film reel image

film reel image

Friday, March 8, 2024

Full Circle 2023 * * * Stars


There are a lot of people who might not know the names Trevor Kennison and Barry Corbet (initially I was one of those people). Trevor and Barry are plankers who suffered spinal injuries and were forced to alter their lifestyles for better or worse. Their account is told through the tenderhearted yet partial lens of 2023's Full Circle.

"Circle", well it's more about Kennison than Corbet. It just is. I'm not saying it ruins the documentary but it makes the whole viewing experience a bit uneven and/or inequitable. Could it be that mountaineer, author, and former filmmaker Barry Corbet passed away in 2004 while Trevor Kennison is still alive today, slicing through the fluffy powder as a paralyzed sit skier on the go-ahead? Possibly. The only clips of Corbet are old archives that appear like snippets in an otherwise 103-minute running time. "But nobody knows Barry Corbet's full story". Exactly.

Oh well. Let's just appreciate what Full Circle does often and well and that's show what an amazing ski jumper Kennison is. I mean "Circle" becomes less of a discussion and more of a highlight reel for Trevor, as he can't feel anything from the waist down yet can do backflips and aerials that most regular skiers wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole. "Let's go!" Yeah you tell 'em Trev.

Distributed by Netflix and only intermittently showing how paraplegics are able to go to the bathroom, procreate, and reproduce with someone else (some of it is a little cringey), Full Circle concentrates mostly on the stupendous, building footage of a debilitated hotdogger who flies through the air POV-mode a la a dragonfly. So yeah, "Circle" may wander as a vehicle whose intentions go from sweeping, sentimental docu-style to full on, summit apotheosis. Whatever. The effect is still pure exhilaration. Grand "circle". 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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