Dynasty is being rolled out
during an 82-city tour stretching from October to December. There will
be nationwide showings at various performing arts centers, high school
auditoriums and vintage vaudeville houses like downtown Syracuse’s
Landmark Theatre, which presents the film at the tail end of the tour
on Thursday, Dec. 3.
Max Bervy, in his seventh year as director for these icy extravaganzas, orchestrates a different theme for Dynasty
that goes beyond the usual “Think Snow” mantra. In honor of godfather
Warren Miller’s 60th anniversary as the ski auteur of this series,
Bervy mixes scratchy footage from some of the earliest Miller ventures
with new visuals shot in crystal-clear high definition.
The antique stuff has its charms, like
watching vintage autos and trailers filled with happy campers as they
enter a resort’s long-ago parking lot. Meanwhile, the recent snippets
offer breathless montages of energized, aggressive skiers in action
that will make novice skiers glad to hang out at the bunny slope. No
matter what the decade, Bervy affirms, there will always be ski nuts
who enjoy their hot-doggin’ with extra mustard.
Chairman of the snowboard: Peter Wurster takes on the thrills of Vail Pass in Colorado.
Olympics mogul champ Jonny Moseley again
serves as narrator for this peppy 98-minute travelogue, which
encompasses stopovers at Crystal Mountain, Wash., Colorado’s Rockies,
Norway’s fjords and even northwestern China, where modern-day cinematic
schussers Chris Anthony and Austin Ross encounter villagers in a
3,000-year-old community that still fashions skis whittled from tree
Since action always dominates these
showcases, Moseley’s intros are serviceable enough (“Tahoe just
attracts the good, the crazy and the crazy-good.”). If you listen
closely to the soundtrack, however, at times you’ll hear that Bervy has
subliminally inserted some of Miller’s folksy wisdom from previous
entries, especially a tidbit about a ski bum’s diet of oyster crackers
The downhill excitement is again married
to an eclectic score of alt-rock tracks such as Primal Scream’s “Can’t
Go Back.” But there are also some oldies on hand that seem culled from
a deep-cuts FM format, notably the Emerson, Lake and Palmer classic
“Karn Evil 9” that opens the movie, and Deep Purple’s “Space Truckin’”
as the closing track, with both songs accompanying those 8mm clips shot
by Miller himself.
It’s that sense of merging past and present that makes Dynasty
one of the more satisfying productions from the Warren Miller pipeline.
That’s evident when Bervy chronicles the history of Rodger Crist and
his family, who left San Francisco’s hubbub in 1979 for the wintry
weather of Sun Valley, Idaho. The Crist kids, Reggie, Zach and
Danielle, grew up to become ski athletes, while Rodger is still hitting
the slopes at age 70, a birthday milestone that is featured in the film
with a celebration at Sun Valley, apparently one of the last bastions
for fondue. And hang on for the interlude that features a snowboarding
alligator; the critter displays such on-screen orneriness that he just
might be a department-store handbag by now.
Dynasty will screen on Thursday,
Dec. 3, 8 p.m., at the Landmark Theatre, 362 S. Salina St. Tickets are
$18.50, which also includes free vouchers for lift tickets to Stratton,
Gore and Greek Peak mountain resorts and a $25 discount on a purchase
of more than $150 at the Ski Company, 3401 Erie Blvd. E., DeWitt, and
5301 W. Genesee St., Camillus. For discount tickets, call (800)
523-7117; for Landmark lowdown, call 475-7980.