The Art of Flight – Snowboard movie review

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I’m a bit late to the party with this movie, there has been a huge amount of hype since the premier was shown in New York City on the 7th September 2011.   The Art of Flight is the follow up to the hugely successful TITA (That’s It, That’s All).   Travis Rice has teamed up with director Curt Morgan and producers Red Bull Media House + Brain Farm Digital Cinema.

Travis is joined by fellow riders : Nicolas Muller, Mark Landvik, Jake Blauvelt, Pat Moore, David Carrier-Porcheron (DCP), Scotty Lago, Eero Niemela, John Jackson and Jeremy Jones

Locations visited include Jackson Hole, Alaska, Aspen, Patagonia and British Columbia.   Jackson hole had one of their best seasons on record this year so I’m glad to see this featured.

Everything in this film is bigger and better than most of what has come before. The budget was estimated at $2 million dollars, the running time is 80 minutes, the scale and action is epic and the cinematography is mind blowing.    You won’t find a jib fest here, this is a big mountain riding movie.

The directors aim was to make this movie more accessible to the mainstream but to still keep the core viewer happy.  An easy win in my eyes.  The Art of Flight is a great showcase for snowboarding, even someone who has never set foot on snow, will find it hard not to be in awe of this movie.  The documentary style gives structure and more of a journey feel rather than just a sequence of action shots.

One of the reasons the cinematography in this movie looks so good is down to the cameras used.   They used a Phantom camera for slow mo shots (as used to shoot the Super Bowl) and a high definition Cineflex camera for the helicopter shots (as used in  “Planet Earth”).

The Art of Flight Soundtrack

The editing of this movie is top-notch as to is the soundtrack, in fact it’s the best I’ve heard.  You get feel good tracks and sombre tracks which match the action perfectly.  Artists feature such as Deadmau5, The Naked and Famous, Apparat, Sigur Rós and M83.   For the full track listing and playable tracks check out my Art of Flight Soundtrack post. My favourite track is probably “intro” by M83

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Even the pilots get in on the crazy action.

The Art of Flight gets its UK London cinema release on November the 17th and the DVD/BD release is September the 30th.   If you can’t wait that long it is available right now from the iTunes store.   £7.99 for the SD and £9.99 for the HD version (recommended).   The last snowboarding movie I saw in the cinema was back in 2005 – First Descent.   The scale of snowboarding and the backdrops translate very well to the big screen, so well worth a viewing if you can get along to the premier.

What I like

  • Brilliant soundtrack
  • Breath taking cinematography and slick editing.  You will swear some of it is CGI it’s that good. Production values are super slick.
  • Pushing the boundaries of what is possible.
  • I’m not a fan of iTunes, but this was my first movie download and I was pleasantly surprised with the experience (well ok apart from the DRM constraints!). It’s only 720p but still looks great.

What I don’t like

  • The iTunes download does not contain the extras – such as the chair lift cable grind (shown in the trailer). You have limited viewing options due to DRM.
  • DVD does not appear to be available seperately.  Need to buy the DVD + BD special edition pack which is steep at £30.

My favourite scenes would have to be the Avalanche section in BC, which highlights the fine line between pushing the boundaries of the sport and death. Also loved the final section where Travis out does the legend JJ.

10/10 : Sets a new benchmark. If you only watch one snowboarding movie in your life – make sure its this one.

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2 Comments on “The Art of Flight – Snowboard movie review”

  1. Still haven’t got around to seeing this but dying to watch it, the trailer looked incredible!

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