Last night I went to a screening of Almost Ablaze from the ipeople at Teton Gravity Research. The movie itself won “Film Of The Year” at the 2014 International Freeski Film Festival and totally blew my mind. Every time I watch a ski/snowboard/extreme sport video I am left with this feeling of, “what am I doing with my life?”
They pan out over these incredible mountain ranges and show their climb to the top for that short-lived high that comes from dropping in. I miss that feeling, it’s unreal. I can’t imagine what it’s like in the extreme locations they get to hit with the helicopter, but I bet there is no feeling like it!
The best part of this film, for me, was the segment on Sarajevo, Bosnia. Joss Christensen, Karl Fostvedt and Chris Laker went to the home of the 1984 Winter Olympics. They shared some of the dirty history that took place on the grounds that were once home to world-class athletes. Post Olympic glory, the podium was used as an execution spot when the country was over-run with civil war. They obviously did incredible things with the grounds that were available, but what struck me was just how desolate a place can become once the world turns it’s eye to the next big, shiny thing.
It was a bit of a struggle to focus on the film with most of the Philly audience chanting “Bad Fish” (the cover band was playing a show once the movie was over) and boo-ing the movie. P.S. shame on you Philly, that movie is incredible and you missed out with your angry chanting. But what I took away from the film left an impression. At one point one of the guys looked out at the mountain in front of him and said, “Life is fragile, and a place like this will show you that.”