Words & Photos: Gary Tyler McLeod
Captions: Pat Bridges
Portland’s Historic Baghdad Theater opened in 1927 and has since hosted premieres for some of American cinema’s greatest accomplishments. Most noteworthy are Milos Forman’s adaptation of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in 1975, Gus Van Sant’s “My Own Private Idaho” in 1991, and Videograss’s “The Darkside” on August 13, 2012.
The kitschy middle-eastern decor is always the wrong backdrop for everything, but during the premiere nobody noticed or gave a shit. They came for the beer, pizza, and snowboard movies. Clearly, this was a gathering of exceptional company.
Now I am going to tell you about the movies.
The first presentation was a trailer for a single video part of Jed Anderson’s, set to be released sometime on the internet. The trailer was a series of quick cuts. In most of the cuts, Jed Anderson was on screen performing a trick, except none of the tricks were presented in their entirety. A lesser amount of the cuts featured Jed doing something kind of cute or funny, and in some he was falling. I am definitely looking forward to the actual full part.
The first half of the night’s premiere’s was also the first half of VG’s “Enlighten”. The editors are still putting finishing touches on “Hten” but if it’s anything like “Enlig”, it will be well worth the wait. “Enlig”‘s intro is exhilarating, foreshadowing much of the upcoming action and listing all the heroes by name. The first part was had by none other than Matt Belzile. Moving forward, Danny Larsen has a very impressive second part. Every time I read Danny’s name, I’m given a mention of his love for black metal music. I’d be more inclined to mention his love for snowboarding. Danny’s passion shines like a rainbow in every maneuver throughout what is likely his best part ever, and another Rolling Stones hit never hurt anyone. Before I have time to blink, Jake Kuzyk is on the big screen hitting big handrails with relaxed style mimicked in an apathetic french song. As if that isn’t enough, Frank April’s name is then presented in gigantic text. He has the best name of all the Videograss heroes, and he backs it up big time. With every trick receiving substantial applause, Frank April was deserved of the last part in “Enlig”. Videograss only knows what “Hten” has in store for us.
After a surprisingly enthusiastic raffle ticket reading, “The Darkside” began with no further adieu. The introduction of this movie seems to be a cinematic culmination of what every girl wants, whether she admits it or not. These boys are A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E. Jake Olsen-Elm is the first featured heartthrob, and mine is still throbbing. Jake’s part sports easily my favorite part song of the evening, and includes footage of him dancing with multiple girls at a night club. I didn’t stay jealous long. Harrison Gordon was right around the corner. His style is noteworthy, and for the record, I did take notes. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have remembered all this shit. Gus Engle evens out the boy band formula as the cute & sensitive one, but his riding is definitely not all sensitive. He accomplished a particularly stunning frontside boardslide to backside boardslide pretzel out on a large flat elbow down rail. Gus’s part and the song end at the same time, as Danimals slithers on screen with a first-class performance. Laurent-Nicolas Paquin has a short but energy-efficient part filmed entirely by daylight. Darrell Mathes brings the sexy & smart to the crew, with a lasting elegance all his own. Nick Dirks is a shoe-in for hot & dangerous, and did some damn fine snowboarding to add to the platter. Chris Grenier follows up Nick with an extraordinary arrangement of skill. This may have been my favorite Grendys part ever. Lastly, Joe Sexton’s part is at least as fucked up as you expected it to be, and has a legendary Seth Huot cameo we can all appreciate. The credits are sentimental with a not-too-fast not-too-slow text scroll, and include video shots of photographers smiling, so that about does it. “The Darkside” is a truly great snowboard film.
After the movie, everybody got drunk.