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House of Vans presents snowboarding film Landline

Dinosaur Jr. and Thurston Moore play free concert in support

Photo courtesy of Westword

This January, House of Vans presents the official release of the brand’s long awaited first-ever full-length snowboard film, LANDLINE. Directed by the progressive filmmaker Tanner Pendleton, LANDLINE is primarily shot on Kodak 16mm film and conveys a raw, behind-the-lens perspective of the Vans snowboard team as they travel the globe expressing their creative talents and eclectic personalities. Featuring footage from Vans’ seasoned professionals, rising stars, and bona-fide pioneers of the sport, LANDLINE seeks to embody the true spirit and culture of modern snowboarding. And what better way to debut the film’s world premiere than a historic pop-up experience on Jan. 25, at the Ogden Theater in Denver, Colorado, on the eve of the X Games.

The Ogden’s crowded and dark walkways were adorned with photos from behind the scenes footage. The event was attended by Vans’ global snow team riders Jake Kuzyk and Darrell Mathes, as well as many other celebrity snowboarders and winter sport athletes that made the trip down from Aspen. The night included live music featuring Dinosaur Jr. and a DJ set by Sonic Youth’s lead guitarist and vocalist Thurston Moore. Those who gathered at the Ogden for the free event were the first in the world to have witnessed this artistic film.

LANDLINE subverted traditional sports documentary conventions. Rather than focusing on any particular traditional narrative of triumph, the film portrays snowboarding as a raw, sometimes painful, but most importantly a bonding experience between oneself and the one of the harshest climates to endure. It highlights the riders’ frustrations, as well as their playful sense of camaraderie, which are all part of the craft. Footage of gritty industrial parks frozen over and stomach-clenching mountains pillowed with soft snow are gently muted in their vibrancy, giving the film a more artistic quality.

After the film, Thurston Moore took to the stage for a brief intermission between the film and Dinosaur Jr.’s performance. While the decision to tour with Dinosaur Jr. comes as a pleasant surprise—seeing as the band has a notoriously rabid fan base within the winter sports community—the choice to add Thurston Moore (performing a DJ set nonetheless) to the line-up seemed a bit unconventional.

Though some may have attended in the faint hope that they may hear some of Moore’s original techno tracks, Moore instead played a mixed bag of rock, jazz, and even some soft piano ballad records. He also included one of his own songs off his 2017 record. Hopefully, electronic music fans will soon hear some of Moore’s ventures into the techno-sphere.

Moore has also been teaching a summer writing workshop at Naropa University in Boulder, CO, for the last five years, further solidifying the distinct link between Colorado and this event. Denver is the only location in the United States to host a pop-up event for LANDLINE, although it will be toured around other countries. Other stops on the six-location tour are: Innsbruck, Austria; Munich, Germany; Vancouver, Canada; Beijing, China; and Seoul, South Korea. The film’s premiere landed on the night that marked the beginning of the X Games 2018, held just three hours away from Denver up in Aspen.

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