Dopamine: Sphere of Influence Review

Posted September 24, 2013 in ,

For those of you anxiously awaiting the end of summer and praying for snow, this film should get your snow-jo going. Dopamine is the newest production from Absinthe Films which held its World Premiere right here in the great state of Utah. Frisky folks hit up Park City’s Egyptian Theatre on Thursday August 29 for the first screening, while the rest of us lazy/gas-saving hippies (your pick) waited for the local screening at the Tower Theatre on Saturday the 31.

According to, Dopamine is: the kick ass chemical in your brain that makes you feel and do happy things … whatever they may be. In this case, it’s snowboarding and lots of it. The film features Nils Arvidsson, Sylvain Bourbousson, Scot Brown, Brandon Cocard, Mathieu Crépel, Manuel Diaz, Victor De Le Rue, Blair Habenicht, Danny Kass, Bode Merrill, Wolfgang Nyvelt, Rusty Ockenden, Jason Robinson, Mat Schär, Forrest Shearer and Cale Zima.

Dopamine takes us around the globe and gets us psyched on scenes of untouched and near-vertical backcountry kush. Think of a mountain spine covered in snow, now add in the steepest slopes you can imagine and THAT’S what these guys were riding down. The film also hits the streets with plenty of scenes that will be sure to keep copycat enthusiasts in and out of the hospital. Picture a snowboard, a large brick wall, and a telephone guywire…

All of the riders deserve a round of applause for their impressive skills at sliding sideways, but my hat goes off to Robinson, Ockenden, Shearer, Crépel and Merrill, who stole the show. The film style has a retro photojournalistic feel to it, fading in and out from color to black and white. Overall, a two-thumbs-up visual feasting.

Mashed somewhere in the credits at the end was a disclaimer. It basically requested that young’uns don’t steal the film. Which honestly, I can’t blame them. So if you want to support Absinthe Films, the riders, and the art of snowboarding … buy the movie. Dopamine drops on iTunes and on DVD Sept. 23, buy it here.