Sunday, December 23, 2012
Dogtown and Z-Boys - Birth of Modern Skateboarding
While doing some Christmas shopping today, scored a copy of Dogtown and Z-Boys for $9. Merry Christmas to me. I've only seen this documentary once, a few years ago, so popped it into the DVD player tonight for another look. As remembered, a fantastic film, even if you're not a skateboarder.
I wouldn't call myself an actual skateboarder, but did dabble with skating back in the '70s as a teenager. Neighborhood cruising and general goofing around, including one broken wrist as proof. I also read Skateboarder magazine at the time, so knew a bit about the Dogtown crew and influence on the scene. That scene being Southern California, my scene a universe away in suburban New Jersey.
Those Skateboarder magazine articles and photos - especially the photos - made an impression on me. Some of those images of Tony Alva, Jay Adams and others, burned into my teenaged brain. I recognized many shots in the film, as it shows plenty of photo and video archive from that era. Seeing the archived video was especially cool, since all my memories revolved around still shots. Watching how they skated, you can really see how it formed modern skateboarding, pushing it from the stand up tricks from the '60s, into vertical moves that changed the entire sport. Modern day interviews though out the documentary puts it all in perspective.
Being a kid from the '70s, the look of the archive footage - long hair, tube socks, t-shirts - and the soundtrack, pushes all my memory lane buttons. The look and feel of the old film and still shots, combined with the very stylish skating - fantastic to witness. There's also a bit of surfing history and footage laced into the film, since early skateboarding was very tied to the surfing scene.
If you've never skateboarded in your life, still an interesting documentary. Especially if you ski, mountain bike, surf, snowboard, BMX, motocross - anything involving movement, style and flow - you'll get it. Highly recommended.