High Gear: Warren Miller’s “Here, There and Everywhere” (2016) review | AspenTimes.com

High Gear: Warren Miller’s “Here, There and Everywhere” (2016) review

Phil Lindeman
Summit Daily News

Near the end of "Here, There and Everywhere," the 67th film from Warren Miller Entertainment, longtime narrator and U.S. Olympic champ Jonny Moseley wraps up the film-ending Greenland segment in one clean, crisp, succinct sentence.

"The thing about exploration is: It doesn't matter if you're doing it at the edge of the Earth or the edge of your local ski area," Moseley reads over aerial footage of a landscape that's equal parts stunning and deadly. "You wind up appreciating the most unexpected things because you never know what to expect in the first place."

Like the 66 films before it, "Here, There and Everywhere" takes viewers by the hand, ears, eyes — everything — for a tour of all the cool locales and unforgettable characters found in mountain towns and other winter hideouts across the world. It's exploration in video form — the kind of adventure you take from the comfort of your sagging La-Z-Boy while pros like Seth Westcott and Rob Kingwell tempt death on May corn at the edge of the Arctic Circle.

But the 67th film is something special. For the first time in more than a decade, the man himself — 92-year-old Warren Miller, looking just as young and sounding just as excited at he was in 1950 — gets in front of the camera for a recap of his favorite locations. There's Squaw Valley, California, outside of Lake Tahoe, where he tells of selling image stills for $1 apiece as a burgeoning filmmaker in the '60s. After selling 10, he had enough cash for the next roll of film. Then there's Switzerland, the international destination where he spent more time than anywhere else off of U.S. snow, home to rustic buildings and incredibly sketchy terrain accessed by suspended bridges high atop slopes of 45 degrees — or more.

The majority of the film's nine segments end or begin with a Miller interview, intercut with vintage footage from his first visit to the location. For years he wrote a beloved newspaper column — it launched in the Vail Daily and was soon syndicated by hundreds of print outlets — and the on-screen memories, though brief, have the same adventurous tone as the columns.

One of Miller's most striking memories comes near the end of the Switzerland segment in the film's second half. He tells of walking along the cobbled street one morning when he saw two skiers carving perfect figure eights into a slope. Without thinking, he took his camera from its bag and started setting up a shot — and then stopped. That peaceful, private moment should belong to the skiers, he remembered, and the image of their figure eights should be his and his alone. And so it became the only image he captured "just for me," he says. It's a quietly truthful statement in a film full of boisterously truthful ones.

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But what about the skiing and snowboarding and fat biking and pond skimming? There's plenty of that, and as usual it's filmed in loving detail with a combination of aerial footage, ground footage, GoPro footage and even a few dog-mounted shots. The film crew visits Kicking Horse in British Columbia, where ski patrollers get a little love for playing with explosives and charging through powder. The crew also visits Crested Butte, where reigning big-mountain queen Wendy Fisher makes backcountry turns with 7-month-pregnant Ingrid Backstrom between clips from the inaugural Fat Bike World Championships. The final segment in Greenland is one of the prettiest — aerial footage of vast, seemingly endless arctic terrain never gets old — and like the best of Miller's segments it highlights the local characters as much as the visiting pros.

The end credits roll over even more vintage footage. If you want five-plus minutes of outtakes, crashes, B-roll and the like, wait until the very end. But then again, why wouldn't you in the first place?

“Here, There and Everywhere” | Warren Miller | 98 minutes

In a nutshell: The 67th winter sports feature from Warren Miller Entertainment, featuring backcountry skiing across the world, plus footage from the debut freeski big-air contest at Boston’s Fenway Park

Athletes: Aaron Blunck, Chris Anthony, Collin Collins, Daron Rahlves, Grete Elliassen, Ingrid Backstrom, Jeremy Jones and more

Narrated by: U.S. Olympic freeskier Jonny Moseley

Locations: Squaw Valley, California; Crested Butte; Deer Valley, Utah; Montana; Switzerland; Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in British Columbia; Cordova, Alaska; Greenland; downtown Boston; Steamboat Springs

Highlight: Interviews with the legend himself, Warren Miller, after more than a decade away from the spotlight. He’s seen more in 50+ years of ski filming than most pros (and people in general) see in a lifetime, and he remembers most of it in vivid, quick-witted detail.

Watch it: “Here, There and Everywhere” is available for HD streaming through iTunes (rental $4.99, purchase $7.99), Amazon (purchase $7.99) and Google Play (purchase $9.99). The DVD/Blu-Ray combo is available through the Warren Miller online store for $24.99. To purchase or find our more, see warrenmillergear.com.

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