with Canadians Chris Rubens and Eric Hjorleifson surfing down pillows and coasting through beautiful gladed runs sending showers of snow skyward.  Soundtracked with The Deftones’ “Hole In The Earth”, it’s an electric dream that sucks you right in. As with his other films, Christensen continues to be a great musical selector. Jon Kennedy’s “East Is East” elevates a kickin’ urban sequence in Stockholm and Helsinki with a Bhangra flavored backpack hip-hop beat which then flows smoothly into a Euro-popped-out synth and vocal harmony track from Norway’s F.A.C.E. as PC Fosse, Christopher Frankum, Even Sigstad, Aleksander Aurdal and Anders Backe launch themselves into outer space in a wickedly cool big air sequence.  That kind of uncanny blend of the sonics and the visuals works throughout “Eyes Wide Open”.  The most riveting sequence of the piece has got to be the not just “big mountain” but “massive mountain” footage from Sogndal and Sunnmore, Norway with the deep space techno vibe of Kohib’s “Dogs Don’t Bite”s over top of some absolutely surreally arresting film of the boys screaming down the steeps.  While the crew is peppered with stars like PK Hunder, Anders Backe and Tom Wallisch, there’s a serious deep bench in the Field Productions team including mad underrated talents like Even Sigstad and Christopher Frankum.  “Eyes Wide Open” is a terrific step forward for director Christensen.    By Mark “The Attorney General” Quail – 9/10

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