Disclaimer- Go see Flow State no matter what you are about to read.
I just want to say up front that no matter how you feel about ski porn and the legacy of Warren Miller, you’re a lame-a** if you choose to sit on the couch instead of make the annual pilgrimage to kick off this ski season. We need all the karma we can get, folks!
Say what you will about the demise of the Miller brand, it is what it is- a vehicle to stir the snow mojo, and this 63rd installment does exactly that.
I attended the gala when Flow State premiered at Abravanel Hall, October 19. It had snowed lightly and the pent-up tension was thicker than a 15 year-old’s on his first visit to the Chicken Ranch. Even a bad ski movie would have riled this crowd.
You’ve got three more chances to be part of a ski ritual if you live in Utah. Tonight in Park City at 8 p.m. and tomorrow in Park City at 6 and 9 p.m. Both screenings are at the Eccles Center. (From there it moves on to Washington, Colorado, the east coast and California.) Tickets are $20 but that includes a weekday lift ticket to Canyons Resort, worth four times the price of admission.
Speaking of Canyons, they are prominently featured in the second half of the show so don’t duck out early.
When I heard about this I was left scratching my head wondering where they found the snow to shoot a classic Miller powder segment. I mean we all felt it – the lack of weather love in 2012. Perhaps it would be CGI? They can do that these days, you know.
But up there on stage, before the screen lit up, there they were; Utah’s six athletes all talking about how Utah’s the ultimate playground. “I’m super fortunate to have been brought up here,” said Marcus Caston. “We’ve traveled all over the world but this is the best place to be,” added Kaylin Richardson. They talked about their ski racing backgrounds and how psyched they were to be a part of Warren Miller.
You couldn’t help cheer when the segment finally rolled (Flow State is 90 minutes long). Unfortunately, I had no idea where it was shot. I hate that about most ski films. I teach at Canyons and I had no clue where they were. In bounds? Out of bounds? Sidecountry? Backcountry? Can anyone ski there? My questions remain. Put the damn name of the run or area of the resort in your voice-over, People!
I’ve always looked to Miller as a kind of travelogue but over the past few years it all looks the same. Flow State goes to Alaska, Colorado, Japan, Switzerland, Tahoe, Austria and Norway. But rarely does it explore the culture and the vibe of being in those spots. You could be anywhere. The only place I remember is Murren, Switzerland, because the filmmakers actually took the time to set up the segment and show more than skiers in a powder field.
Kids might appreciate 11-year-old Aspen Spora tearing up the Superpipe at Northstar but for me I’d seen enough after the first couple of airs.
My two favorite segments were, of course, the ones that told a story- Chris Anthony trying to ski on gear used by the 10th Mountain Division and Jonny Moseley, Bob Howard and Thom Brisson ballet skiing. Now, if we had heard more about Canyons Resort “Ambassador” Kaylin Richardson I really would have loved that segment. She’s the story. An apartment at the Waldorf, ski gear, season pass and $60k all to write a few blogs last winter? Show me her pad; show me her day. WM, you missed the boat.
Let’s face it, Warren Miller hasn’t been “Warren Miller” since, well, Warren Miller checked out. However, it does get the job done. As Jonny Moseley says at the end of the film, “Winter starts now.”