Film Review - La Liste

A review of one one of this year's ShAFF Ski & Board Films - La Liste

La Liste - Featuring Jérémie Heitz and friends

Review by Dan Habershon-Butcher

For a film that has Redbull backing, it’s great not to have an opening that is brash, loud and in your face. Instead natural sounds over cinematic aerials introduce us to guys who are certainly ‘earning their turns’ slowly breaking trail on their hands and knees up a 3500m peak. The sense of scale of these two tiny pioneers in a giant, steep white landscape is scary. It’s an impressive start.

The film is about Jérémie and a masterplan he has in the Alps. It might seem a little crazy, but the solid introduction he gets from a host of hardcore skiers and boarders means we know we’re in for a real treat; if Xavier de la Rue says he’s one of the best people to watch on the mountain then I’m definitely going to take notice. Jérémie’s a young freerider and as the heli-gimbal camera films in an almost dizzying fashion we start to see just how he likes to play with the mountains.

He has some talented buddies to ski with, but it’s only when we see footage of them skiing the same lines that you can begin to appreciate his high level skills. While still wondering how they were even sticking to the near vertical slopes I could appreciate his fluidity and incredible speed as if taking the ‘no friends on a powder day’ rule to a ridiculous conclusion.

He’s taken inspiration from some of the early steep skiing heroes, meeting with them and repeating some of their brilliant lines. While they threw down extreme jump turns back in the day, he’s brought a holy-moly factor to the mountains and it certainly had me gasping in my chair - especially when things didn’t go quite to plan. If you think falling over on a black run is scary, you’ll pee your pants watching this.

There’s a mix of cinematography through the film, from incredibly beautiful detail shots to spinning aerials and of course the obligatory GoPro material that will have you gulping for breath. One of the best things is the neat use of drone footage in addition to the big helicopter shots recording the main ski faces. For once it’s not over-used, instead put to good effect showing the monumental effort required to get the guys where they want to be, skinning, snow-shuffling and ice-axing their way up over 4000m summits. It’s no easy task just getting to the start point, let alone surviving the ride down.

This film had me going woaaaaahhhhh and clenching my butt cheeks on numerous occasions and not least with the closing scene. This guy has massive kahunas. If you want to be impressed by some well crafted, highly impressive steep and fast skiing then get your ticket now.

Oh, and make sure you watch through the credits – especially any film-maker who uses drones.

The reviewer:

Dan Habershon-Butcher is a freelance photographer and film maker with a huge passion for the outdoors. He’s been a ski leader for the Ski club of Great Britain, rock climbs, ice-climbs and recently found himself hiking to 7000m to summit the highest mountain in South America while filming a disabled challenge team.

See more about him here:

Twitter / Instagram @thedanhb