Here’s an idea for inducing ski season stoke: throw on some sweatpants, round up a couple of ski-fanatic buddies, and spend a few hours taking in the freshest crop of ski movies. There’s no better way to get pumped on the season ahead.
In recent years, ski movies have evolved in a major way. Though Alaska still reigns supreme, ski films are starting to showcase off-the-beaten path and unconventional locales. The athletes themselves – their words, their personalities – are coming into the spotlight, while segments are weaved together using a plot or some kind of storyline instead of random pow shots. The days of pure snow porn seem to be numbered.
The ski films of 2014/2015 do a great job of blending old styles with new. Here are few standouts well worth checking out.
For far too long, women have taken the back burner in the ski film industry – really, in the ski industry as a whole. Pro skier Lynsey Dyer decided that the awesome female skiers deserved a little more screen time, and Unicorn Picnic’s Pretty Faces was born to address this problem. The film celebrates women in the sport in a fun, non-preachy way, yet the message comes across loud and clear.
The Little Things
As with Pretty Faces, The Little Things is a snowboard movie with a cause. Spearheaded by pro snowboarder Marie-France Roy, The Little Things takes a look at how some of the industry’s top athletes – think Jeremy Jones and Gretchen Bleiler – are addressing their environmental concerns through the sport. This film is heavy on the interviews, but also heavy on the powder.
The third film of Jeremy Jones’ trilogy takes a raw behind-the-scenes look of the life of a pro snowboarder. Higher showcases the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of being a professional athlete, including the risks that come along with the job – and the rewards, too.
If you’re eager for a film that’s heavy on the skiing but light on the mood, check out TGR’s Almost Ablaze. This is the one to watch the night before an epic day on the mountains – it’ll get you pumped in a big way. The steeps are insane and the powder is perfection. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to have an entire resort to yourself after an unprecedented snowfall… well, you’ll have to watch to find out.
Sweetgrass Productions’ Valhalla was a surprise star of the 2013/2014 season, and their follow up number Afterglow is just as impressive – though only a fraction of the length. Afterglow clocks in at about ten minutes, making in the perfect between-feature-film interlude. Shot entirely at night, this film uses lighting in a way that makes skiing look like a totally different (but still amazing) sport.
Days of My Youth
We cap our list off with Days of My Youth, a classic MSP film that tackles some heavy themes in a fun way. Centered around the lifelong relationship that skiers have with their sport, Days of My Youth features a stacked roster of athletes working their magic in less-than-optimal conditions – the film was shot over the past two years, which haven’t been stellar for snow.
By: Kate Walker