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  1. #1

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    The Ultimate Figure Skating Movie - What Would It Be Like?

    Characters? Plot?
    Would the background be the Olympics? Nats? Worlds? GP?
    Would it be a love story? A hetero or homosexual one?

    Frankly, I've yet to be satisfied by anything I've seen in the real world. They are either too melodramatic like Ice Castles, or too silly like Blades of Glory. And the in-between ones aren't much better. The one that I did actually enjoy and consider to be the best was the French My Life on Ice, a forgotten low-budget affair, but really well-acted.

    Why can't Hollywood get it right? Should we expect them too? They do seem to make great movies and TV shows about other sports.

    Discuss.

  2. #2
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    Fascinating topic: I wouldn't even know what direction to go on this. I have not seen a movie I truly loved. If I had to pick filmed ice skating that I enjoy it is the "behind the scenes" time on SOI. Then you see the choreographer, the costume designer. lighting designer etc.. and a hint of how all the skaters get along together as a group. I'm sure many would find this dull but I'm curious about the life of a coach and the life of one ice rink. Just throwing things out there....

  3. #3

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    Sounds like a documentary Cachoo.
    Maybe a documentary would work better?

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    Maybe but there seems to be quite a bit of fluff pieces and docu footage. I know Ilia Kulik's movie wasn't perfect but I liked the idea of following the lives of those in a ballet company. Maybe adapt something like that but focus on skaters?? I don't know--I'm too far removed from the sport to know what would work.

  5. #5

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    I'd love to see a properly Hollywood-dramatized version of Plushenko-Yagudin rivalry. Or a documentary/TV series following skaters around for a season, showing how hard the work is.

    I'll tell you why Hollywood can't get it right: because in modern times it's become unacceptable to support the notion of realistic thinking. It's become unacceptable to turn to a seventeen year old beginner who says they'll make the next Olympics and say: no, you won't. Even thinking such a thing has you branded mean and nasty. It's become unacceptable to introduce the idea to kids that no, you CAN'T have everything! Every kiddie must win a prize; you can't ever suggest to a kid that maybe the Olympics is not a realistic dream for them, because ~anything is possible if you dream hard enough~!. You can't ever point out that Ice Princess was stupidly unrealistic to the point of being offensive; if you do, you're told "who cares, it's just a stupid movie" in the same breath as you're told "I'm going to be just like the girl in Ice Princess".

    And even when the kids do get on the ice, it's considered unacceptable in the Western world to tell a seven year old who bursts into tears every time they fall over: "Get up". You're branded horrible and nasty and cruel, and of course it's better to just pick up the child and coddle her and carry her off the ice, instead of making her get up and do the element again.

    Society is losing the notion that it's hard work that gets results, not dreams. And that's why we'll never have a major Hollywood figure skating movie that is at all realistic.

  6. #6
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    I would like to see a tongue-in-cheek but knowing send up of ice dance, in the vein of Strictly Ballroom. They could pretty much hit on most of the skating movie tropes... the crazy costumes, Russian diva coaches, ridiculous programs, on ice romances. I mean pretty much take the training rink of G&P/K&O in the 90s, B&A/D&S in the 2000s, or D&W/V&M currently and you have a movie. Fedor Andreev would be a great character... the coaches' son who sleeps with all her students. Or Morozov.

    Plus, you could use the fish out of water storyline that producers so love, and it would make some sense in this context. Instead of having a hockey player or skateboarder becoming a figure skater, do a singles skater who becomes an ice dancer, which is realistic but could have a lot of the same "I can't believe I've stooped to this level but damn I actually kind of love it" drama.

    The best part: No awkward looking stop-motion fake-ass triple axel from a female skater.

  7. #7
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    Summon Your Courage
    An African American Male coach guides a Asian American girl to the Olympics.

  8. #8

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    It is hard to do a good skating movie because the general population just don't look on skating as a serious sport. Although whilst Blades of Glory was a comedy, it didn't dumb down the skating and was really funny.

    I did see a play about roller skating a while ago set in a rink in the 80s when roller rinks were big in Australia. In fact Jayson Sutcliffe the world champion roller skater appeared in it on a tiny stage doing double jumps. But somehow the story really worked because of the way they set up the relationship between the mother and son. The mother played the coach and the son was the rebellious kind who wanted to his own thing. It actually had that Strictly Ballroom sensibility. But I could see it as a movie.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  9. #9
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    Filmed versions of two recent books, Andy Schell's Flying Camels & Tiger Mothers, and Jennifer Comeaux's two books, Life on the Edge and Edge of The Past. Both authors have created brilliant, exciting stories with competitive skating driving the plots.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskarne View Post
    I'll tell you why Hollywood can't get it right: because in modern times it's become unacceptable to support the notion of realistic thinking. It's become unacceptable to turn to a seventeen year old beginner who says they'll make the next Olympics and say: no, you won't. Even thinking such a thing has you branded mean and nasty. It's become unacceptable to introduce the idea to kids that no, you CAN'T have everything! Every kiddie must win a prize; you can't ever suggest to a kid that maybe the Olympics is not a realistic dream for them, because ~anything is possible if you dream hard enough~!. You can't ever point out that Ice Princess was stupidly unrealistic to the point of being offensive; if you do, you're told "who cares, it's just a stupid movie" in the same breath as you're told "I'm going to be just like the girl in Ice Princess".
    ...
    Society is losing the notion that it's hard work that gets results, not dreams. And that's why we'll never have a major Hollywood figure skating movie that is at all realistic.
    This!
    I very much like the (more or less) biographical movies we already have, the Oksana Baiul story comes to mind, also a movie about the carreer and life of Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner (the title escaped my memory, but I was impressed by the actress) and La Glace Et Le Feu-Les Duchesnay. I'm sure there are more. Although realitiy is glossed over, they portray the skaters kind of realistically compared to made up stories a la Hollywood.
    Last edited by Shyjosie; 03-01-2013 at 01:06 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cachoo View Post
    Maybe but there seems to be quite a bit of fluff pieces and docu footage. I know Ilia Kulik's movie wasn't perfect but I liked the idea of following the lives of those in a ballet company. Maybe adapt something like that but focus on skaters?? I don't know--I'm too far removed from the sport to know what would work.
    "Center Stage", with Ilia as a distant fifth or sixth billing (and alas, the only male dancer who was doubled for his big performance--he and Zoe Saldana weren't really able to dance "Johnathan's" ballet at the end. Everyone else danced their roles, but then everyone else except "Maureen" were played by active professional dancers among the 'kids.')

    I'm not sure if I would be as interested in a "Center Stage the Skating Version" just because so many of the singles skaters are kids. "Ice Princess" is unrealistic but fun, while a crack at a more serious tone turned into "Ice Castles" and melodrama and teenage angst doesn't always play as well to a broader audience. Bio movies tend to flop unless it's someone HUGE in reality. (Russian pairs skaters won't count there.)

    I kind of like the idea of something like Cherub suggests, though maybe less "Strictly Ballroom" (which is SO exaggerated that unless you are on the "inside" you don't entirely get it, and of course the surrealism is a bit much but it's Baz Luhrmann so....) and more "Best In Show". Though in either example, both of those work if there's a healthy dose of understanding and affection for the subject along with the satire and fun-poking.

  12. #12

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    I don't think there should be an "ultimate" figure skating movie, because that would imply that once you've told that story there are no more stories about skating.

    Instead, I'd rather ask what would be some good stories about skating to tell in movie format? What would appeal to the intended audience(s), and how feasible would it be to film?

  13. #13
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    I love the Center Stage!! That is so interesting and up-to-date !

  14. #14
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    It's a part of Plushenko's biography:

    "Some years ago a producer and a director from Hollywood came to me and suggested that we should make a movie. The offer was very tempting. They gave me the script and I read it with pleasure.
    It was a melodrama, the typical Hollywood movie, very good, with a happy end. I had to play the main part – a figure skater. He is very young and talented. One of his girl classmates falls in love with him, but she is an invalid and cannot walk. All their free time they spend together. He is training on an open ice rink and she comes to watch him. Eventually the doctors and her love towards the figure skater make her walk again, she is cured. And then he takes her on the ice for the first time in her life. He helps her lace her boots and they start skating together. They become so good that they go to competitions and further on win at the World Championships. Such a lyrical story, which would hardly be possible in real life. Or may be not?

    My partner in the film had to be a Hollywood actress, who was still a beginner without much experience. But her candidature was not even discussed, because we just did not come to that.

    p.85

    Actually, I had already agreed to shoot the movie. The director and the producer had to come to Russia. But it appeared that the shooting would take much time, so much, that I could not afford. I had competitions. It appeared that the movie is a serious thing, which demands hard work and all of your time. And I had my figure skating going on. I could not afford to leave the skates for few months. I had no opportunity."


    Can you help me, is this movie exists with other actors??

  15. #15

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    My perfect movie would include at least a good dose of ice dancing drama like from circa late 1980s-early 1990s, perferably of the Russian flavor. And by "drama," I'm referring to personal drama as well as on-ice drama.

    O-

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by lala View Post
    It's a part of Plushenko's biography:

    "Some years ago a producer and a director from Hollywood came to me and suggested that we should make a movie. The offer was very tempting. They gave me the script and I read it with pleasure.
    It was a melodrama, the typical Hollywood movie, very good, with a happy end. I had to play the main part – a figure skater. He is very young and talented. One of his girl classmates falls in love with him, but she is an invalid and cannot walk. All their free time they spend together. He is training on an open ice rink and she comes to watch him. Eventually the doctors and her love towards the figure skater make her walk again, she is cured. And then he takes her on the ice for the first time in her life. He helps her lace her boots and they start skating together. They become so good that they go to competitions and further on win at the World Championships. Such a lyrical story, which would hardly be possible in real life. Or may be not?

    My partner in the film had to be a Hollywood actress, who was still a beginner without much experience. But her candidature was not even discussed, because we just did not come to that.

    p.85

    Actually, I had already agreed to shoot the movie. The director and the producer had to come to Russia. But it appeared that the shooting would take much time, so much, that I could not afford. I had competitions. It appeared that the movie is a serious thing, which demands hard work and all of your time. And I had my figure skating going on. I could not afford to leave the skates for few months. I had no opportunity."


    Can you help me, is this movie exists with other actors??
    This plot sounds ridiculous. The right screenplay and a good director would not need such idiotic, florid plot devices to make the film work.

  17. #17

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    The Tonya Harding Story.

  18. #18
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    It seems as if the most successful sports related movies, from "Knute Rockne: All American" to "The Blindside" to "Brian's Song" are biopics about either larger than life, iconoclast figures in the sport, or about people who have overcome tremendous odds to achieve success in their sport (and sometimes both). I think a successful skating movie would might be able to utilize this same formula. Just off the top of my head, John Curry's life story (if well done) would make an great topic for a biopic.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by giselle23 View Post
    The Tonya Harding Story.
    They did that: Tonya & Nancy: The Inside Story (1994). Starred Alexandra Powers as Tonya, and Heather Langenkamp as Nancy. If they were to do one about the whole Pasha Grischuk/Sasha Zhulin/Maya Usova love triangle, it would be interesting. Especially to see who gets to play esta!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex View Post
    This plot sounds ridiculous. The right screenplay and a good director would not need such idiotic, florid plot devices to make the film work.
    I would be embarrassed to have written that if I were the writer.

    (And at least count yourself lucky, skating fans--ballroom dancers have "Strictly Ballroom" (where they look like freaks) and "Shall We Dance?" where almost everyone's socially inept (and if they aren't they move on.) And I'm trying really hard to think of a horse movie that isn't mostly ridiculous and I'm so far coming up with "Phar Lap." Maybe "Seabiscuit" if the screenwriter hadn't taken a hard left turn into stupidity every time Samuel Riddle or War Admiral got mentioned. There are worse things than no one making many movies about your sport...)

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