Just after World War II, before skiing became a trendy and accessible sport in the US, a young man named Warren Miller, fresh out of the Navy, headed off to Sun Valley armed with an eight-millimeter movie camera and began documenting skiers in their element. It was the beginning of a very long and successful career of touting the joys of skiing and chronicling advances in the sport on film. Miller’s voiceover narrations became iconic, and the movies that issued from Warren Miller Entertainment over many decades were given much of the credit for the popularization of skiing – and later in his career, snowboarding and “extreme” winter sports.
Warren Miller died in January 2018 at the age of 93. “Mr. Miller’s films depicted winter sports with grandeur, beauty and a mischievous sense of fun that attracted viewers who had never set foot on a slope,” said his obituary in The New York Times. “The mainstream appeal of his films helped turn winter sports from a niche pursuit to a widely popular pastime and a multibillion-dollar industry.”
Miller’s legacy is remembered in a documentary titled Face of Winter, in which legendary skiers from all over the globe pay tribute to their longtime chronicler. The new film will be screened three times this weekend at the Phoenicia Playhouse as a fundraiser for the Adaptive Sports Foundation (ASF), a not-for-profit organization that promotes physical activity for children and adults with disabilities including paralysis, autism, amputation, cerebral palsy and traumatic brain injury. ASF also runs the Warriors in Motion fitness and wellness program for injured military veterans.
Screenings of Face of Winter begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, January 18 through 20. Tickets cost $12 general admission, $10 for seniors, students and Professional Ski Instructors of America members. They can be purchased from Tender Land Homes on Main Street in Phoenicia, by calling (845) 688-2279 or online at www.phoeniciaplayhouse.com. All attendees who register at the screening are eligible to win ski vacations, receive free ski magazine subscriptions and win door prizes. To view a trailer for Face of Winter, visit https://warrenmiller.com/film-tour.
Face of Winter, Friday-Sunday, January 18-20, 8 p.m., $12/$10, Phoenicia Playhouse, 10 Church St., Phoenicia, (845) 688-2279; www.phoeniciaplayhouse.com