Solitaire (Ski)

Posted January 10, 2012 in

Sweetgrass Productions
X-Dance Screening: Thursday, Jan. 12 @ 5:20pm

In an age of fast paced, high energy action sports films, it is refreshing to see a production company take a step back and return to the roots of skiing. Directed by Nick Waggoner, this film brings audiences an authentic backcountry skiing experience that stimulates the senses and the spirit. The film opens with stunning sunrises illuminating the vast expanses of windswept loneliness across the South American continent. As the camera pans out, an ominous Spanish voice cuts across the landscape, and the film’s narration becomes an adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness. As Conrad’s words flow across the screen, the natural beauty of the terrain captures the viewer’s imagination. The uniqueness of the film stems from the exotic locations, original score, and overall character of the cast. Solitaire portrays what it is like to place man (or woman) in an unfamiliar environment and have them adapt to their surroundings. Entirely under their own power, riders like Johnny Collinson and Jesse Hoffman scale huge mountainsides in search of the perfect turn. Sleeping in tents, caverns, and various primitive shelters, the riders and photographers are treated to incredible rainstorms, furious wind, and general misery. However, when the clouds part and the warmth betrays the darkness, it is more glorious than any other sight on the planet. Blankets of fresh snow cover the towering peaks of the Andean wilderness and the team lets loose on the epic powder. Threading the thin line between slope and sky, the riders consecrate their marriage to the mountains in a profound and beautiful style that transcends the limits of the sport. By the end of the film, viewers have a sense of why people go to great lengths to pursue a passion and live in the midst of the incomprehensible. –Sean Zimmerman-Wall