Nothing Else Matters
Andre Nutini’s work for the Legs of Steel crew in Nothing Else Matters is reminds me of experiencing good Italian espresso in a Rome café years back. It’s short, strong and delivers a monstrous kick at the end. Harnessing the sensibility that he picked up from working on Life Cycles, the stunningly beautiful mountain bike film, Nutini opens Nothing Else Matters with an aesthetically pleasing ski-tuning montage of muted colours and then moves confidently into the main course with a wham bam thank you ma’am hardcore aerial throwdown against bright blue skies.
Legs of Steel stalwarts Bene Mayr, Paddy Graham, Tobi Reindl, Thomas Hlawitschka and their buddies have no problem killing it here. Backflips, 1080s, doubles – they can deliver the goods. My only complaint here is that there are no title cards for the skier’s names, so you do not actually know who’s doing what trick.
These Euros love their rock so you get a soundtrack of things like the deep fried, stoner guitar stylings of Priestess’s “Lay Down” underpinning wicked British Columbia back country powder shots and pillow runs and then the bombastic, operatic, arena rock screaming of Germany’s Edguy doing “The Piper Never Dies”, (yes, they actually sing about wizards and trips to Hades on the ferryboat while dudes be throwing 720s off kickers and gripping it all the way down – crazy, I know).
Nutini sets up the show-stopping final scene with a sequence of almost abstract, slow motion shots of two, three and four skiers twisting around as they come off a kicker. It’s a great teaser, because while any skier knows what’s going on, you don’t know the context. When the Edguy track goes into the bridge and the camera on the helicopter pulls back to show the lead in to the gigantic triple-kicker that the team has set up on Austria’s Kaunertal Glacier, the setting becomes clear. And then thirteen skiers race down sequentially and let fly off this thing. Yup, a thirteen man train. When this portion of the film was viewed by Montreal’s International Freeskiing Film Festival crowd, the place went nuts. Rightfully so. Talk about being choreographed within inches of their lives.
Despite being just over 20 minutes in length, Nothing Else Matters is nothing if not a wake-up call that the Legs of Steel crew plus Nutini helming the camera are in the game for real. Best of all – it can be viewed for free at the Legs of Steel site at http://legsofsteel.eu/nem/ by Mark “The Attorney General” Quail