September is a strange time for skiers. Ski season is seemingly just around the corner, yet too far away to start counting down the days, and with temperatures still peaking in the mid-80s and 90s across ski country, worries arise that winter might still be far off. Thankfully, September also brings about the arrival of a new season of ski movies, pumping up skiers with enough stoke and adrenaline to wait out those dreaded final weeks until the snow starts falling.
Kicking off this year's season of ski movies, Teton Gravity Research debuted their newest film, Far Out, on September 15 to a flock of excited skiers in their trendiest Jackson Hole attire. With a healthy 22 years of filmmaking under their belt, the TGR crew is no stranger to what turns a good ski movie into a great one, and they truly leave it all on the table with the release of Far Out.
Packing in more A List ski-lebrities than you can count on all your fingers and toes (like Ian McIntosh and Sage Cattabriga-Alosa) and shot in locations stretching from Kamchatka, Russia, to Alaska's Hidden Mountains (if they don't include an epic AK heli skiing scene, was it really a TGR movie?), Far Out delivers on all fronts. Whether it's veterans like Angel Collinson exploring her new home of Girdwood, Alaska, or newcomers like 18-year-old Parkin Costain diving straight into the deep stuff in British Columbia, there's no shortage of scenes that leave you itching to squeeze into your ski boots and get after it. And isn’t that the whole point of these films?
While the film does pack a heavy dose of skiing talent most of us will only ever experience in our dreams and video games, easily one of the biggest highlights of Far Out is the artistry woven into the filming and production of the movie. Rather than an hour straight of wall-to-wall action, Far Out lets you breathe between the face shots and cliff drops, peppering in stunning cinematography and maybe a few too many slow-mo lifestyle shots. For the vibes, man.
This review Far Out wouldn't be complete without mentioning the film's breakout star—11-year-old Kai Jones—who embodies the childish energy that skiing brings out in all of us, with barely a second of his Jackson Hole segment with TGR alum Tim Durtschi skied without a toothy grin across his face. While some may point to Kai's dad, (and TGR co-founder) Todd Jones, as the reason the tween scored a spot on the movie roster, the fact that Kai's segment featured more tasty face shots than I got during all of last season and is seen stomping lines most can only dream of is proof enough that the kid rips.
As the credits roll and the realization that ski season is still at least another month away begins to creep back into your brain, Far Out leaves you with a simple, yet heartwarming message. It's not about nailing the shot, getting to ski that crazy line, or flying halfway across the world to mountains you've never even heard of, it's about celebrating the people who were there with you along the way. Because hey, what good is skiing if you don't get to enjoy it with your friends?
Far Out Trailer