Latest Warren Miller film ‘No Turning Back’ screens at CMC Breckenridge
If you go
What: Warren Miller’s “No Turning Back”
When: 6 and 8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6
Where: Colorado Mountain College, 107 Denison Placer Road, Breckenridge
Cost: $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 and younger; all proceeds benefit Timberline Learning Center
More information: Tickets can be purchased at the door, in person at Timberline Learning Center, 170 Valley Brook Road, or by calling (970) 453-9656. To learn more about Timberline, visit http://www.timberlinelearningcenter.com.
There’s nothing like standing at the brink of a frozen precipice to make you think about the past.
As Vail-based skier Chris Anthony stood at the top of what would be a first descent in the Chugach Range in Alaska, his thoughts were on his father, Vino Anthony.
“That was really special for me,” Chris Anthony said. “I got to spread some of his ashes up there.”
The first descent down, which Anthony named “Vino,” is the opening scene in the newest Warren Miller film, “No Turning Back,” which will be screened twice on Friday, Feb. 6, at Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge. Beer and wine will be available for sale, and all proceeds will go toward outdoor classroom enhancements at Timberline Learning Center, an early-learning center in Breckenridge.
Leslie Davis, executive director at Timberline, said this is the third time the center has shown a Warren Miller film. The movies embrace Summit County’s outdoor lifestyle, which trickles down to the children in the community, she said.
“We know that Warren Miller films are historically incredibly popular, which is why it’s on its 65th film, which speaks for itself of the popularity and excitement that goes along with the films,” Davis said. “They are also reflective of why we’re all here, this heart-pounding, adrenaline-filled experience of living in Summit County.
“They’re really fun for all ages; it’s a family-friendly film. Lots of times, even with Disney films, there are parts incorporated that are only for younger children or older children. With the Warren Miller films, everything about them is appropriate and enjoyable for every age. … It sort of lends an eye into the lifestyle that we are all perceived to be living here.”
“No Turning Back” has all the makings of a classic Warren Miller flick, complete with jaw-dropping scenery and acrobatic athleticism, but it also looks back on the 65 years of skiing that the film company has documented, examining the legacy and roots of the sport. Be prepared for some entertaining throwback scenes from the early days of skiing.
We caught up with Anthony in November as he toured the state with the film to talk about the start of the ski season, close calls on Alaskan peaks and, of course, the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, currently taking place in Vail and Beaver Creek.
SUMMIT DAILY NEWS: Warren Miller is known for filming in far-flung locations. Where does “No Turning Back” take us, and where did you get to film?
CHRIS ANTHONY: My opening segment is in Alaska, with (skiers) Ingrid Backstrom and Jess McMillan. Two highlight segments in the first half of the film is in Japan and then at Beaver Creek and Vail highlighting the history of ski racing here. You end up with the last segment in Switzerland.
In Alaska, the girls skied a descent called the Sphinx. It was a huge line and took eight months of set-up to get those shots. As we were flying away, the girls were on Cloud 9. We landed in one more area, and that’s where I got to ski a first descent.
SDN: We hear Beaver Creek and Vail are prominently featured in the film?
CA: Yes, they highlighted the World Cup races at Beaver Creek and the history of ski racing here on the road to the 2015 Championships. They pulled a lot of archival footage and talked about the Championships being here with the timing of Mikaela (Shiffrin), Lindsey (Vonn), Ted (Ligety) and Bode (Miller) all doing very well here. They did a nice job highlighting the speed and athleticism of it. That segment has raised applause in the audience every time it’s shown. I come from a ski racing background, too, so I love to see ski racers featured in the film.
SDN: Are there any crazy moments from the filming that audiences won’t necessarily see in the film?
CA: There was a really special moment during the last day of filming. The helicopter landed, and we picked out some different lines.
It dropped me on a steep exposure facing west called The Hourglass. It dropped Jess (McMillan) on another exposure with two angles to it. Ingrid was on a north-facing exposure. The heli went down and set up for an aerial shot to shoot us all separately.
I kind of wandered out onto my slope and just didn’t feel comfortable with it with the snow stability and everything. I was supposed to go first. As I was trying to figure out what to do, suddenly the call came that I would be going third instead.
Jess had already had the countdown, and when she dropped into the exposure that was facing the same way as mine, the whole thing slid. She was so strong and skied herself onto a different exposure and let it go by. After that, we all got picked up and didn’t ski our runs.
SDN: As a big-mountain skier, does standing at the top in a situation like that still scare you? Do you ever feel the pressure to ski those runs, even if you’re having second thoughts?
CA: There’s no pressure for us to ski anything. It’s really our call.
For me, I battle with myself. Do I let my ego talk and go and try and outrun it, or do I exercise some common sense and walk away?
That moment happened at the end of a wonderful shoot, and ending it like that keeps it real. People watch these films and don’t realize all the stuff that happens way behind the scenes.
Summit Daily arts and entertainment editor Krista Driscoll contributed to this story.
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