Into the Mind: A Ski Filmmakers Film
The old man in Into the Mind.
If I could describe Into the Mind in one word that word would be: Inspired. Sherpas Cinema's Into the Mind is inspired by skiers and snowboarders who are alive and who have passed, who are professional and amateur, and Into the Mind is inspired by film and filmmaking. Historically, ski films get us pumped for ski season, pumped to try that run or trick we've yet to conquer, and pumped to seek adventure. Rarely do ski films get us pumped to go to the movies. Into the Mind is that rare exception: it does both.
As I watched I was reminded of the mini-series Into the West (2005), a mini-series tackling the conquering of the West; Julian Schnabel's The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007), where a man is trapped inside his own mind, unable to share with others what he is feeling or thinking; and of the Mitchell and Kenyon Factory Films, some of the earliest footage ever recorded on film, which shows everyday people-you and I-coming out of the factory after work. If we were part of those early factory workers being filmed we would have been handed leaflets to come to the Mitchell and Kenyon lab that night to see ourselves on film. Into the Mind puts us on film and then shows us the wonder of ourselves.
There is a stillness in this film that even commands the opening sponsors and advertisers to be inert. The old man holding a photograph harking back to photographers Fazal Sheikh or Steve McCurry's portraits of war survivors makes us reminiscent of our own personal wars, on and off the snow. The stillness and the old man also offer up the theme of memory (a long-time theme in film history) and how capturing ourselves on film begs us to ask: How does memory and capturing a moment in time affect us? Do we remember the event or the film that captured the event? All-in-all, Into the Mind has something for everyone. It may not all be skiers and boarders shredding to pop music or watching someone going bigger than we've ever seen before, but it is an anthology. Each part creates the whole film, yet could also stand alone. Thus the film is not only inspired, but inspires us.
In the words of one skier in the film: "Skins off, skis on."
The view from the main character of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.
Film still from Mitchell and Kenyon Factory Films.