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Thursday, December 13, 2012
Justin Hostynek's Nike Snowboarding X

By Colin Whyte

Nike obviously knows that even the most talented team isn't going to stand out without an equally talented lensman to capture the action. And, in hiring Absinthe's Justin Hostynek to lay down this third chapter in their short series, the swoosh has done just that. Filmed in grainy black and white, and presenting a striking contrast to the super slo-mo Phantom/Red Bull hell action seen in Brad Kremer's legit Chapter Two, this short captures the essence of low-key backcountry missions perfectly.

The fun, flowing energy that exists between Gigi Rüf, Nicolas Müller and Hostynek has been chronicled in an entire shelf of Absinthe films prior to this five-minute mini-masterpiece -- to the point of almost seeming like a "genre" unto itself. Throw in some clever musical bookending with Eric Jackson on guitar/double-cork (and Adidas now...) and some powerful pow hits from none other than Danny Kass, and you've got something here that'll have you rewinding all the epic pow missions you've had -- even if they weren't to Austria with some of the more inspiring riders on earth.

This one's all about feeling: Misty tree booters into perfect powder landings; low-angle pillow fields that lend themselves to aerial expression; cornice corks; tunnel slot ollies; triple-overhead wind-lip slashes; and some classic skate-inspired Gigi granite flippery that reveals just how organic his skills truly are as he bails the first and nails the second.

In this real B&W film mode, every track leaves a trench. Airs and slashes have a lurch to them that oddly makes them seem smoother as your eye slows down and you settle into the analog vibe. Hostynek says of using the Minolta Super 8 over some new-fangled cameras: "This is shot in 16 mm black & white and Super 8 black & white, so it's not color footage that's been made black & white. And there's something that really cannot be recreated in post (-production) or, you know, even in color. You just can't get the same look any other way& It's epic. I think it captures snowboarding really well and it makes it less of a 7-uP commercial and more&snowboarding that people who snowboard want to watch." (That's us. And he's right.)