Published in Whitelines Magazine Issue 92, November 2010
9191 – VOLCOM
The last time Volcom’s film-making division Veeco produced a snowboard film was in 2006, so this is quite an event. But then Volcom’s slightly weird arty movies always have been. The first, The Garden, launched the fl edgling brand on an unsuspecting world in 1994. They followed this up with the first film to focus on a single rider in ’96; Subjekt Haakonsen. 9191 is their sixth fi lm.
WHO’S IN IT?
Well Gigi Rüf obviously, but also Nicolas Muller, Wille Yli-Luoma, BryanIguchi, Luke Mitrani, Blair Habenicht, Curtis Ciszek, Wolle Nyvelt, JakeBlauvelt Johan Oloffson and Terje Haakonsen.
Gigi’s trip to Alaska with Jake Blauvelt produces some of the finest moments, and Blair Habenicht’s insane AK line is truly next level. Watching Wolle and Gigi rip around in their native Austria is pretty cool too.
The hype surrounding this movie has been massive, but then that’s understandable. The fact that it’s the first Volcom film for nearly half a decade would be exciting enough in itself, but the fact that it focuses on Gigi Rüf makes it doubly so. Add in the sick original score by drum n’ bass bad boy turned movie composer DJ Baron, and you have a proposition that’d get anyone going. The only question was: would the movie add up to the sum of these parts? Like all the previous Volcom flicks, 9191 has a sort of artsy aesthetic, with quick cuts, deliberately grainy shots and some occasionally pretty wacked-out music, but this is never allowed to get in the way of the riding. Which is just as well, because the riding is nothing short of epic! I once heard Gigi described as a man who’d found a magic board that jumped around the mountain by itself flipping him every which way – and that’s not far off what he looks like here. He sticks all manner of steezy inverted spins that he really shouldn’t be able to, and rinses out trick after tech trick with seeming ease. The way the film’s structured around his travels means that there’s plenty of time for the stellar supporting cast to get involved, and all of them kill it. My only criticism would be that some of the shots – Blair Habenicht’s insane AK line for example – are shared with Absinthe’s Now/Here which I’d seen already. But though this meant they’d lost some of their impact, if I’d seen this first it’d be the other way round. Baron’s music works well throughout, noticeable but never over powering. Overall this is a sick movie to grace any collection, and a worthy celebration of a rider at the top of his game.
F*** IT – FORUM
Forum step forward once again with another team movie, the latest in a long line of classics that stretches all the way back to the Mack-Dawg directed The Resistance from 2000. Last year’s Forum Forever won pre y much every award going, and earned John Jackson several ‘Rider of the Year’ and ‘Video Part of the Year’ gongs. F*** It is the brand’s seventh film.
WHO’S IN IT?
John Jackson, Nic Sauvé, Pat Moore, Andreas Wiig, Jake Welch, Stevie Bell, Daniel Ek, Cameron Pierce, Austen Sweetin, Alex Oestreng Niko Cioffi and Rusty Ockenden.
John Jackson’s part stands head and shoulders above almost anything else I’ve seen this year. Nic Sauvé’s opener, Niko Cioffi ’s urban insanity and Jake Welch’s mix of gnarly cornice drops and heavy rail slams are also rad.
Forum had a lot to live up to with this film. For starters there’s the brand’s history and imposing reputation, which means that almost every Forum movie will inevitably (and somewhat unfairly) be compared to those made in ‘the golden years’ of the Forum 8. But on top of that, last year’s Forum video was universally praised and generally reckoned to be one of the best they’ve ever put out – and yes, that includes the classics. So how to top that? Well, if the previous couple of movies showed a team very conscious of their history, this year’s focuses purely on the fun side of Forum. NicSauvé’s bangin’ opener starts with him riding a white horse, and Stevie Bell’s sick urban trickery kicks off with him squawking at a bald eagle. Unfortunately serious injuries mean that two of the Forum team’s biggest hitters, Pat Moore and new-member Andreas Wiig, don’t contribute much outside of a few park shots. But while that’s disappointing (not least to them I’m sure) it does mean that other riders like Jake Welch and Niko Cioffi are given time to shine. And then there’s John Jackson, who’s two-song ender kicks off with a psychedelic sled montage set to Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit before breaking into some of the biggest, most balls-out technical riding ever. John J’s part is not only the best in the film by some way, it’s pretty much the best we’ve seen anywhere. The man is more than a rival for Travis Rice these days. Despite missing two of their biggest names, Forum have pulled a damn good movie out of the bag here, and if it wasn’t for the ludicrously high standard set by Forever (and those unlucky injuries) we’d probably be hailing this as a classic.