Last night, Absinthe Films brought their latest film, Resonance, to the UK, kicking off the premiere with big name riders, Danny Kass and Sylvain Bourbousson. We were invited to the Coronet Cinema and Notting Hill Arts Club for an evening of snowboarding, beanie-wearing and beer drinking.
Snowsports' film premieres are always fun and everyone has their own way of doing things. Red Bull like a dramatic IMAX showcase, Warren Miller like to head to Leicester Square and Absinthe went for an arty corner of London — but made it feel like you were in a ski resort. Everywhere you looked it was tight jeans, baggy t-shirts & beanies and Danny Kass couldn't look more like a stereotypical (in skier's eyes) snowboarder if he tried.
This of course, set the scene perfectly for the film. Resonance follows a formula that Absinthe Films have perfected, which is to make snowboarding look fun. They might be doing super-human riding, insane lines and taking on 68-step rails, but it looks fun — completely unachievable, but fun.
Danny Kass (centre), with Laura and Nick from our ski team
Resonance hasn't attempted to boast an innovative approach, a Red Bull budget or far-out destinations, but it does capture your imagination. Absinthe favourites Romain de Marchi, Mikey LeBlanc and Travis Rice have been replaced with younger, equally impressive and outrageously good riders Bode Merrill and Cale Zima over recent years, which keeps the films feeling fresh. There are only so many times you can watch Mikey LeBlanc smashing up a snowboard after a bomb drop or attaching bindings to a sledge.
For me, the stand-out section of Resonance is all about the aforementioned Bode Merrill. It looks like you're watching a mate playing on his Playstation as Merrill goes off a huge back country booter, fully inverted and tweaking out his grab, only to realise he's doing the whole thing one footed — one footed, really! Bode Merrill has been playing the one-footed trick for a while, but the huge hits he now does and the styled-out tricks are taking it to a new level. It's almost as if he's taken a look at the double/triple-cork and 1440 scene, put two fingers up and said "yeah, but I bet you can't do this".
Cale Zima is fast becoming a favourite of mine and is giving Mikey LeBlanc a run for his money with his urban riding. There's one section where he does a bomb drop and slides his heel edge along a vertical grate — I'm not doing this justice here — which is both insane and cringeworthy as you wonder how he lands it. God only know how Zima still has all his teeth — his approach to urban snowboarding is terrifyingly on the edge of a painful face plant most of the time.
The film finished with a double section from Nico Müller, I don't care if you ski, snowboard or even snowblade, there isn't a snow-lover out there who won't enjoy watching this living legend tear-up the back country. Powder lines, rooster tales and styled-out tricks where you can actually see what he's attempting. I sometimes miss watching David Benedek, but watching Nicolas Müller soon fills that gap, and then some.
Resonance is another fantastic offering from Absinthe Films that makes you want to crack open a beer, sit back and chill out for an hour. Then you'll be planing your next trip on your board as soon as it finishes. Hats off to Patrick Armbruster and Justin Hostynek for making another Autumn bearable.