Rise (100 Films in 2011)

by Jamie Sanford on October 27, 2011

81. Rise (Not available to stream via Netflix or Amazon)

Here is the trailer for Rise.

[youtube xudQHkScvCE]

Rise is the story of the 1961 US Figure Skating Team, killed tragically on their way to the World Championships.  The story is told through connections to modern figure skating legends Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitano, Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill, and Michelle Kwan.

Figure skating, like many other sports, is a lot about passing things on from generation to generation.  The story of Maribel Owen, a decorated skater herself before moving on to coach her talented daughters, is directly tied to Michelle Kwan, who was taught by one of Maribel’s students, Frank Carroll.

There are many other connections like this made during the documentary, and it is interspersed with personal stories and feelings from the modern-day skaters who experienced the pressure of being a champion figure skater and what that meant.

It all ties into what seems like a big commercial for the US Figure Skating Memorial Fund, which was established after the death of the 1961 team, and supports promising skaters with the financial burdens of figure skating.  Purchasing skates and other supplies, etc, for those who are representing our country in this sport.

I really love figure skating.  I have been watching it since I was a kid, and then I had a friend who was a competitive skater for a while and so I learned what all of the different jumps were.  I am totally a couch commentator, and think that it could definitely be my second job.  Are there any online networks that need me to be their commentator?  I’m in!

If you are a figure skating fan, this movie is definitely worth a watch.  It’s a wonderful history lesson in US figure skating, and also provides insight into the current life of the sport.

Rise is available on DVD here for $24.99.  You can buy a package of this DVD and the DVD of the 1961 US National Figure Skating Championships for $34.99.

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Vera Wang Does Not So Basic Black Wedding Gowns

by Jamie Sanford on October 25, 2011

Vera Wang Does Not So Basic Black Wedding Gowns

I would have worn a black wedding dress 5 years ago when I got married, if I had been able to get away with it – ie, if Vera Wang black wedding gowns had been on the market as an example. However, black wedding dresses were not all the rage, so I ended up with a white dress with a big black sash. I chose black and white as the wedding colors, and encouraged everyone else to wear black, since I wasn’t able to.

I will be wearing black for our upcoming vow renewal, even though that plan turned into a hot mess. (More on that soon.)

Anyway, I was surprised/disappointed/left calling out “FINALLY” when I saw that Vera Wang presented a number of dark and black gowns during her Spring 2012 bridal show. (Photos via

It’s about time, Vera. You’ve been teasing us with hints of black on dresses for years, but now you’ve taken the plunge. I hope this trend continues and I hope that brides who are like me will take this as an excuse to wear the black dress they want to wear for their wedding, regardless of it being a “wedding dress” or not.

Would you wear a black wedding gown? Talk about it in the comments.

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