I had never imagined myself going to the Sundance Film Festival. In fact, I’m not really a huge movie buff, although I do enjoy good movies. Sundance has been an unexpected, amazing experience. Picture a massive festival like SXSW and strip it of all the ugly NASCAR like ads, the annoying one-up-manship of hipsterdom, and throw in intelligent Q&A’s with the actors and directors and the excitement of sitting in a dark theater full of strangers, having no idea what the next film is going to be like. I’m not dissing SXSW or Lollapolooza, there’s definitely room for that in life, but this has been a refreshing, relaxing way to spend a vacation. So here are a few movies we saw and why you should see them too!
BONES BRIGADE: An Autobiography is the latest film from Stacy Peralta, whom most of you know from Dogtown and Z-Boys as well as from most of the skate decks you owned as a kid. Bones Brigade is a documentary that follows the amazing rise of a few select skaters as well as the “sport” itself. This movie is awesome for fans of skateboarding, especially fans who grew up in the 80’s. It transported me back to a time that is very dusty in my mind, reminding me of huge demos and backyard ramps. Since the filmmaker is Peralta, aka, the guy who sold me most of my skateboards in childhood, as well as most of my VHS tapes, the footage shown is a true, insider’s perspective into the founders of skateboarding.
The standouts of the movie are Rodney Mullen and Lance Mountain who really open themselves up to the camera, giving viewers and fans a real idea of what life was like for some awkward kids trying to make it with an unusual talent. Rodney Mullen is a sweet savant who dedicates hours upon hours to perfecting his craft. He seems to be too smart to be a pro-skater, but it’s what makes him happy and that is a beautiful message for today’s youth. Lance Mountain admitted that he didn’t think he was good enough to be a pro-skater and never knew why he was on the team, but Lance Mountain is the reason I stuck with skateboarding because he made me feel like it was ok to just enjoy it and never be completely amazing at it like Tony Hawk. Mountain was also inspiring because he was working 3 jobs while being a pro-skater to support his wife and young child.
Bones Brigade is a movie that shows you can be the best in the world and still be a nice person and I think that has been lost in youth culture since the early 90’s. These guys never brag about their talents and they always support each other, and beyond that they just seemed thankful. Thankful to their fans, friends, family, and life. If you are a skater this is a must see, and I think any non-skater will still leave with a new appreciation for this household activity.