Fall, 2010-- With an inventive plot line that provides
for nearly perfect lead-ins to every segment, and well filmed,
big mountain tele skiing on a level very noticeably higher than
what we've seen before, the Powderwhores have thoroughly outdone
themselves with 2010's "TeleVision." The transitional
growing pains in the shift from SD to HD long behind them, the
brothers Howell, Noah, Jonah, and crew, are free to focus on
With a work ethic second to none,
team Powderwhore really brings home the goods with stunning camera
work from choice, hike-to vantage points, powerful skiing captured
and edited with solid, sometimes even inspired musical selections.
All of this wrapped up into an entertaining package. Two big
tips up for TeleVision.
flow that makes the segment
special. This is true of the rest of the film as well. Long gone
are the days when a skier would stop at the top of an impossible
jump before hurling himself off, landing with a plop, like a
sack of potatoes tossed over a cliff. Instead, TeleVision features
athlete after athlete skiing hyper-aggressively, but also in
apparent control, taking stickable airs that are part of a larger
run, and skiing away smoothly every time.
The film opens with a short channel
surfing segment that cleverly notes the sponsors, while establishing
the humorous thread holding TeleVision together. The usual tone-setting,
hiking for turns follows in a number of artistically shot scenes,
before the intro settles into an energetic, fast paced and stoke
filled pastiche of hot skiing in all kinds of terrain.
In one of many very funny commercial
parodies, Paul Kimbrough introduces his own segment, and we are
treated to spectacular steep and deep skiing, along with some
of the most impressive slough management I've seen on film. Kimbrough
launches impressive airs, but it's his
a few additional comments and a quick look at parts of our favorite
Next up is a very special segment
documenting a unique and fascinating part of the backcountry
skiing continuum: Ski mountaineering. The venue is Alaska's Revelation
Mountains. Skinning downhill while pulling sleds, snow camping,
exploring, making first descents, it's adventure skiing in its
purest form, and just as every park segment must include the
word "progression," what would a ski mountaineering
chapter be without the word "hardcore?" The film does
not disappoint here, and this segment goes a long way toward
defining what "hardcore" actually means in our sport.
TeleVision continues with an outstanding
and memorable performance by one Ms. Megan Michelson. The freeskiing
editor for ESPN.com may just be the strongest female telemark
skier on the planet, and her segment here only serves to confirm
the possibility. If you only saw her skiing you'd probably think
she was another powerful and talented dude, and yet she skis
with a unique kind of strength and grace that is all Megan. This
and the Jake Sakson segment are my favorites of the film.
After a very funny commercial parody
for "Brogaine," an enjoyable, longish, Noah Howell
chapter follows. Then Ty Dayberry introduces a new telemark video
game titled--- what else?--- "Progression." It's one
of the funnier lead-ins and it segues perfectly into Dayberry's
fun to watch mix of park and big mountain skiing. The musical
selection here is pitch perfect too, ending with "So it's
not like progress or anything
more like progression."
A superb Jason West segment brings
TeleVision home to backcountry skiing as most of the rest of
us know it before getting back to the AK-style that dominates
the film. A "Survivor" parody has Chris Erickson earnestly
speaking Teva Talk as he introduces one of the more amazingly
filmed big mountain segments, also featuring Nick Devore and
Will Cardamone. The helmet cam footage is outstanding, and the
cuts back and forth from the skiers POV to the long shots really
adds to the "you are there" feel.
In the next to last chapter, Jake
Sakson redefines the term "fast telemark skiing" with
a performance beyond anything I had ever seen before on film.
A relatively new convert to telemark, Jake's skiing has smoothed
out from last year's film, but he's more aggressive than ever.
Threading sick lines through rocks and over cliffs, flowing,
always flowing to the next feature, and skiing so fast the cameraman
can barely keep him in the frame. I've always felt that it was
just a matter of time before we would see TGR/Matchstick style
and level telemark skiing in a Powderwhore film, with Jake Sakson's
segment, that time has arrived. The bar has been seriously raised.
The bar has been raised with the
entire film. TeleVision closes with pure eye candy: An Aspen
tree skiing segment that benefits from the years of experience
Noah and Jonah have now in filming this type of skiing, and with
this final scene the curtain comes down on this game-changing
telemark ski movie. The film never tries too hard and never takes
itself too seriously, while providing thrill after thrill and
tons of Grade A stoke, all neatly tied together in an entertaining
and innovative way. It will make a great addition to any ski
film library and a killer way to kick off the season, at home
or at a premier showing. Don't miss this one.