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Snow Blind

Matson Films

NEW YORK — If you're under the impression that a "snurfer" refers to an animated character in a children's television show, then you might not be the target audience for the new documentary "Snow Blind." Christopher J. Scott's film chronicling the rise of one of the world's fastest-growing sport is best geared to fans, presenting those of us with merely a casual interest with far too much information and repetitive footage of snowboarders in action.

In case you were wondering, the "snurfer" actually was the precursor to the modern snowboard, invented by a Midwesterner named Sherman Poppen in the mid-1960s. As the film explains in far too lengthy detail, one thing led to another, eventually reaching the sleek modern versions of today and the rise of a $1 billion-a-year sport that some say saved the ski industry from decline.

Plenty of dazzling statistics are trotted out in the course of this relentlessly enthusiastic infomercial, uh, film, which needless to say displays an unbridled enthusiasm for the sport and those who practice it. We get to hear a great many examples of the latter, who testify as to its rejuvenating aspects.

More than a few human interest stories also are provided, including profiles of handicapped snowboarders and one outgoing 90-year-old enthusiast.

Of course, the real appeal of the proceedings is the generous amount of beautifully shot, exciting footage of the boarders in action. But even this eventually proves to be too much. All the athletic derring-do, at least for those uninitiated in the sport's subtleties, eventually proves repetitive.
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