Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Banff Mountain Film Festival

Something really strange happened this week: Keith and I got a babysitter for Kai TWICE in three days! It was one of those coincidental things. On Sunday evening a friend of mine from ACCESS (Atmospheric Chemistry Colloquium of Emerging Senior Scientists - a.k.a. free schmoozing trip to Yellowstone and Big Sky) who has been in Boulder for 6 weeks wanted to go out for drinks with all the Boulder ACCESSories one last time before she moved to Berkeley. Then last night, Keith and I went to the first of two Boulder showings of films from the Banff Mountain Film Festival. No, we aren't going tonight, but I am curious to find out what films they will show.

A quick run-down of the films we saw last night:

Soul Flying or High Fly Summits (France) - a film about some rather insane skydivers who don suits with webbing between their arms and legs and between their legs and skim down the slopes of Mount Fuji and Mont Blanc before opening their parachutes. It was entertaining, but likely my least favourite of the evening for lack of production quality.

Person as Projectile (USA) - a fairly short film about the art of falling while skiing. The skier in the film skies off cliffs and falls anywhere from 20 m to more than 140 m, landing on his back, and *most* of the time he continues to ski down the hill. The post-production is what made this film worthy.

The Magic Mountain (Canada) - a 50 min film about a Canadian woman, Cynthia Hunt, the founder of HEALTH (Health, Environment and Literacy in the Himalayas) who is working in Ladakh, northwest India. The film is very inspiring, but seemed a little out of place.

Balancing Point (USA) - a film by a local Boulder filmmaker showing the "reverse destruction" of balanced rock sculptures. This was certainly one of the most creative films of the evening.

Harvest Moon (USA) - a 39 min film about a Swiss expedition to climb Thalay Sagar (22,650 ft.) in the Himalaya of northern India. Definitely a nail-biter. I have no desire to do technical climbing in the Himalaya.

The Hatch (USA) - a 17 min film about the time once a year at the Gunnison river (southwest of Boulder) where millions of 1 1/2" long salmon flies hatch and the salmon bite at anything with reckless abandon, and about the fight against allowing the river to be dammed. In terms of production quality, this was one of the best films of the evening. In terms of making me interested in something I had nearly NO interest in prior to last night, it was certainly the best film. Gunnison isn't far from here... and Keith has fly fishing gear. If it wasn't for the flies swarming all over everyone, I'd be there!

Solilochairliftquist (USA) - a 4 min film about the musings of a skier on a chairlift in Telluride, CO. Kudos for the best title of the evening. This was definitely the funniest film of the evening, with the audience in stitches during almost the entire 4 minutes. This is one that I'd love to see again.

So as you can see, there were a number of American films, at least three of which were from here in Colorado... I seem to remember the festival showings that I've been to in Toronto being a little more... international. Anyhow, as I said earlier, I'm curious to hear which films are played tonight.

1 comment:

Becky said...

So I just got my answer. The March 1 BMFF showings included:

Grand Canyon Dreams (Canada)

The Khumbu Mighty-Mites (USA)

Off Road to Athens (Custom World Tour Edit) (USA)

Return2Sender: Bug Out (USA)

Praszczur (Grandpa) (Poland)

Middle Kaweah (USA)

The Lost People of Mountain Village (USA)

So again, out of 7 picks, 5 are from the U.S. I guess the film choices were fairly balanced in their seeming off-balance.