Warren Miller's Dynasty -- the latest in a sixty-year dynasty of feature-length ski films that is still inspired by, if no longer helmed by, the octogenarian filmmaker and snow-sports enthusiast -- arrives tonight at the Somerville Theater and moves to Berklee Performance Center over the weekend. "The featured skiers, who plunge down perilous
ravines to the pulse-pumping soundtrack," writes Tom Meek in his review this week, "are a breed apart, fearless
and seemingly locked into a state of permanent nirvana." Film reviewers tend to scratch their heads when trying to find a deeper foothold in the powder. They're not wrong, necessarily: there is nothing beneath the slippery surface. But Miller's brand of powder-porn was ahead of its time, and remains near the top of its genre -- which isn't narrative film or documentary, really, so much as pure art film, a moving painting about action. Call it an un-still life. Like its predecessors, Dynasty is of course more impressive if you're a practitioner of the snowy arts. And in this respect Miller's films are the grandfathers of the skateboarding videos that young punks gathered to watch on VHS in the 1980s, and which have now blossomed into big-budget epics, themselves (and, if the director's name happens to be Spike Jonze, played at MoMA). Which is to say, if you don't walk out of Miller's films thinking about where your boots and poles are, you probably wouldn't have been there in the first place.
SHOWTIMES: Warren Miller's Dynasty, at the Somerville Theater (Nov 11-12) and Berklee Performance Center (Nov 13-14)