Tuesday, April 10

the lords shall be remembered

I don't skateboard simply because I have no interest in such a "sport". But why not watch a film about skateboarding?

So I did, and found out "Lords of Dogtown" is a film that anyone shouldn't miss. It is as revolutionary as its subject, which is the origin of the Z-Boys - the skateboarding punks that have become legends in what has become an art and a sport.

(L-R) Three good young actors as the legendary Z-Boys.
John Robinson as Stacy Peralta, Victor Rasuk as Tony Alva,
and Emile Hirsche as Jay Adams.

This film is so beautifully made you wouldn't mind if it justifies punk culture. By punk, I mean the 70's definition of it, not the pretentious punk culture that we have right now. (Blame it on Avril). This film is awesome: the semi-documentary narrative written by an original Z-Boy (Stacy Peralta)the rock n'roll soundtrack, the almost-authentic production design, and the adorable and well-cast actors, all sewn together perfectly by the infamous directing style of Catherine Hardwicke.

Hardwicke and Peralta are both Sundance winners for their previous works. Hardwicke directed the hardcore teenage drama "Thirteen", and Peralta directed the documentary "Dogtown and Z-Boys". Lords of Dogtown is actually just a dramatized version of it.

Victor Rasuk (from "Raising Victor Vargas") plays the role of skating legend Tony Alva. Alva himself supervised all the skate stunts in this film, giving it more authenticity. Emile Hirsche is Jay Adams, John Robinson (from "Elephant") is Stacy Peralta, and Heath Ledger is Skip Engblom.

Everyone is cast right. You can see the actors believing in the material, and the director capturing all the great acting with its hard-edged, gritty but honest plot.

The film is technically a melodrama, but it's a violently vivid story of a real revolution in the 70's, full of the nasty things like sex/drugs/alcohol/etc (What? Did I just say they're nasty?) that the melodrama might just be an afterthought.

You know what's strange? Even if I don't know much about skateboarding, I felt the nostalgia and passion of the Lords of Dogtown. That's how good the film is.