What movie was that...?

11 June 2013

Bones Brigade: An Autobiography

directed by Stacy Peralta

Stacy Peralta has done it again, using his insider knowledge of professional skating as a window through which the squares like us may glimpse a significant and exciting shift in the sport. Anyone even remotely familiar with the sport of skateboarding has heard of the Bones Brigade, possibly the most influential skateboarding crew ever assembled (bar the nearly folkloric Zephyr team of Dogtown). Comprised of such icons as Lance Mountain, Steve Caballero, Tommy Guerrero, Tony Hawk and Rodney Mullen, Bones Brigade was a miracle of skateboarding handpicked by Dogtown legend Stacy Peralta, a team molded and tempered by a devout love of the sport. To overestimate the impact of each member's achievements would be an impossibility, and Peralta’s excellent documentary is like a video scrapbook assembled by a glowing, loving parent. Peralta’s slick film making style is as evident here as it was in Dogtown and Z-Boys and Riding Giants, and the result is no less entertaining. Rodney Mullen is, for me, one of the most influential figures in my life and an unrivaled inspiration (not to mention perhaps the best skateboarder of all time), so to see him tell the story of his life, of his love of the sport, of his internal world was a filmic revelation. Something that Rodney Mullen says in the film is a kind of summation of all art, ever:

[Artistic Expression] is a kind of controlled desperation.

The story of these young men endeavoring to express themselves through the medium of skateboarding is inspiring and affecting, especially since Peralta has a natural gift for making such insider worlds accessible to the outsider without losing the essence of the world itself. His documentaries are at once encyclopedic summaries and celebrations of his subject matter, histories and rock concerts, education and recess. If you have the time, I would highly recommend rocking a double feature of Dogtown and Z-Boys and Bones Brigade. That and a couple of PBR forties actually sounds like pretty badass Saturday night.

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