Film: 8565

Sport | 1950 | Sound | B/W


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Skiing 1950's

An examination of the Austrian Wedeln technique, parallel turns and stem swing turns. Writing reads: First Part - Comparison of Technique. This is followed by more writing: The Stem Swing - Basis of Champion Skiers' Class. Cut to overview of a ski slope, a large number of skiers come into view and make a large sweeping turn, they travel slowly. Cut to another overview - the skiers turn first to the right of the screen and then to the left, the camera follows them down the slope. The shot is then repeated as the voiceover explains the skiers' movements, we are told that they are performing a 'stem turn'. It is difficult to follow their exact movements in the picture because we are viewing the skiers from a distance. Two similar shots follow, the skiers' elongated shadows make it more difficult to discern their movements.
Cut to a close up of a lone skier performing a stem turn. The skier traverses the screenfrom right to left, he then performs what is known as a snow-plough (forcing the skis into a V-shape with the front tips forming the apex) and leans to his right, the force of his weight helps turn the skier until he faces the opposite direction at which point he realigns his skis. Cut to a shot showing this same manoeuvre but in the opposite direction. The camera then follows a skier performing these turns in a more fluid manner. He places his skis together more quickly than in the previous shots which leads to the 'heel slide thrust' which prompts the skis into a side slip thus making the stem turn a stem swing turn. This point is illustrated by two skiers one of whom follows the other. Cut to shot of a single skier demonstrating the heel thrust which involves gently pushing the rear of the skis away from ones body in a downhill direction - this aids turning. A close up of several skiers' legs and feet follows. The next shot follows one skier who clearly goes through the motions of stemming, skis together and heel thrust, this is repeated several times apparently switching from one skier to another. Cut to shot of someone skiing off-pieste (meaning that they are skiing in deep snow). The stem swing turn, the voiceover tells us, is best for such terrain. We then see repeated shots of skiers in deep snow conditions. The camera then cuts to a shot of a skier who is carrying another person on their back. Again they are performing stem swing turns, they do so slowly. Cut to shots showing two skiers making their way down a slope - they frequently employ the stem swing turn. Cut to overview of many skiers proceeding down the slopes (the shot is one we have seen before). Another similar shot follows, this time the skiers are hidden from view as they turn into a large patch of shadow and then reappear as they emerge again. Another similar shot follows as we seem to follow the skiers in their progress down the hill, they continue to employ the stem swing turn.
Cut to the initial introductory screen, the writing reads: Comparison of Techniques: Stem Swing - Wedeln. Cut to shot of skier performing the stem swing turn and then the wedeln (the skier is seen from behind). The main difference between the stem swing and the wedeln is that the skis now remain parallel throughout the whole turn. Shots follow that show comparisons of the two turning styles. Shots then follow of a skier performing wedeln (parallel) turns in quick, tight succession. Introductory screen appears, the writing reads: Comparison of 1951 Techniques. The writing fades out and is replaced by the following: Toni Spiss. Cut to shot of Toni Spiss performing wedeln turns, the footage appears to have been slowed down somewhat. Cut to shot of Toni Spiss performing his turns around a series of flags that have been set in a straight line (usually known as a slalom course), the camera follows Toni Spiss as he moves down the slope. Then cut to view of Toni Spiss from above and behind (there are no longer any flags). The shot emphasises the legwork required from the skier when performing the wedeln turn. Cut to writing, it reads: Karl Schranz (13 years old). Cut to shot of Karl Schranz skiing (he faces the camera and uses the wedeln turn). We then see him skiing around flags as we did with Toni Spiss. The camera repeats this last shot and then cuts to an overhead view of Karl Schranz skiing through the flags. We then cut, once again, to a rear view of Schranz. Cut to writing, it reads: Franz Furtner. A shot follows of Furtner skiing (he faces the camera). We then cut to Furtner skiing around the flags, he faces the camera first and is then seen from behind, the footage is shown in slow motion. Cut to writing, it reads: Comparison of 1954 Techniques Rieder, Schuster, Furtner. Cut to shot of Rieder, seen from the front, skiing around flags. The shot is repeatedseveral times as the narrator explains the importance of elements of the turn such as the 'heel thrust' and the 'counter rotation of the shoulders'. Then cut to similar shot of a skier turning around flags, this time the camera is not directly infront of the skier but slightly to the side of them, the shot is repeated. Cut to shot of skier from behind (no flags), the shot is repeated with different skiers. We then see several shots of individual skiers coming downhill towards the camera.
Cut to writing: Comparison of 1956 Techniques. This then fades out and is replaced by: Josl Rieder. Shots follow of Rieder performing the wedeln. Writing then appears again, this time it reads: Anderl Moterer. Shots follow of Moterer skiing. Writing: Ernst Hinterseer. As with the others shots follow of Hinterseer skiing. Writing: Ernst Oberraigner, followed by shots of Oberraigner skiing. Writing: Gebhard Hillbrand, followed by skiing shots. Writing: Franz Furtner, followed by skiing shots.
Cut, once again, to writing: Comparison of 1958 Techniques. The writing then fades out and is replaced by: Karl Schranz. Shot of Schranz skiing around flags towards the camera (the shot is in slow motion). The turns that we now see are far smaller and faster than any of the previous ones. The shot is repeated but the camera focuses in closer on the skier. Writing then follows: Chiharo Igaya. Again the skier is shown skiing between slalom flags, the footage is in slow motion. Shot is repeated. Writing: Karl Schranz. The following shot shows Schranz on a slalom course, other skiers are standing and watching at the side of the course. Writing: Toni Sailer in 1958. Sailer is seen skiing in the following shots, he performs very small, quick turns.
Another similar shot follows and then we see Sailer skiing a very tight close set slalom course. Cut to shot of the same course, this time the skier, as we are informed by the voiceover, is Josl Rieder. Cut to a wider view of a skier completing a slalom course (the flags are this time arranged into gates and are not in a straight line
as they were before).A similar shot follows in slow motion. Cut to shot of a row of skiers all skiing towards the camera, they perform short,sharp turns. Cut to writing: Demonstration of Wedeling Technique by Franz Furtner. Cut to shot of Furtner demonstrating the heel thrust action. Cut to shot of Furtner traversing a slope, snow-capped mountains are visable in the background and another skier is following behind, the shot is repeated in slow motion. Cut to shots of Furtner performing wide, sweeping wedeln turns, he skis across fresh, untouched snow. The following shot shows Furtner skiing without poles, instead he has a long flag held behind his back, his arms are stretched out along the pole. The purpose of this exercise is to emphasise the correct positioning of the upper body, especially the shoulders, during turning. The second such shot shows Furtner from above. The shot is repeated but this time Furtner exaggerates his upper body movements. A shot then follows of Furtner, seen from above, skiing normally again with his poles, the shot is in slow motion. Cut to shot from above of Furtner skiing a slalom course, the shot is repeated. Cut to shot of the same course, this time two skiers following one another are visable. Cut to wide view of three skiers making their way down a slope, they ski in a line one behind the other. Cut to shot of a skier performing a half turn known as 'wedeling obliquely across the slope'. This involves a semi-turn to point ones self downhill followed by a heel thrust that reestablishes the original course of the skier. Several shots follow showing this same technique. Cut to skier performing wide, arcing wedeln turns. Cut to introductory scene, writing reads: End of First Part.

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