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Dogtown and Z-Boys

September 7, 2013

Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001)
Director: Stacy Peralta

Image result for dogtown and z boys

Synopsis: A portrait of the Zephyr surf crew that emerged in the Dogtown district of LA in the 1970s to transform skateboarding.

Review: Stacy Peralta’s film on the rise of skateboarding into the consciousness of American, and indeed world, culture in the 1970s, succeeds in not only documenting a simple pastime and its group of progenitors so well, but in merging it so convincingly into a fascinating macro-portrait of how skateboarding’s genesis grew from a variety of geographical, economic and sociological factors too. It’s especially interesting for those interested in the history of LA, and how the now prosperous and cool beach communities of Santa Monica and Venice Beach gave root to this movement from the badlands in-between the two districts in the depressed years of the early ’70s.

Sure, there is a certain pretentiousness and tendency to self-mythologise in skateboarder-director Stacy Peralta’s thesis on the Dogtown/Z-Boys legacy, but to some extent that buoyancy is permissible in approximating the confidence and gusto that was the hallmark of the Z-Boys’ pioneering spirit as they took their guerrilla surfing skills to the arena of skateboarding. Peralta’s style is a very MTV-esque, hyperactive blend of sharp cuts, Super 8 montages and black-and-white stills, and that aesthetic mirrors the punk kineticism of the Z-Boys aptly. (September 2013)

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