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More Than Ski Porn

The subtle art and love stories of Warren Miller films

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Although Warren Miller films are best known for their big and bold images, unbelievable jumps, tumbling wipeouts and swooping snowcapped vistas, it is actually the subtle touches that make these films enduring and captivating—the lowkey elegance that pay homage to ski towns around the world and fawning adulation of personalities and, more specifically, in the case of the 65th edition, No Turning Back, the touching story about a reunion of 40-plus-year old skiers in Europe and, later in the film, the chance meeting of Facebook friends in Japan that leads to a backstory exploration of the snowboard manufacture industry in that country. Without those details none of the big picture would hold up.

Oh sure, there is the immediately familiar booming soundtracks and jawdropping stunts, and there is the common bro-philosophies like "you can't bank stoke" as a sort of carpe diem explanation about why skiing is both important yet ephemeral. But there is also a familiar structure and tone to the film—and one that has continued to subtly evolve from previous years. Structured as a series of vignettes, each chapter focuses on a group of skiers and on a specific location. Within these chapters is actually quite remarkable character and location development—and as much as the skiing itself, No Turning Back is a contemplation about friendship and connection. The first chapter is a love note to the mountains of Alaska with a group of women freeskiers, and a later chapter set in Montana's backcountry ski resorts is a delicate love story that simultaneously pays homage to small towns and tight-knit communities where one of the skiers explains "they just throw love around."

Oh sure, perhaps none of this matters, and you just want to get your rocks off watching ski porn. There is that as well.

Welcome back, winter.

No Turning Back

Thurs. Nov. 13 – Sat. Nov. 15, 6 pm, 8:30 pm

Old Stone, 157 NW Franklin Ave.

$17.

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