Just forget the words and sing along

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hit the Slopes

When last we met, I was telling you one of my untold tales of Japan. I was telling my friend of the rigid schedule that Japan's Toho Studio follows in releasing their film franchises: Doraemon in March, Poekmon in July, Godzilla in December. My friend turned to me and said, "Wow. Too bad there's no film franchises like that back home."

Well, there is one. A film franchise that's been going on for 60 years now. Warren Miller Ski documentaries.

The films of Warren Miller had a real explosion of popularity in the early 1990s...at least in the circles I ran in. Throughout junior high and high school, every jock who mocked my lack of athletic ability were just enamored with Miller's ski documentaries. I never got the big deal...it's just people skiing. But it was beautifully filmed.

And every once in a while, I do some googling, and I've read the history of how Miller got into making his ski documentaries. Back in the 1940s, he'd show footage of himself skiing for his friends, and provide a humorous commentary. His friends really like his films -- and his narration -- and soon made regular events of it. Miller then figured he was on to something and formed a production company called Warren Miller Entertainment, and he vowed to produce a new ski documentary every year.

And he has...a new one every year, from 1950 through to the present day. Miller is now in his late 80s and hasn't been actively involved in his company since 2004, but his company has continued the legacy.

Some times, I feel I should snatch up a Warren Miller film for my DVD library...just to remember my misspent days in junior high.

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