Matchstick Productions – All In Review
Recently, Ian and I attended the premiere for the new MSP ski movie, All In. This film starred Michelle Parker, Elyse Saugstad, Cody Townsend, Angel Collinson, Tatum Monod, Mark Abma, Wiley Miller, and Jonny Collinson. One of the hopes of this movie was to have more female representation. In my time skiing, I have personally noticed that the ski industry and the sport in general tend to be very male dominated. My whole family skis, my younger brother, mom, and dad. Whenever I have gone on trips or skied with big groups there is normally very minimal female representation. With that being said as a female skier, I was really looking forward to this movie.
I grew up skiing at Squaw Valley. I did Mighty Mights when I was young, race team, and then big mountain once I realized gates did not compare to powder skiing. I would say the male to female ratio in these programs was pretty even. As we got older, however, there were less and less females. The lack of females in skiing confuses me. Are females intimidated to go out and ski with all the guys? Do they just not like it? After considering these questions I came to the conclusion that males and females are just different. As a general consensus males do not mind colder temperatures and like to do “dangerous” or “crazy” things. There are females out there that do not mind the cold and like to do crazy things, but there is definitely less of them. Guys are more willing to jump off large cliffs or do things that a female would look at and say “dang if I fell off that, it would really hurt” (or at least I know that is what I would be thinking!). Females have a stronger desire to preserve themselves and stay safe. I think that the basic differences in males and females is why not as many girls are out there.
My Opinion on the Movie:
There were things I really enjoyed about the movie, and also things I did not enjoy. I thought the skiing in the movie was amazing and fun to watch. All three of the girls: Michelle Parker, Elyse Saugstad, and Angel Collinson are amazingly talented skiers. There was not a lot of Tatum Monod skiing because of her recent knee injury, which she is still struggling to fully recover from. The guys in the movie also shredded. There was awesome footage of Mark Abma, Cody Townsend, Wiley Miller, and Jonny Collinson. I had not seen a lot of Wiley Miller or Jonny Collinson in ski movies, so it was fun to have someone new on the screen.
One of my favorite things about ski movies, besides the powder shots, is how they tell a story. Often times they tell a story of a winter long adventure or how they went on a search for snow when there wasn’t any to be found at home. I like being taken to a new place and not only seeing the skiing, but seeing the culture and the story behind the skiing. I was a little bit bummed because during this movie I found myself wondering where they were skiing and the culture was lacking. While I realize a ski movie is about the skiing it is also about going new places and going on adventures.
One of my favorite stories that the movie did include was about Angel Collinson and her brother Jonny Collinson. Angel tells us about how her brother and her got into skiing and mountaineering. When they were just 4-5 years old their dad took them up Mount Rainier. This exposure to the outdoors and adventure at such a young age instilled a desire to adventure in them that is still seen today.
A big part of this movie was the fact that it was female driven. Since ski movies feature mostly male scenes, this was a big change. In previous MSP ski movies there would maybe be 1 or 2 scenes with a female, but this movie took it to the next level. I loved the fact that they had more female representation, however I thought that the portrayal of female skiers was off. The movie starts off with 2 of the girls having a little cat fight and screaming before sending it down the hill. They also showed the females hugging at the ends of runs and being so proud that the other one did a good job. These are typical stereotypical girl things. By overplaying the “girlyness” of this movie I thought that they took away from their message. The movie was supposed to normalize females in the ski industry, but I felt as though these scenes portrayed female skiers as classic “sorority girls”.
With all that being said I want to emphasize that the females in the film are all amazing skiers; I just wish that the movie portrayed female skiers in a better light. I know that when I go out skiing I do not have cat fights with my friends and hug them when they do a good job. The movie played to the stereotypes of females.
The movie was less about the actual skiing and more about making a point that women can be in ski movies. While this message is extremely important, I think that a better way to do it would have been to focus more on the skiing and less on the fact that they were females. If a guy hucks a cliff it is no big deal, but if a girl does it, is crazy. If we want to normalize females in professional skiing then we need to act like it is normal. By acting like girls out there shredding is unusual then we will never reach that goal.
A cultural scene that I think would have added to the message as well as the feel of the movie would have been a community outreach section. They could have had the female skiers get a bunch of girls out there and teach them how to ski and show them why they love to do it. I think that reaching out to people and teaching them how to ski is how we will get more girls into the sport and I would have loved for the movie to have shown that and taken action.
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