"Have you ever met that funny reefer man?" That was the line that should have foreshadowed the night to come as I made my way through Oslo to the premiere of The Education of Style by Inspired Media. However, I was not thinking about that. All that was in my mind were the hyper-speed pillow shots of Tanner Hall and the unrelenting style of Henrik Harlaut's tweeked safety in the backcountry that I saw in the trailer over and over again earlier today. I just wish you could actually see them in the movie...

Before I go on, it would be unfair if I did not mention a few things. One, the movie was projected onto a wrinkly bed sheet hung in a random sports store in Oslo. Two, Norwegians tend to be very modest about their excitement and tend not to show it, thus it wasn't a very social experience. And, finally, I wasn't drunk...

That bed sheet took the movie down a few notches.

Now that we've got that out of the way, let's talk about the movie. First up to impress was Mr. Phil Casabon. At this point, I was open to being impressed after an hour of waiting for the delayed start of the movie. I was desperate to get some value for the time I spent pretending to enjoy the lo-carb Monster Energy drinks that some scantily clad chick with green M's all over was throwing at me. It's unfortunate that the first thing I saw of Mr. Casabon was him role-playing... whilst not on skis.

Why does the Monster Energy truck need to be so obnoxious? Speakers on the outside are a terrible idea...

"Ok," I told myself. "Let's move on..." A couple more of those awkward shots later and Phil was sliding his way into my heart in clothes big enough to hide a dwarf... And that's the last thing I made out from his part. I couldn't honestly recall any tricks because the buckets of filters poured over each shot obscured them. Too much contrast hid definition in the black and white shots, overlays distracted me from the skiing shots and, worst of all, some blingy star effect (best described as Phil wearing a bunch of little mirrors) turned Phil Casabon into a tumbling blob of bling. Sorry, Phil... I know you're a talented skier and it's a shame I literally couldn't see that in the movie.

Moving on... The man, the myth, the legend, Tanner Hall was up next. I was most excited for this part, and even more excited that Casabon's part set the bar so low so I could be stunned. I grew up watching and learning from Tanner from the earliest Poor Boyz Productions movies. He taught me everything I knew about how I did not want to look like on skis. He rode like he had never skied anything but transitions and always looked sort of uncomfortable in that awkwardly crouched gorilla stance. Then he got hurt... And then he got hurt again... And then he disappeared.

A signature is worth waiting for...

Whatever happened in those few years that I never got to see was the best thing that ever happened to his skiing. Relearning how to slide seems to have given him the opportunity to go over a lot of the basics and suddenly his skiing got a lot more admirable. His part in The Education of Style is one of the greatest examples of this. Beyond the filters (some of which I couldn't tell apart from the waving of the bed sheet), Tanner Hall showed some of his best skiing outside of a park since the happy dayz (see what I did there?) before the injuries. His pillow lines were the first thing to cheer about in the film (although the Norwegian crowd had a hard time showing it) and his backcountry hits were a throwback to those early days of admiration, but this time around with a style I could have never imagined back then. He pretty much bettered my childhood.

...but a helmet is worth kicking the shit out of everyone around you for.

That being said, the game has evolved a lot since then, and Tanner hasn't completely caught up with it yet. There lacks a certain epicness to the shots, an epicness that the other backcountry specialist riders are bringing to the table. However, he's definitely well on his way and I predict that in next year's movie, he will have surpassed them by miles.

The next few moments were dedicated to "friends". Guest appearances by the Gagniers, Parker White, Paul Bergeron, etc. took over and mesmerized. Seeing their names brought my hopes up, but sort of just left them there as each rider only got one or two shots. I would have like to see more from them, but so it goes...

Rounding out the movie with one of the greatest segments I have ever seen was Henrik Harlaut. I won't say much more than that at risk of ruining what I hope you'll agree is the greatest lesson in style this movie (or any other one out there for that matter) has to offer... It's worth the $10 in itself.

The talent. Tanner Hall, Phil Casabon, and Henrik Harlaut

CONCLUSION:

This movie is WAY over-edited, and that's something you cannot put aside with admiration of the talent, because, frankly, sometimes it hides the talent. As the trailer song warned and my friend Elias reiterated, you would be best off to see this movie intoxicated. But that's not what I'm looking for in a ski movie... Eric Iberg may be one of the most accomplished names in the ski movie industry, but he butchered The Education of Style beyond what skiing talent could have repaired.


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