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Kickstart your winter with latest Warren Miller film

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By Sharon Wootton
There are two November events that attract a lot of attention: Thanksgiving and the showing of the annual Warren Miller film, the official introduction to winter's possibilities.
While we can stretch Thanksgiving into a four-day holiday, there's only one chance locally to see the 63rd film in the never-ending series. Warren Miller's "Flow State" airs Nov. 14 in Everett.
The concept of flow is addressed several times (thus the film's title). It's a state of mind when skiers are totally engaged in the run, so focused, so in the moment, that they ride at the highest level.
Here are some highlights of going with the flow:
•Best opening sequence in at least the past 10 years, such that the lengthy intro was worth every second.
Best tomahawking scene occurred in the North to Alaska segment, when Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety may have set a world record for going head-over-teakettle for a few hundred feet.
Best combination of music was in the Japan section, with taiko drums, The Hives' "Insane" and Bassnectar's "Butterfly." The most beautiful sequence was also here, a conjunction of "Butterfly," slow motion, exploding snow and the bones of trees creating a Japanese feel.
Best youth section was shot in California, where a couple of boys played hooky from school and put the free time to good use, with Dr. John's "Big Shot" in the background. Eleven-year-old Aspen Spora had the best youth quote: "I would have no life without skiing. My life would be school, ping-pong and eating."
Best history lesson was the piece on the 10th Mountain Division, the soldiers of World War II trained for fighting in the snow under the most difficult conditions, including living outdoors in minus-30 degrees. And they weren't outfitted by REI or North Face.
Veterans of that unit offered their memories and two descendants of fighting skiers, wearing Army gear used back then, found just how difficult the task.
•Best ski town shot was an aerial view of Murren, Switzerland, built, literally, on the edge of a cliff.
Hands-down, the best isolation section (and one of the most beautiful) was shot in Norway north of the Arctic Circle.
First Aid Kit's "Dance to Another Tune" was the perfect accompaniment to a Russian mining ghost town, ice floes, polar bears and comments on the increasing melting speed of the Arctic ice.
•Best extreme ski sequences? Too hard to choose. Just enjoy.
Excellent choices were made in the music, which matched up well with the visuals, including Astronautalis' "The River, The Woods," Richard Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra" and The Heavy's "How Do You Like Me Now?"
The only negative was the sometimes painfully scripted conversation between a few of the skiers.
Jonny Moseley, not Warren Miller, narrates again, ending with the traditional message: Winter starts now.
To kickstart your winter, see "Flow State" at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Historic Everett Theater. Tickets are $20 (convenience fees may be added), and can be purchased in person at the theater or by calling 425-258-6766; at Sturtevant's Ski Mart, 8920 28th Ave. W.,
Lynnwood; or online at
Columnist Sharon Wootton can be reached at 360-468-3964 or
Story tags » MoviesSkiing

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