Skip to main content
Original Issue

Indoor Adventure At the Sundance Film Festival, documentaries about two fallen 'boarders looked to get airborne

Pipe Dreams

Minutes after awakening from surgery on his right ACL--a
procedure that dashes his Olympic hopes--U.S. snowboarder Ricky
Bower asks, "Who wants to go riding?" That's the spirit of Pipe
Dreams, a two-hour documentary that follows Bower and his pal
Joe Pack, a promising freestyle skiing aerialist, everywhere
from Lake Placid, N.Y., to Chile as they try to make the 2002
Winter Games, whose snowboarding and aerials competitions will
be held in their hometown of Park City, Utah. Pack will make
the U.S. team and win a silver medal, but suckers for
tearjerkers will be drawn to the agonizing fate of Bower, who
undergoes surgery on his knee 10 days before the start of the
Olympics and makes it to Park City only as a spectator.
"Hopefully," he says before the start of the halfpipe
competition, "I can watch this without a great amount of pain
and suffering."

Stoked: The Rise and Fall of Gator (

There are skateboarding bad boys, and there is onetime thrasher
icon Mark (Gator) Rogowski, who in 1987 said, "I love getting
arrested. I think I'm one of the most illegal skaters on the
circuit." As his once-sizzling career starts to go down the
pipe, so too does his life, which hits bottom in 1991 with his
murder of his ex-girlfriend's best friend. Through interviews
with skaters, police investigators and Rogowski himself, the
film weaves together his sordid tale and shows how Gator went
from the brink of getting away with the crime to being
sentenced in '92 to 31 years to life. --Kelvin C. Bias

COLOR PHOTO: COURTESY OF PIPE DREAMS HIGH DRAMA Pipe Dreams hits a high note with the Olympic triumphof Pack.