Dogtown and Z-Boys (A seriously overlooked Gem)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Zen Butler, Aug 9, 2002.

  1. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    The award winning Sundance documentary turns out to be a pretty good disc despite it's fullscreen. 91 min. narrated by Sean Penn. It covers the period in the mid 70's where extreme skateboarding and skateboarding as we know today formed. Including some other historical events like:
    the birth of Cadillac Urethane Wheels, as appossed to the old clay wheels

    It also touches on the birth of Venice Beach and its sudden demise. Very informative disc, which is not a boring documentary at all. Film maker, Stacy Peralta brilliantly uses home movie footage (this was the mid-70's), and still pictures to keep the pace moving along with current interviews with the now aged Zephyr surf and skateboarding team. The best scene is
    when the Zephyr team enters its first skateboard contest. Needles to say, they take over the whole contest with cutting-edge style, blowing the doors off the old-school riders and there very humurous linear, upright style.

    This is not only for skateboard or surf fans, it's suprisingly very historical, and shows the birth of this modern day pop culture.
     
  2. matt bee

    matt bee Stunt Coordinator

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    I went ahead and bought this, as I didn't think any of the crappy rental places around here would get it in. It's a very well done documentary. It only briefly touches on the period of skating when I was involved (mid 80's to early 90's) but I found the history fascinating. It was interesting to me to see names that I'd heard before, but never knew their significance to the scene. (Names like Craig Stecyk [sp?], etc.)

    Seeing this show makes me glad that I was a part of that whole skating culture, albeit at a later time than depicted in this documentary.
     
  3. Jason Whyte

    Jason Whyte Screenwriter

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    "The award winning Sundance documentary turns out to be a pretty good disc despite it's fullscreen."
    The film was presented at 1.33:1 theatrically (1.85:1 hard matted, with the 1.33:1 image paneled in with black on both sides).
    Btw, what an incredible, fun, hilarious documentary. I still haven't picked this disc up yet but may have to this weekend. [​IMG]
    Jason
     
  4. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Like Jason said- since the majority of the footage is older 8 and 16mm home movie footage- and some of the footage is DV, the 1.33:1 aspect is natural, not to mention OAR.
    I think the film plays much better 4:3 than it would have widescreen since the vast majority of the film would have to have been greatly cropped. Also, the vertical nature of the skateboarder screams for a less wide aspect, IMHO (Much like Spielberg's decision to go 1.85:1 for Jurassic park to stress the height of the dinos).
    In fact- the entire film is shots of kids skateboarding, coupled with vertical talking head shots from interviews conducted recently-- there's nothing about this film that would have been useful in a wide aspect. I cringe at the thought of Stacy in a editing bay reviewing 16mm shots of Tony Alva skating and repeated deciding whether to crop out his head, or his skateboard...
    I think this film is a seriously overlooked GEM! I was planning to post something about this, since I figured with all the attention on LOTR and Simpsons Sesons 2 release last week, that many people would miss this film. It took me 3 stores to even find a copy locally (Target had it on sale for $17).
    I really don't think you need to know anything about skateboarding to enjoy the film. Stacy Peralta and Paul Crowder have put together a strong story, and the storytelling and sense of excitement about the topic can be readily enjoyed by people who wouldn't know a skateboard from a roller skate. In fact- it seems that from the stuff I've seen, the film is most popular with the girlfriends of my friends who went to see it. My girlfriend saw it in the theater with me and called me from Washington DC to remind me to pick the DVD up this week- and she wouldn't know Tony Alva from the Tony Soprano.
    It's like any quality sport or music documentary: it helps outline and illustrate the context and the conventions of the time to show you how certain pioneers (often accidentally) revolutionized the art. It creates a very strong excitement about that time and that place and does a good job of letting you feel the push those involved felt. The film rolls with momentum in the same way the mid 70's skate movement did- before you even know what's going on, you're deeper into the story that you realized.
    On the "skateboard" side- it does a good job of capturing the friendship and the community that has always really represented skating to me. Those guys went out and skated for themselves and their friends- this isn't a real competition thing- everyone fawns over how great and creative the other guys in the crew were. KIt gets across the same core ideas that Tony Hawk's book does about the skatebaording world: the important thing is pushing yourself to be better, and celebrating those around you in the process.
    Highly recommended. I'd love to see this documentary catch on here on the forum due to word or mouth like several other films have done in the past...
    For what it's worth, there was a discussion of the film a few months ago in regard to the theatrical run:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=69136
    -Vince
     
  5. PeteD

    PeteD Stunt Coordinator

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    I've been trying to see this film for over a year!

    It played at a couple of local theatre's here in Toronto, but never could get my act together to see it..
    Then I heard it was accepted to the Toronto Film Fest (or was it last year, the internet won't say). Luckely I was browsing HMV the other day and snagged it.

    I sorta liked it, my girlfriend (a non skater) loved it.

    Maybe it was my mood, but I just found a few of these guys just came off like self important assholes. It reminded me of all the things I didn't like about skating in the 80s. The whole "Skate Tough Or Go Home" attitude was really immature and luckily I fell in with a bunch of guys who realized that.

    I did like the fact that they made no apologies for selling out and joining the major teams for more money. Interesting that they didn't try and candy coat it.


    I think if you're looking for a decent documentary about pop culture, this is a must see.
     
  6. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    Vince an awesome description! Like Matt I skated in the 80's also. I graduated with Lester Kasai. Skating was a big thing around our neighborhood. I remember in grade school and Jr. High, we would write DogTown on our Peechee's and on our Van's Off the Wall's, we were such posers. I too hope this catches on....you guys, it really is worth the rental or better yet, purchase.
    Gonna dust off my skateboard on Sunday [​IMG]
     
  7. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    The movie also has a killer soundtrack (I mean that with respect to song selection).
    The DVD was available in quantity at the Best Buy down the street. I love the blue keep case. [​IMG]
    - Steve
     
  8. Kevin Farley

    Kevin Farley Second Unit

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    I just got it. It's incredible. I've been skating since 1975 and these guys were my heroes. I'm so glad for Stacy that this is doing so well. And it's good to hear that Jay Adams is BAAAACK! He's working on starting a new pool contest series, and he's skating for Deathbox skateboards.
    I was lucky enough to see it in the theater in chicago (at the Landmark. great movie chain.) The bonus footage is so nice; the extra ending with Alva is great skate video footage. Now, if they would release Blind's Video Days, Plan B Unquestionable, Freewheelin, Skateboard Madness, Downhill Motion, SkaterDater, all the Powell videos, and H-Street Hokus Pokus on DVD, (all with commentary [​IMG] ) we'd be getting somewhere. Great transfer, and a great film.
     
  9. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    I did a search for 'Dogtown' cuz I just finished watching the DVD...and I really liked it! I wrote in my review something like "It does what a good documentary should: it makes its subject matter fascinating whether you actually give a damn or not."
    Translation: Six hours ago, I couldn't have given a damn about 'old-school skateboarding'; just not a topic that really interested me. BUT after watching this doc...now I'm a fan!
    I thought the whole backstory about Pacific Ocean Pier was just great, especially the footage of the massive pier in its horrifying skeletal form.
    Good stuff overall. Movies like this make me happy I'm forced to watch movies I normally might pass over. (Now I gotta go watch something called Federal Protection with Armand Assante, Angela Featherstone, and Dina Meyer. Sigh.)
     
  10. Kyle McKnight

    Kyle McKnight Cinematographer

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    I'll give it a shot Zen....and I gotta say, American McGee's ALICE kick's major butt, did you know they're working on American McGee's Wizard of Oz.
     

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