WTF - Fake Snowflakes?
These days, it doesn’t even seem like all the film crews do the token chick part like they used to, so we were happy to see a few companies coming out with all-girl efforts this season. The first to come to a theater near me (and appear for free on the interweb ) is Stance, a film by J.Mills featuring some of the bigger female names in snowboarding competitions today. And, I must say… why the hell did they fake in little snowflakes in half the scenes? I know, I know, I should be focused on the riding, but the cartoon snow is really distracting! Seriously, I can’t stop staring at it. I mean it’s not at all realistic - since when does snow fall in polka-dots? At the beginning, they even added fake clouds and fake flocks of birds to the fake snow, all to some new age music that makes me feel like Frodo is about to pop out of that scary black witch mountain thing and wave his sword.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the only thing about the film that annoyed me. Not that it’s total crap - it’s worth watching the whole way through, even if just for the end: Raewyn Reid really shines. And it’s interesting to see riders like Gretchen Bleiler out of their comfort zone. Though it’s a bit odd that they took nearly all of the riders out of their comfort zone. Wouldn’t have minded if they brought Victoria Jealouse in to show the girls what to do.
However, I didn’t feel like they did a very good job of portraying who these riders are, and in some cases they failed to really show their level of skill. I’m sure only had a limited time to work with most of these ladies, who spend much of the season focused on competitions. Or at least I hope that’s the case. Otherwise, I can’t believe they would have been left with so many missed grabs, botched landings, and artistic shots of moose and deer.
In some ways, I felt was as though they were portraying female riders in the most stereotypical way possible, complete with beauty shots, crazy flail, and more indie grabs than I could count. Maybe it’s better to leave the women’s films to women, or at least to companies with a strong female influence. The efforts of Leanne Pelosi’s Runway Films and Leslie McKenna’s ChunkyKnit Productions by far outshine Stance. These ladies seem to have a better understanding of how to showcase the talents of female riders, and also some insight into a female viewer’s desire to get into the lives of the riders a bit more. Not, you know, watch them standing by a cliff as they pan around in slow motion. Plus, they didn’t have quite as much music that made me want to stab my ears out.
I have a whole list of gripes, but maybe you’d better download the movie before you turn all overly critical like me. The bottom line is, it’s somewhat aggrivating, but has good parts. It’s not nearly as good as La La Land or Float, but being free, it’s much cheaper than either of those, and easier to get your hands on - so it’s not like you’re losing anything.
Or here it is tiny:
Do de do.. waiting for you to watch it…
Okay, done? Now you can read my list of gripes:
WTF was up with Laura Hadar’s part? Laura Hadar falls down, Laura Hadar skis across some sidewalk in jeans and falls down. Zoom in on Laura Hadar’s ass. The end. Why bother to show her at all?
Why did they keep showing people loading snowmobiles onto trucks? Did they make a deal with their sponsors that they had to show at least 8 snowmobile close-ups? And at least 12 abstract shots of trams?
What was with the “attention ladies, this part was shot in 28 days” at the beginning of Raewyn’s part. Were all the other parts shot in 2 days? Or 200? And why do they show her name again later, with blingy dollar signs around it?
Why all the repetition of shots? I swear they have the same cliff drop by Gretchen in there twice - once in slow-mo and once from 10 degrees further over to the left. And MFR’s part featured the same 3 shots from about 17 different angles. It’s like on The A-Team, where they show the same explosion over and over again hoping you’ll think it’s many huge explosions. But they’re not fooling anyone; you can clearly see that the abandoned warehouse is back to being unexploded at the beginning of each new shot.
The odd inconsistency of filter colors also bothered me. Suddenly everything would be more brownish or brighter, or more orangey.
Why was there no talking other than Gretchen? I don’t think the rest of them are mute. And I’m positive some of them are well-spoken and not idiots.
They should have cut that night pipe shot - you can barely see what’s going on! If you don’t have a lighting budget, why bother?
Anyway… go ahead and yell at me for being a hater. And if you’ve missed the “limited time offer” for the free download, I’d buy La La Land instead. Or go watch PeepShow.
Posted by Kelly Vance on 10/06
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