Absinthe Films, Nowhere Review

Absinthe’s Nowhere: I’ve enjoyed this movie, as you come to expect with Absinthe, it’s full of top notch shredding and some brilliant sections. But I havne’t been wowed by it. To me, Absinthe have shown better productions in the past. Read on for some of the particulars…

Standout parts

Wolfgang opens things up with what is becoming a trademark, awesome no boarding. He’s taking that binding-less board to some proper backcountry terrain, nice lines, good air, grabs, one footers, some nice 180s and a heelflip… it’s so sick. I just want to see more of that.

Dan Brisse has some insane tricks. Nice style, a jam packed, varied section. Huge front boards, big, smooth backcountry hits and nice filming throughout. Perhaps the most impressive bits are from the urban scene. You see Dan over-shooting some of the landings; that’s because the gaps in this section are the type of gaps you definitley don’t want to come up short on.

– I’m not that fussed about the direction that urban snowboarding is going, take it or leave it for me; but you can’t deny that it’s gnarly, skillful and inventive. These guys are pushing it all the time. On that note, Cale Zima has another vaired section with a strong urban influence. I like this guys style and approach, despite the skinny jeans and crazy tune. Kinda raw.

Annie Boulanger & Marie-France Roy continue to hold it down for the women, and continue to push hard, shredding the backcountry. They get better each year: gnarly lines, bigger, smoother air – sick moves. I’d like to see more of their riding, and more of their story in the Flipside series.

What didn’t I like?

Gigi Ruf – one of my favourtie snowboarders, but I just didn’t connect with his section. His first few clips are class, but i just didn’t feel it after that.

It was a similar reaction to Nico Muller. His riding in the BC backcountry with Jake was cool, but it came across as them just playing, rather than his best. The section later with Fredi K and JP has some awesome riding and shots – but it just didn’t grab me.

There’s a good song for Jules Reymond and Bjorn Leines, and good riding too. But when can I see more of Jules Reymond? I like his riding style a lot, but he hasn’t put together enough of a section for me, since More.

Favourite bits

Jake Blauvelt has an excellent section, just riding backcountry terrain, making it look natural; his opening line is sick, probably my favourtie from the film. I hear he’s been hanging out more with Nicolas Muller – it shows, awesome riding with clever lines, adapting to the terrain. Plus a chilled tune that makes you bob you head…

The best section for me belongs to Bode Merrill. This guy can snowboard, really good riding and such a variety of moves, lines and filming. Love the song, love his selection of tricks… there’s that backside rodeo to front-board, 270 out (insane), a sweet backcountry handplant and a collection of one footers. Awesome song also, it works prefectly with a section that’s edited so well – THAT’s what absinthe is to me.

Nowhere’s soundtrack

The soundtrack is a mix of funky, chilled and playfull songs; not that I’m a music critic. It works well throughout, mostly. DCP’s part has a good tune, and I probably should have mentioned his riding, there’s a sick method in there.

Taka Nakai opens a shared-section with a cool song; his part is short, but super smooth riding. Romain goes huge. JP Solberg closes that bit out with some floaty powder-jibbing tree action. Good shots.

Overall

Am I being over critical? This film has lots of good locations, the riding is all very good, the standard is so high and if you’re into it, they’re really pushing urban stuff. I just don’t want to say it’s awesome…

I watch it again and I think: yeah that was great riding, that was a good location, nice shots there; but it’s just missing something to make it “wow” throughout. I’m always comparing Absinthe’s latest production with the best from their previous movies, maybe that’s unfair?

Did they miss out on some of their ground-breaking filming techniques? With earlier Absinthe flicks I’ve felt that the whole thing really flowed, from one section that was brilliantly put together to the next. Nowhere has top notch snowboarding, but it feels more like one of the other films.

I want to say that I love this film, but overall I’m going for “good, but not great”. That said, I paid £5 for it from iTunes, at that price it’s a no brainer.

UK:
Absinthe Films Nowhere - Absinthe Films Nowhere

USA:
Absinthe Films Nowhere - Absinthe Films Nowhere

4 Comments

  • Reply November 17, 2010

    Reneator

    Hey Gavin,

    I watched that movie, when their premiere Tour came to Munich. I went there with 5 friends of mine. I was full of good hopes and a bit enthusiastic. When the movie began, i watched Dan brisse and Cale Zima as some better parts, but the movie itself was throughout dissapointing. Me and my friends really had the same opinion: “That movie sucks!” I Don’t wanna talk bad about the riders, the riders style or the location, but their camera settings were all the same, same extraordinary camera settings. Like when they did backcountry, the always filmed them from the heli, from the same angle, from the same distance. So you couldn’t feel, what they were doing. So they did some really nice and appreciatable tricks, but the filming and the cut was made so boring, so it ruined the flow, the feeling.

    And what i really missed, was some talking. They cutted out every kind of conversation (so the Flipside Episodes had what i was looking for).
    In the entire movie, i think i can remember, that there were said only one word or one sentence. and though i am missing some background infos.

    Back to the camera settings, i think many cheaper productions are better with ther movie feeling, because they did it with more love. You can feel the tricks, the landing, and you can see, that everyone has fun.

    At Absinthe’s Production i have the feeling, they made that movie, not because they thought “hey we got some nice material of our riding, and would be glad to share that with all the Snowboarding cracks” it felt for me more likely, that Absinthe made that movie because they had to – for the money and the prestige (making a movie every year). But one i have to say again, i really think the riders did a good job, but they couldn’t sell it!…

    So i think absinthe’s movie Now here (or Nowhere :D) is one movie in the big big mainstream movie market.

    So my final summary of critics is: Good riders, good tricks, nice locations, but aweful Scenecuts, and terrible camerawork! The camerawork is so important, because you can make of a average movie with average Tricks an awesome movie with ok Tricks, but with a superb feeling, if youre doing your camera settings right! (in Absinthe’s movie, they threw one trick after the another, and you could not even realize that that trick just was the absolute banger, because they cut it like the new James Bond (so far like i remember!^^ Maybe that is now destroying all the possible trusting in this Critic :D)

    Peace and love
    Reneator

  • Reply November 17, 2010

    Gavin

    Hey Rene,

    I’m not going to go as far as to say the film “sucks”, but I do understand your point and agree with a lot of it. To me, the filming wasn’t as good as it has been in previous absinthe films – which is one of the key things that got me into the mindset that “absinthe make awesome movies”.

    You’re definitely right about the re-use of the same camera angle for the backcountry/big mountain stuff.

    I do think there are some great sections in this, one or two that a filmed really nicely, and do stick out from the crowd of other snow vids. But like I said, overall, it does have the feeling of being “just another snowboard movie”.

    Thanks a lot for that view point. I’ve re-read my summary, I’m happy that it provides my overall view: good, but not great.

    Cheers, Gavin

  • Reply December 5, 2010

    Michael Shea

    I thought the riding was great and some of the backcountry lines were verry inovative. Some of the street gaps were insanely huge and verry entertaining but theres one thing that this film is missing and thats Good music and Flow. None of the songs go with the riding. It started out great with some awsome Heli-riding and an unusual song but after that it sorta just went to crap. If you want to buy a great 2010 video then get “The Storming”. Great music and Torstien Horgmo has an unbelievable part.

  • Reply December 5, 2010

    Gavin

    Hey Michael,

    I defo agree with the flow part – it’s one of the things that I’ve really liked about some of the previous absinthe movies, everything in them has just gelled.

    There are a lot of things in this movie that are top notch, some of the filming is awesome, some of the tricks are insane, and I like a few of the tracks. But for me, it just doesn’t stick together as well as some of the over films they’ve made.

    Thanks for the tip on The Storming,
    cheers, Gavin

Leave a Reply