Focus on adventure: I plaid guilty | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Focus on adventure: I plaid guilty

Dan Thomas

Maybe I should feel guilty about what I missed — or rather, what I didn’t miss — at the Tahoe Adventure Film Festival.

But I always suspected I wasn’t the only one.

You know, the guy secretly wishing the movie about building mountain bike trails would end so another one about riding those same trails would begin; occasionally, irresponsibly more taken with the plaid-clad go-go dancers in attendance at Saturday’s screening at the MontBleu Resort Casino and Spa, say, than talking heads talking about sustainability.

Focusing on the “Adventure” in the film festival’s name provides a wider lens to look at other topics. True, there was no documentary about providing mountaineering gear to earthquake refugees in Kashmir, but Saturday night was the first opportunity I’d had to watch a movie about Fred Beckey, after more than a decade in the Rockies and the Sierra.

The serious topics are never far away, and adventure provides a lens through which to learn about other topics: Everything I know about Khazakstan (other than from “Borat,” anyway) I learned from Warren Miller and Chris Anthony in the lively segment from their 1997 movie, “Snowriders 2.”

Even though messages about the environment in the T.A.F.F. weren’t explicit, they were usually present: Ryan Leech wasn’t exactly subtle in lamenting how the swath of British Columbia forest he was riding for “Kranked 6” was slated for logging, but he was effective. So were Tommy Caldwell and Beth Rodden in their untitled segment, marveling over the many virgin climbing routes up the Grand Canyon walls, in their 10-minute segment.

People will hear even subtle messages if they’re listening. And they’re better listeners when they’re paying attention.

The Tahoe Adventure Film Festival shows again, beginning with a photo exhibit (and go-go dancer) at 6:30 p.m. at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno. The movies start showing at 7:30.


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