Words: Pat Bridges
In a world of video, words don’t get much respect. Take piracy for example. If Snowboarder posted the complete version of either of Videograss’s new movies, Shoot The Moon or Retrospect, they’d get real pissed. On the other hand if I typed a long-winded account of both movies in review form they’d be stoked. Therefore there seems to be a bit of inequality going on and it amounts to a backhanded dismissal of the whole writing profession. If we posted a statement like “Jake Olsen Elm’s Helen Keller andrecht transfer on the rainbow bridge rail received the most cheers of any trick shown Friday night during the VG premier at Portland’s Bagdad Theater” Jake would get stoked and so would Justin Meyer who was the auteur behind Shoot The Moon. Yet if we just ripped a copy of that clip and posted a .mov file of it here we’d be scorned by the whole Videograss crew. I can relate though. In 1998 a photographer from Tahoe sold an interview I did with Mike Michalchuck under his own name to a French magazine but I’m not bitter, as they say C’est La Vie.
Speaking of piracy if you are going to choose one movie to steal this year it should be Shoot The Moon. This is the third effort of the OG VG crew and is far and away their best offering to date. With Shoot The Moon VG has finally emerged with the style that we’ve been expecting from this grimey crew since day 1. It is full of serious snowboarding by riders who don’t take themselves too seriously. Unlike most crews, The Shoot The Moon-ers appear to keep that idea that snowboarding should be fun close at hand. Both the personality elements of Shoot The Moon and the riding has been stepped up. The tricks in STM are less linear than they were in Bon Voyage or their debut offering which was cleverly titled Videograss. There are layers to the assembled clips whether it is a grab onto a feature or off, a transfer from one rail to an adjacent one, a two-story drop beyond a closeout or a succession of features amounting to an urban line. The latter actually gives viewers the notion of freeriding in the streets. Crazy. Louif Paradis if the first to Shoot The Moon and sets a frantic pace. Louif has more hammers and less comedy than most the other talent on the marquee. Darrell Mathes, Justin Bennee, Will Tuddenham, John Kooley, Zac Marben and Jonas Michillot are like Louif in that their riding supersedes their personality in this flick. On the other hand Gus Engle, Jake OE and Nik Dirks have both humorous elements and bangers in their segments. There is even a shot of Nik Dirks smoking on a commercial jetliner which is probably the sketchiest trick done in either VG release. Jed Anderson got another closer and like everyone has seen before his boardin’ in Shoot The Moon is next level. He even used a Mazzy Star track for audible accompaniment.
As for Retrospect I have my favorites in there as well. Directed by Joe Carlino this more polished of the two VG productions showcases not only the comeback of Austin Smith, but also Bryan Fox with a two-song barrage, Ben Biloq wreaking havoc on multiple types of terrain, Ethan Diess and Alex Andrew destroying the streets and an ender by the rider widely regarded as having the most “proper” style on tricks these days, Jake Kuzyk. I have only seen Retrospect once so a second viewing is in order to get more details.
Either way these two moves are out and like I said when it comes to figuring out which movie to steal this year, my money is on Shoot The Moon so to speak.