Documentary Review: Snowboarding’s elite challenge “Dark Matter”

Snowboarding ventures into the realm of the rich and giant-carbon-footprint classes with “Dark Matter,” a lovely “virgin powder” downhill documentary shot in the pristine peaks near Tordrillo Heli (helicopter) Skiing lodge way up north in Alaska.

Snowboarding icons Travis Rice and Elias Elhardt are captured riding down slopes so steep you’d need crampons just to cling to them, sitting still. Filmed via helmet cams and from the helicopter that dropped them (GIANT carbon footprint), in slo-mo and with the odd kaleidoscopic post-production effects by director Curt Morgan, we see snowboarding at its most graceful.

The guys seek ridgelines so narrow they’re like the stairway railings skateboarders shred, perform acrobatic jumps and spins off some mini-cliffs, and finish with such deep thoughts as “That is a thing of sheer beauty” and “I can’t believe we just rode that.”

The only clue to the film’s location is seeing them put up at the Tordrillo Lodge. There’s a bit of pretentious narration, but no geographic graphics ID’ing the range or the guys or what have you.

Just “We assign a meaning to everything we to everything we see…chaos, or harmony” intoned in voice-over.

It’s pretty to look at. Is it a movie? No, it is not.


Cast: Travis Rice, Elias Elhardt

Credits: Directed by Curt Morgan. A 1091 release.

Running time: :27

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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