Oct 14, 2011
Author: Leslie Anthony
In the arts community, you know you've made the big-time in Canada when your work receives a substantive blurb in the Globe & Mail. In skiing, not so much, since coverage is inevitably in the sports pages and then almost always about racing. So if you can knock off two-for-one filmmaking + freeskiing kudos in our national paper of note, well then you're ballin' in the bigtime. In the case of Whistler-based Sherpas cinema you can make that a three-for-one and include an environmental kick-in-the-balls wake-up that works. As the Globe's David Ebner wrote on October 12 of the Sherpa's latest and long-awaited All.I.Can:
"Sherpas Cinema deftly manages to blend its green theme and billowing white clouds of skiers ripping through fresh snow. It is an uneasy marriage, however, that places questions of global warming alongside a sport attuned to nature but extremely dependent on fossil fuels, from cars and planes to get to ski resorts or backcountry locations, to the helicopters used to shoot the spectacular footage. The filmmakers acknowledge the seeming hypocrisy and avoid preaching, attempting to stoke awareness rather than trumpet some this-is-it answer."
Of course this doesn't tell you much about how good the two-year project is visually but this does: damn good. And the couple thousand uber-stoked Whistlerites who crammed into an oversold Telus Conference for the premier a couple weeks back seemed to agree. Though the dialogue was difficult to hear over the constant buzz of the crowd on a $30,000 sound system primed for music, it's fair to say that all were universally stunned by the Sherpas eclectic mix of nature and ski imagery, which included cinematographic time-lapse tricks that you will blow your fragile mind trying to wrap your head around. Many like myself didn't know what to think of the movie, and look forward to watching it in a controlled, crowd-free environment where its subtleties can be digested. One thing, however, was clear from the second the film started and in every review since: the Sherpas are firmly in the lead of a new wave of filmmakers that are changing the face of ski films for good. Which, like the shift in thinking that All.I.Can suggests, was long overdue.
Read Lisa Richardson's feature on the making of All.I.Can in SKIER 11.2, on newsstands this month.