Had the opportunity to go to the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour in Suffern, NY, tonight. I had a really good time. The films were (mostly) interesting. Summaries of the ones showed are listed on the Chestnut Mountain Productions page. My capsule thoughts:
- Balance showed some awesome skiing. And some awesome wipeouts. I wouldn’t say any part of it was extremely impressive, but on the whole it fit together, blending the day to day, tomfoolery, and competition footage in a coherent fashion. The soundtrack made it play like a pretty wicked music video.
- The excerpt from King Lines featured some pretty damn incredible climbing. I’d never seen deep water climbing before, so it was pretty interesting to watch.
- Wings on Your Feet was an interesting set of telemark scenes, without drawing any real attention to the fact that it was a telemark production, beyond the uphill cross-country approaches in Kashmir. The shots are beautiful, especially of the synchronous downhill paths.
- Climber was a moronic animated short. I must be missing something.
- Trial & Error was a bit odd. The trial riding was pretty awesome technical work, but the attempt to make the piece “meaningful” was a bit awkward. I’m not a fan of the clear cutting either, but I don’t really think this short achieved anything other than “man, I’m a badass trial rider, and it’s a bummer these woods are going to be gone.”
- 20 Seconds of Joy was the standout piece for me I think. Not only did it feature visually stunning scenery and breathtaking BASE jumps, but was really the only film that seemed to step much beyond “I’m an awesome climber/skier/biker/telemark skier, and I’m trying to push myself to the next level.” It’s a watchable documentary in its own right, even if you don’t have any interest whatsoever in the sport.
Overall was definitely worth seeing (go check it out in the coming showings, there are some in NYC next week), and worth the money, and I had a fun time. The venue was interesting as well; a very large theater (with the huge downside of a complete lack of parking appropriate to the size of the theater) that was quite old, with a very small screen. Fun to visit, but not perhaps the optimal location for this sort of stuff. Would have been fun (if not a bit vertigo-inducing) to see 20 Seconds saturating my entire field of view.