Movie review

Dogtown And Z-Boys
Sean Penn, Jay Adams, Tony Alva,
Jeff Ho, Skip Engblom, Craig Stecyk

Director : Stacy Peralta

Dogtown And Z-BoysIf you've ever fallen off a skateboard, marvelled at the X-Games . . . damn it, if all you've ever done is play Tony Hawk's on your Playstation, you need to see this film.

Dogtown And Z-Boys is the story of a group of 70s Santa Monica surfers who took their surf moves onto the streets, and inadvertently redefined skateboarding as the Zephyr Skate Team. New interviews are mixed with incredible archive footage, and it's all held together by Sean Penn's deadpan narration.
    The love and effort that Stacy Peralta's put into this documentary is incredible. Stacy was one of the original Z-Boys, and shares the stage with names that have since become legendary, such as Jay Adams and Tony Alva.

I could write pages about this movie, but you really need to see it first hand. How about these for a few gems though:
    Surfing through the wreckage of the Ocean Park Pier, ignoring the sharp wooden stakes and twisted roller coaster rails under the water's surface. When kids from outside the area tried to surf their waves, the Z-Boys threw down concrete blocks from the pier to dissuade them.
    Recounting how the only way to get a skateboard in the early 70s was to get an old piece of wood, cut it into the shape of a surfboard, and screw two halves of a roller skate to the bottom.
    Scouring the suburbs for swimming pools in a summer drought, and then emptying them with pumps over a matter of hours just so they could skate in them.

From humble beginnings to success, fame and occasionally fortune, Dogtown And Z-Boys is an incredible piece of work, that's easily the best film I've seen this year. You might have to do a bit of digging to find somewhere that's screening it - as it's only out on limited release - but if you've the slightest interest in the origins of modern skateboarding, you won't be disappointed.

:: Rowan Shaeffer

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