Snowboarders around the world rejoiced when Vans announced that they were creating their first full-length snowboarding film. Not only did the film mark a historic landmark for the brand, but the Vans Team is stacked with one of the most well-rounded crews out there.
Everything about the film was shaping up to be huge, yet hardly anyone knew anything about it as the two-year project, LANDLINE. was shot nearly entirely on Kodak 16-millimeter film. Where Instagram clips, robust trailers, and word of mouth often paint a picture of what to expect, Director Tanner Pendleton had LANDLINE. sealed up tight. Needless to say, when Vans invited us out to Vancouver to attend the premiere on January 17th, we lept at the opportunity to see how this creative new idea would compare to other movies in today’s snowboarding cinema.
Unique, beautiful, and authentic it was.
There we were, anxiously waiting to view each rider’s part and how their dance with gravity would be portrayed as they journeyed through Bulgaria, Russia, Canada, and beyond. It wasn’t long until the lights dimmed, the loud crowd turned into a murmuring one, and the film started. Moments in, our eyes locked on the screen, and as if nothing else in the world was going on.
LANDLINE. presented the individual talents and personalities of Jake Kuzyk, Sam Taxwood, Cole Navin, Arthur Longo, Pat Moore, Darrell Mathes, Blake Paul, and Bryan Iguchi in such a way that you can’t help but have more appreciation for each of these riders’ unique styles and contributions to the sport. We were in for a treat with an artistic take that can only come from the creative geniuses that make up the Vans team of riders, filmers, photographers, and producers.
As to not give too much away, here’s what went down in nutshell. Right off the bat, the fact that the movie is filmed on Kodak 16mm film drew us in and overwhelmed us with a sense of nostalgia. Watching the opening shots you can’t help but draw parallels with movies of the past, films that not only shaped the early industry but also our own personal connection to snowboarding.
Sam Taxwood opens up the film with an edgy street focused part that captivates viewers immediately. His selection of unique features paired with an aggressive approach to everything in front of him sets the stage for the rest of the film and left us breathless.
After Sam’s assertive opener, none other than Bryan Iguchi takes the stage. His painterly approach to big mountain faces is captured by one breathtaking slow-motion clip after the next. Wide open turns fall into tight chutes and wind lip airs, the combination of it all a strong contrast to Taxwood’s opener.
Yet the juxtaposition isn’t uncomfortable. Instead, as viewers, we understand for the first time how each athlete’s contribution will help to shape the film into one cohesive team image.
This early variety in rider styles is reinforced by a diverse selection of songs, each playing seamlessly into the mood and feel of LANDLINE. Minnesota native, Dan “Danimals” Liedahl, is next to bat and drops into a series of perfect front boards before reminding everyone that not only can he lock into anything on his snowboard, but he can tear it up on his skateboard too.
Artsy snowy shots don’t make you want to blink until Wolle Nyvelt drops into his white winter wonderland. Powsurfing and pillow stacking abound and the diversity of the Vans Team is again exemplified.
Mike Rav follows with an ever-increasing variety of jibs and creative tricks reminiscent of an early Scott Stevens. Among these a section of clips on downed trees that leave you thinking there has to be a secret spring somewhere in his board.
A quick segway of a foreign grandma feeding her birds drops you into Darrell’s part. Spoiler alert: he’s still going huge and is so precise with everything he pulls that you doubt he ever doesn’t have a first-try make.
The baby of the group, Dillon Ojo, puts the cool back in snowboarding by taking urban to a whole new level, dominating some of the longest rails all to the penetrating beat of his latest jam. Dillon would go on to DJ for the remainder of the night, another reminder of the many talents and existing diversity amongst the group.
At this point, the balance between legend and next generation, and backcountry and street rider really comes into play, as if part of a dance, both disciplines trade off showcasing each respective rider’s particular skill set.
LANDLINE. continues, and Jamie Lynn reminds us for the nth time why he’ll always be a legend.
Youngblood Cole Navin follows with one of the heaviest street parts of the year in which creativity, technical approach, and hefty cojones are all equally balanced.
Lastly, all good things must come to an end, and hometown hero, Jake Kuzyk delivered the ender of enders to close out LANDLINE. with a well-deserved place in the film that oozed integrity while exemplifying what a true discipline for snowboarding looks like. The crowd roared.
In all, LANDLINE. was everything that we had hoped for and more. And if one thing is for sure, it is that this film is meant for the big screen, so if you didn’t make this one, make sure to attend on of the next major showings:
• January 25th is the World Premiere at the Ogden Theater in Denver, Colorado.
• January 28th is the showing in Beijing, China.
• February 1st will be the premiere in Seoul, South Korea.
LANDLINE. will also be available for download on January 26th. Pre-order the film here and experience LANDLINE. for yourself.
See also: Vans LANDLINE.: Tales from the Road