BY: Morten Gjerstad
RUNNING TIME: Approximately 35 mins
WORDS ? Jim Gaunt
We had a high definition filth-fest with the two DVDs up for review this issue. Watching sports displayed in such a strong visual manner knocks you for six. If ever there was an argument more funding to be ploughed into making videos for DVD rather than web, then these two movies are testimony to that.
For me, Morten Gjerstad's debut movie, Entropy, was the best kiteboarding action DVD made last year. The fact that it was all snowkiting was beside the point and shouldn't put you off if you've never done it, it was stunning. So outshining that with Something Stronger was always going to be something tricky. Gone are the rider profiles and solo sections and in comes a more traditional snowboard action video approach filled with catchy tunes from the likes of Arcade Fire and Juliette and The Licks that accompanies the back-to-back moves, slides, grinds and huge tricks; Bjorn Kaupang's cliff-drops, seemingly from out of the clouds being amongst the pick of the action. More questionably valid were his choice of all-in-one ski suits. At one stage we were blinded by a bright pink version. The phallic images subsided when he decided to opt for the slightly less day-glo, but no less striking, light turquoise outfit. But who are we to question the latest mountain fashion when half of us wear shorts over our wetsuit and think the other half look more like Tour de France athletes than boardsport die-hards.
Something Stronger lures you into its clutches with a slow and bitty start, but before you know it you're engrossed, and the fun never stops building, climaxing with Sigve Botnen's spell-binding aerial display in the last section. It really makes you want to go and grab a kite, not necessarily to get on the water or snow with, but just because you realise how much work your actual kite handling needs! The beauty of filming snowkiting is that it allows you to get into positions to film that give such an up-close and controlled view of the action that actually makes it a lot easier for the viewers to suss out in their mind how moves are actually done. Whether we have the bottle to go for half of them isn't something the director will be able to control, however.
A traditionally action-packed snowboard-style movie wouldn't be complete without a wince-packed wipeout section. And wince and hoot you will. Inspiration in buckets.
Something Stronger was featured in Issue #30.
Click here to watch a clip of this DVD