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‘Solitaire’ set to screen at Village East Cinema
BY SCOTT STIFFLER | Plenty of people come to Manhattan in search of adventure. Local boy Nick Waggoner (who grew up in Greenwich Village) took the opposite route. Currently a world citizen with no set address, Waggoner’s fate was sealed at age 12 — when the curious lad made the leap from disassembling his father’s Rollei cameras to purchasing his own Nikon SLR. He promptly began to document the city’s plastic bucket drummers, blind accordion players and Washington Square Park eccentrics. “Above all,” Waggoner says, “New York City gave me experience, and made me hungry for people and their stories.” At age 13, he reached under the Christmas tree and unwrapped a VHS copy of the ski movie “Sick Sense.” Daydreams of conquering the slopes became a self-fulfilling prophecy — and by age 16, he was flying to Colorado for weekend ski trips financed by summer wages.
A few years later, the seasoned pro met future collaborators Zac Ramras and Michael Brown at Colorado College. Their company, Sweetgrass Productions, documents winter canvas and mountain culture. The latest Sweetgrass release is “Solitaire.” The 55-minute ski epic — an “awe inspiring mountaineering adventure of the South American high deserts” — was shot in an ecologically conscious manner (no helicopters), with the notion that the slopes can be traversed without leaving a carbon footprint. The whole crew, skis and all, arrives in NYC on December 1. They’ll be the ones emerging from the AstroTurf-covered bus to engage the audience in a post-screening Q&A followed by the distribution of prizes such as skis, snowboards and slope-friendly clothing. To claim that booty, you’ll have to excel at challenges such as “Bear, Hunter, Ninja” (a high stakes audience participation variation of Rock, Paper, Scissors).
“Solitaire” screens at 8pm on Thursday, December 1. At Village East Cinema (181 2nd Ave., btw. 11th & 12th Sts.). For info on the film, visit sweetgrass-productions.com.