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Dogtown and Z-Boys

Starring: Craig Stecyk, Jay Adams, Tony Alva, Bob Biniak, Paul Constantineau, Zshogo Kubo, Peggy Oki, Stacy Peralta, Nathan Pratt, Wentzle Ruml, Allen Sarlo and Chris Cahil
Directed by: Stacy Peralta

Special message from Stacy Peralta
Special message from Tony Alva

 

Bluntly speaking? Dogtown & Z-Boys is a mega-paced unique, intriguing, and absolutely faci-a-friggi-nating film!

Now before you go thinkin' Emily's lost her mind it's a surfer film for crimney sakes…Trust me, this is one fantastic, enthralling, film.

You get a bit of Santa Monica California's history as you meet a group of wild hellcat youngin's who will grow to change the way people think about their plain old grandma-thought-it-was-a-cool-gift skateboard.

The "kids" in this documentary film actually turned the clean-cut Polly Purebred hobby into an edgy extreme sport, nay, an art form with physical demands that make football players like woosies!

With this said Director Stacy Peralta and crew take us into a kind of "History Of Extreme Skateboarding 101."

Dogtown and Z-Boys is not some rapping hip-hop crew widda gold teeth and low baggy pantaloons, they're an infamous group of young kids from shady hood-like Dogtown (yes, also an unrelated film starring Jon Favreau) that were dubbed the Z-Boys. They were young ruffian wave surfers back in the 1970's that, thanks to boredom when the waves were done for the day, ended up energizing and revolutionizing the skateboard sport.

When the surf was done these kinetic kids needed something else to expel their youthful energies. They, logically, discovered skateboards. Immediately they experimented with the apparatus, twisting thoughts and motions from the surfboard onto land atop a skateboard; after all that's what they knew.

Taking surfboard cues from their collective idol wave surfer, Larry Bertleman, the team of twelve became responsible for implementing new self-designed styles and ways never before imagined in the upper-crust -stand-up- straight world of the skateboard.

These avante gard styles really started to cement when the team began to turn emptied house pools into their own concrete stages. Like serendipity, a terrible draught in California forced locals to leave their pools emptied and unused. The Z-Boys seized the moment. The pool's smooth, almost fluid surfaces, paved way for daredevil stunts and new ways of thinking about the skateboard.

Remember this was the beginning of the extreme sport we now see all the time. There were no parks with strategically placed ergo dynamic crests. These kids used what they had at their disposal…

The pools basically replaced Pacific wave swells. The walls were high "crested" and gave one team skater, Tony Alva, a notion to actually flip out of the pool, inventing the high-flying "vert." That's that wild style where the boarder and board actually fly up from a rim, a ledge etc. go airborne with the board, flip it, shift it (basically defying gravity), then smoothly rejoin the board with the wall from which he came in one eased, graceful, motion. Whew!

They took their street-smart ways and pool surfing experiments and channeled them into a never before seen low-slung style with personalized riffing that would turn the sport in an entirely different direction.

The individual styles these kids had were amazing and the skateboard world took notice after the team whacked them upside the head at a skateboard championship known as the "Del Mar Nationals."

The judges didn't know what to make of the motley crew with their vivacious attitudes and wild stunts. The team didn't rank too well at the showdown, but that didn't stop the skateboard manufacturers from taking notice and offering a few of the crew lucrative endorsement deals…their world started to change.

The team went from smalltime talented ruffians to (mostly) well paid endorsers and worshipped idols of the, once again, burgeoning skate phenomenon. Kids everywhere started to fly around on their boards and be willing, driven to try the seemingly impossible . Viva le Revolution.

The film makers, Stacy Peralta and Craig Stecyk (two ex-Z-Boys themselves ) mix in interviews with the team, now in there late thirties, respectively, with vintage Z-Boy footage taken as they were recreating their sport with awesome photo stills by renowned photographer of the sport, Craig Stecyk. We intimately meet eleven of the twelve Z-Boys (which includes one chickbabe), Jay Adams, Tony Alva, Bob Biniak, Paul Constantineau, Zshogo Kubo, Peggy Oki, Stacy Peralta, Nathan Pratt, Wentzle Ruml, Allen Sarlo and Chris Cahill as well as Jeff Ho and Skip Engblom who co-owned Jeff Ho's Surf Shop that originally sponsered and named the Z-Boys as they reminisce about their pasts.

Sean Penn narrates as the interviews, stills and historical footage congeal with the incredible soundtrack to create one helluva a riveting film. Hey, I knew nadda about skateboards when I walked in to the theater, I walked out using phrases like "stoked" and " "getting' the Bert." What the h-e- double hockey sticks did I just say you're thinking? See the film!

Stacy Peralta and Tony Alva are interviewed HERE

Snack recommendation: Energy bars and Kool-aid©


 

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