The Legs of Steel crew remind me of the 80s band The Scorpions. The Scorpions were metal and they complied with the general rules of the metal world: virtuoso ability and big, bombastic songs (in a nutshell) but they had their own spin on things. Being German, there was a natural tendency to go hugely operatic, practically Wagnerian in scale. There was nothing subtle about them, sometimes they were so over the top with their crescendos in their performances that it seemed embarrassing to us North American metal heads (who were more attuned to the Black Sabbath way of doing things) but they knew how to handle their audience and they delivered a rousing good time.
LOS, too, do things their own way. This (mostly) European crew of virtuoso skiers, deliver a string of breathtaking segments in The LOSt, shot largely in British Columbia and Austria with some urban skiing shot in Ukraine. The secret weapon here is the combination of the brilliance of Canadian director Andre Nutini, who has helmed the previous LOS outings paired with filmmaker Daniel Trenkle and their use of remote control helicopter cameras. The result is simply stunning as the skiers are shot from angles only hinted at by regular helicopter mounted cameras. The close proximity afforded by the drone cameras highlights the technical skill of the skier crew as they attack big mountain lines, quarter pipe booters and pillow runs. The segments often turn dreamily mesmerizing when rendered in slow motion and the beauty of the mountain vistas and the skill of the athletes is shown in full glory.
Nutini hinted at what he could do with the RC helicopter cameras at the end of last year’s LOS movie Hurt So Good, but The LOSt is something else again. These cameras really are the future of sports action films and in the right hands, there’s a new wave of art being delivered to us. Watch the segment filmed in BC in the Monashee Powdercats territory where the LOS crew ski with their fathers. There’s a clear touch from co-director Trenkle in this segment where he reprises his vision of towering vertical lines that seem so unreal they could be rendered in CG. But instead of the city skyscapers he showcased in his short film “Shift” (see it on Vimeo) he gives us beautiful snow and frost covered evergreen trees shot in a way I’m pretty much sure you have never seen before.
With The LOSt you get a double dose of virtuosity with both the skiers and the filmmakers throwing down. So, what about the bombast and the over the top shots that make you say “you’re kidding me, are you for real”. Well, you get two such bits. First is the Ukraine urban skiing with Max Hill, Frej Jonsson, Antti Ollila and Lolo Favre, part of which is shot at Chernobyl (yeah, I know, right?). They walk around brick alleyways with flaming torches looking like they’re part of the mob out to get the Frankenstein monster and then Max jibs a Soviet tank with his jeans down below his ass making it one of those things you can’t unsee. Second up is the faux rock band performance at the tail end of the movie where subtlety gets tossed out window. Why just throw dub 1080s off the huge Nine Kings kickers when you can also add in a heavy metal light show and a rock and roll pyrotechnic display. And, with what is becoming an LOS standard, there’s the, dare I say it, “Wagnerian” scale scene where multiple skiers hit the jump simultaneously for one wam, bam thank you ma’am finish to the movie.
The LOSt is the best work the LOS guys have made to date. Whether it will be their “Rock You Like A Hurricane” remains to be seen because I expect they are going to continue to step it up for the foreseeable future. By Mark “The Attorney General” Quail