Fall, 2010-- Part road trip movie and part documentary,
Hippies, Punx and Misfits is an enjoyable celebration of the
culture of telemark skiing, both past and present. Short interview
clips with some of the pioneers of telemark's modern era, along
with filmmaker Josh Madsen's narration, shine a bright light
on the roots of our culture, dominated as it has mostly been
by eccentrics and iconoclasts. Similarly, large doses of straight
up ski porn (80% of the film) featuring a wide variety of telemark
skiing styles, underscores the independent nature of the sport's
participants still today. It will be a long time, if ever, before
there is but one way to make a proper tele turn.
it into their heavy rotation
of BMX, snowboarding and surfing DVDs, a first for a tele film
at our house. This alone might be worth Two Tips Up!
In paying homage to what has come before,
Hippies, Punx and Misfits puts today's telemark culture into
historical context, happily, Madsen's steady, light touch keeps
the film from becoming too self-serious. And, despite it's retro
theme, or perhaps because of it, Hippies, Punx and Misfits is
entertaining enough to get the sustained attention of my 16 year-old
and his skating, boarding and Fuel-TV-brain-addled buddies. "Be
sure and tell them we've watched it at least three times, beginning
to end" I was reminded recently. For some reason Hippies,
Punx and Misfits made
Punx, & Misfits"
In one of my favorite parts, Doug
Robinson and Tom Carter recall the early days, and Robinson describes
his own move straight from San Francisco's 1970s Haight-Ashbury
to Bishop, in the eastern Sierra, and how he and the others brought
their lifestyle with them to the mountains. Telemark skiers have
always been "adventurous people who want to mix it up,"
says Robinson, for them "being in the comfort zone is being
in the groan zone
'let's have some adventure here, let's
amp it up a little bit,' that's the kind of people tele skiers
are." This is as true today as it was then. No one teles
because it's easy.
Shot in Utah, Alaska and Norway,
Hippies, Punx and Misfits benefits from a large cast of skiers,
including JT Robinson, Ty Dayberry, Shaun Raskin, Jon Gurry,
Conor Davis, Candy Froerer and Zeph Hallowell. Relentlessly soulful,
the music will likely soothe even the most savage beast, more
to the point, even folks who don't usually care for ski movie
music will likely enjoy the soundtrack of Hippies, Punx and Misfits.
The slow tempo doesn't always match the pace of the skiing onscreen,
but it's obvious Josh chose the songs carefully to fit the overall
vibe, and the soundtrack contributes a lot to the feel of the
film. Madsen even contributes and performs a song of his own
during the credits.
Along with the nearly hour-long
film, a "Bonus Section" includes a long and interesting
interview with former Couloir publisher Craig Dostie and an enjoyable
We are very lucky this year to have
not just one, but two very fine and complimentary telemark ski
films. In "TeleVision" the Powderwhore crew takes us
to the bleeding edge of telemark. In Hippies, Punx and Misfits,
Josh Madsen and crew brings us back to where we've been, and
to where most of us will still be found, enjoying the hell out
of the telemark turn in this most expressive of snow sports.
It's a great ride in every way.