Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Ingrid Backstrom, Anselme Baud, Bill Briggs, Doug Coombs, Chris Davenport
Director: Mark Obenhaus
Genres: Action & Adventure
Warning: You're about to experience the most breath taking, exhilarating and inspirational ride of your life. The world's best skiers go beyond their dreams to conquer the steepest runs ever faced. From the sheer cliffs of... more »
Thrilling Ride For Anyone
Curmudgeon99 | Manhattan, NY | 02/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At first, it appeared that this would be a movie that only appeals to skiers. In fact, this is a fascinating and thrilling ride. You will see places on earth you did not know existed. You will see these guys riding helicopters to the top of mountains where there is barely enough room to stand, and then, skiing downhill at blazing speed. As you might expect, as the movie passes from continent to continent, we see some of the guys we had followed in the beginning actually die. This is a thrilling movie and is not to be missed."
Risk and Joy
avoraciousreader | Somewhere in the Space Time Continuum | 03/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
dir. Mark Obenhaus, 2007
Risk and Joy
One of the subjects of Mark Obenhaus's fascinating documentary on extreme ski mountaineering speaks of the pure and simple joy he experiences when tackling a difficult run, and then tells us the joy wouldn't be so great without the risk inherent in the challenge. I think this is one of the younger skiers, perhaps Shane McConkey. [I saw this in theater a couple of months ago, so details may be a bit vague.] But on the other hand, one of the older and wiser heads, I believe one of those who opened up Chamonix, tells us that though the risk may look extreme, the challenge is in developing skill and technique so that the apparent risk is reduced to manageable and sane levels. Of course, what is manageable and sane to some may be crazy foolhardiness to the rest of us, but after all we take risks every day and familiarity dulls the realization that a careless traffic merge, or pushing the speed to make that sales meeting, could result in a far more gruesome death than any in the mountains.
I was on the fringe, or perhaps the fringe of the fringe, of serious outdoors types in the 80's (about when the skiing documented here began to pick up pace), not so much the extreme downhill skiers who went up only to come down, but hard climbers and ski mountaineers who considered it a form of transportation to get into snowbound areas they might hike and climb the rest of the year. These people were very like the earlier adventurers documented here, always conscious of the risk and trying to minimize it, though in the end accepting it for the joy brought by a challenge successfully met or simply being where few others would ever be.
I should emphasize that this is NOT a thrill-a-minute "ski movie". Anyone expecting constant headbanging adrenaline will likely be disappointed. Though there are sufficient moments of daredeviltry for most tastes (especially in the later parts of the film -- it is nicely paced and progressive), there are also scenes of skiers inching sidewise down steep slopes, or cutting short switchbacks with cautious turns, precision craftsmanship rather than freeform bravado. What this film is, is a historical documentary exploring the sport's development and the psychology of extreme skiers, from the pioneers to modern day adrenaline junkies, using a combination of archive footage (of varying technical quality), interviews, and high quality original footage of the feats of the current skiers and the breathtaking landscape they take place in. Fascinating and visually beautiful, with sufficient excitement for most of us."
Great Movie with Lots of Interviews
Matthew Dunn | Denver, CO | 04/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What a great start to a night of watching ski films. Interviews from some of the greats that bring you closer to your love of the mountains, the snow, and the lifestyle.
All the exciting skiing is towards the end of the film, and it's not packed with excitement. It's more about connecting with the lifestyle we choose, and remembering just how close to the edge of life we can find ourselves."
An amazing account of the birth of extreme skiing
J. S. Bennett | 04/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been skiing most of my life and have seen my fare share of ski extreme movies, I loved this film/documentary into the birth of back country skiing, it is so absorbing I watched it twice back to back and it just got better. It is the story of the first through to present day back country skiing, with some amazing footage. It starts with the pioneers of this sport telling of there experiences being the very first to try skiing in places no one had ever attempted to ski before, and evolved through the 80's and 90's to now. Trust me you don't even need to be a skier to enjoy this film. Brilliant."