Finess, the latest full film from The Bunch, presses and slides its way onto the web tomorrow. The skiing is mind bending. And beyond the high levels of creativity and athleticism needed to pull it off, the Bunch has succeeded in finding a needed balance between straight skiing and artistic story.

Gathering my thoughts after watching the film, I wandered back to the definition of finesse. Thanks Google.




noun: finesse; plural noun: finesses

1. intricate and refined delicacy. Artful subtlety, typically that needed for tactful handling of a difficulty. 

2. (in bridge and whist) an attempt to win a trick with a card that is not a certain winner.

First, the skiing. Impacts on the body and gear aren’t exactly delicate when hitting urban, but the thinking on display certainly is. Transfers, bonks, and strange angles are a constant in Finess. The Bunch is using their hands to open up more options for plants and grabs while sliding down pretty much anything. 

And while the spots aren’t what I’d call small, there’s a general direction towards technical difficulty and creativity instead of going for broke on massive gaps or drops. If Level 1 is hashtagging #doless, then The Bunch is on #domorewithless Such an outlook demands creativity, and Finess puts The Bunch on the forefront of what’s new in the jibbing world. There’s a lot of subtlety going on here, and you’ll need to rewatch a few times before it all comes out of the woodwork. 

As movies from All.I.Can to The Recruitment have shown, the tired formula of straight skiing is on the decline. Finess manages to dodge that by creating what I’d call an atmosphere around the skiing. The clips of footage are varied—travel, birds, scenes from hanging out—but they create an ambiance that isn’t stuck to a single story line while giving backdrop to the skiing. 

Coming away, the skiing feels much less divorced from the context of making the movie. And even in treating those behind the scenes moments, the personality of The Bunch shines through a little dingy, a little dull, but still brilliant. I wasn’t left trying to figure out the meaning, or searching for connections—it feels whole without trying too hard. In this, The Bunch has played their bridge hand, and made that “attempt to win…with a card that is not a certain winner.” But in my view, they’ve done it.