by Scott Gaffney Productions
parody \Par"o*dy\ n 1 : a composition that imitates somebody's style in a humorous way 2: humorous or satirical mimicry v 1: make a spoof of; make fun of.
The skier finally counts down, "3...2... 1... oh God, dropping..." and he suddenly appears on screen at the top of a gnarly line. He butt-slides his way down the in-run of the cliff, awkwardly flops his carcass over the edge and tumbles down the slope as a soundtrack of childish giggles mocks his performance. It's then that you realize that Scott Gaffney is definitely up to some shenanigans here.
With 1999, Gaffney loads up the potato gun and takes aim at ski movie hype, the new school scene, goofy equipment fads, his own cast, himself and anything else he can think of. Shane McConkey takes Polaroids of Squaw's terrain park as if he's sizing up a 2000 foot descent in Alaska. Several stars of the movie dress in the finest early '90s ski fashion and cavort about on skiboards. Almost every segment in the movie plays with the viewer's conventional view of freeskiing.
That's not to say that this movie isn't full of some seriously ripping skiing. With talented skiers like McConkey, Jonny Moseley and 18-year-old Squaw wunderkind JT Holmes, you're pretty much guaranteed a good show. McConkey's top dog status in the free-skiing world is affirmed once again, as he shows he can throw down in the terrain park just as easily as he slices up the steeps. JT Holmes shows off more of the smooth turning, big huck style that made him a breakout star last year. And Jonny Moseley? He's Moseley and that's all I think I need to say, right?
But you could take away all those names and this movie would rip for one simple reason. In pop culture, the phrase "givin' props to my bros" is often overused, but Scott Gaffney truly has a bro worth giving props to: his younger brother Dr. Robb Gaffney. Despite going through four grueling years of med school since he first appeared in Gaffney's '95 cult classic, Walls of Freedom, Dr. Robb still averaged 80+ days a year on the snow. 1999 proves that he owns Squaw's Palisades like no one since the Man himself, Scot Schmidt. Throughout the flick, he rips up the toughest terrain and throws some sickly exposed backflips that even McConkey might be envious of.
1999 also stands out this year because it was filmed entirely in Colorado, California and Montana, with the exception of the kayak footage from Quebec. While big mountain sequences in Alaska and Europe have become a staple in the freeskiing movie formula, Gaffney reminds us that steep drops, straight runs and sick lines still happen accessible playgrounds as Squaw Valley, Bridger Bowl, Berthoud Pass and Donner Summit.
With 1999, Scott Gaffney has continued the course that he set with his previous movies, Walls of Freedom and 1997's Breathe. He combines witty and soulful narration with passionate, talented skiers, giving us movies that both excite us and make us understand a little better why we ski. 1999 is a classic and deserves a hallowed place in your ski video collection, right next to the Greg Stump movies.
Matt Stanley, MountainZone.com staff
Videos fill those long, painful months when the sunshine has gone away and it has not yet been replaced by any white stuff. In fact, this video might just be the only thing that gets you through the fall. Think of it this way: you can either watch videos every day until the snow falls, and then go run around in the rain, or you can spent the whole day inside, jumping around your bedroom with your board(s) strapped to you feet. The second option presents a very high rug-burn potential. Don't do something you'll regret. Check out this vid.
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