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First, I am *not* in the least bit knowledgeable about snowboarding or any of the related sports (surfing, skateboarding, skiing). And I was myself fearful that this movie would include so much "technical" or "advanced" material that a mere mortal wouldn't be able to follow it. "Documentaries" can be very specialized, after all.
I need not have feared finding myself out of my depth and neither should *you* if you're not yourself in the center of the "scene" and yet are thinking about seeing this film.
Because this is really in the spirit of The Lords of Dogtown and ... and ... well, there was a Surfing quasi-documentary from last summer, I can't think of the name ... but it had the same flavor. The flavor was a special sort of humanistic excitement that for me arises from combining both (a) great footage of the Action; and (b) great narrative and interviews with the People involved.
I liked the sort of back and forth from Present (a sort of Reality Movie type expedition to Alaska with 5 top boarders) and Past (History of Snowboarding).
The scenery from Alaska was simply breathtaking, the descents gripping and exciting and full of vicarious adrenalin rushes.
The interviews with Terje and Shaun and Hannah and Farm and Shawn were wonderfully engaging: fresh and convincing and sincere enough that I as viewer felt like I got a real sense of who these fascinating and delightful persons were.
The history painted the whole Snowboarding Phenomenon with a vivid and appealing personality as well.
The way that the entire film built toward what truly was a blazing, satisfying completion, was just delightful. In fact the sort of sustained baseline of excitement was modulated by a kind of rhythm back and forth from whiteknuckling action back to a little narrative or interviewing to let me catch my breath.
Great job everyone ... and *thanks* for giving a viewer like me a little glimpse into a gripping and exciting and wonderfully human world.
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