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Author Topic: Banff Mountain Film Festival 2011  (Read 1162 times)
Tommy T
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« on: February 27, 2011, 06:13:45 PM »

We went to the Breckenridge editions of the 2011 Banff Mountain Film Festival last night.  Most of you probably know that BMFF offers local sponsors a selection of films from which the sponsor can chose any number to be shown in one night or over the course of two.  This is only the second year that there has been a showing in Breckenridge and the presentation was for one night only, but the sponsors chose 9 films running to nearly 2 1/2 hours, plus interludes and an intermission.

In recent years, Linda and I have become aware of how standard the assortment is from year to year and how unimaginatively the subject matter is treated.  One BASE jump/para-sail/or kite skiing film; one caving adventure; one extreme ski; one extreme snowboard; one handicapped athlete; one mountain bike; one white-water; one rock climber; and either a humanitarian venture in Nepal or a conservation project.  Breckenridge's selection for this year followed the formula very closely with a few interesting wrinkles:

A free solo rock climber who wears a BASE jumper style parachute which he pops if he peals. (The movie did not consider the question as to whether his first free solo ascents should count in the same category as traditional free solos -- his version remains risky but it certainly is the case that his life is not hanging on each and every lunge to a 1/4 inch ledge that he makes.)

A full day in the life of a skier reduced to 7 minutes alternating between extreme slow motion (1000 fps) of a snowflake flicking off the tip of a hard driven ski and extreme time lapse of the day passing.  Entitled "Chimaera,"  it was a very artistic impression of snow and ski.

And a parody.  (Linda and I love the parodies.)  This one was a take-off on the horrible Discovery Channel "Everest: Beyond the Limit."  Entitled "Parking Garage: Beyond the Limit," it was account of the ascent of the interior stairway of a  four story parking garage.

The most astonishing athletic accomplishment in festival featured a speed climber.  Not especially well filmed in my opinion and not including any really insightfull inquiry into motivation or training effort was "the Swiss Machine" which included footage showing a 2 hour and 47 minute free solo ascent (!!!!), in mixed conditions, of the Eiger North Face.  Given that "Gone With the Wind" and "The Ten Commandments" are each over three and a half hours and have been viewed in single sittings by millions of people, they could have showed us the entire climb in real time.

Tommy T.


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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2011, 11:25:56 PM »

My girl friend took me to the BMFF for my first time last Friday,
It was OK.

Life Cycles
Was a a good start to the show. Starts out at a factory were they melt the metals for mountain bike frames. Narrates over to a guy telling a story about his grand father and life. I didn't lesson to the narrator much but visuals of the biker going through the woods was cool. As the rider when through this course with fast berms and lots of gaps being jumped. They used some slow motion too. The biker was being chased by winter and snow at times with the land all around changing from spring , fall and winter.
The effects were cool and the story the guy was telling was a good one but not good enough for me to remember. I liked this one.

The next one was about cane exploring. They talked a bit about trying to get into places and squeezing small cracks. Talked a bit about graffiti. Was just OK

The parody show was about 4 guys fly fishing in eastern Russia. I'm not a fisherman but these guys were having fun and made me laugh a bunch of times.

They also showed the skiing one you saw.

One short was made using only motion sensor cameras that were set up by park service to have an idea of wild life. The camera took pictures often and took many cool shots that they splices together making a stop animation. It was all in black and white and was never intended to be made into a movie of any type. I thought this was original and entertaining.

One shot on some white water river runners and some hard core white water kayaking.

Finished off with the "freebase" climber working up to climbing the Eiger North Face. The guy seems to be skilled and is a bit nut! I think what he has been able to pull off with the human body is impressive. The amount of triaing it took him to get there in life is admirable in many ways. Hope he gets to live to be an old man but my money would not be on that bet. I liked this one the best I think.
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