Picturing young skaters from Venice Beach, Los Angeles, as they suddenly get famous, experience first disappointments, and come of age, Lords of Dogtown is arguably the best film about skateboarding in the history of cinema, at least in the skaters’ own view, and one of Heath Ledger’s most memorable roles.
In the 1970s coastal areas of Los Angeles, local guys, mainly from poor families, spend time flirting with girls, conflicting with adults, and doing some surfing and skateboarding in between. This is what their life is ultimately about. However, surf shop owner Skip Engblom who foresees potential in them, bands them together into a team that starts winning skateboarding tournaments one after another. But soon the mind-blowing winning streak gives way to fatigue and collisions, as the faithful crew of boarders seems to be approaching a collapse.
Filmed under the guidance of cinematographer and skateboarder Stacy Peralta, formerly himself a member of Engblom’s team, Catherine Hardwicke’s picture is an iconic ode to youthfulness, skateboarding, and the seventies, portraying young, bold, and gorgeous kids as they skate in empty swimming pools, kiss other guys’ girlfriends, and run away from the police, while their boards cut the screen slowing down or speeding up to the sounds of 1970s American hits.
The film will be introduced by Kirill Korobkov, manager of the teams Absurd and Vans Russia, who also writes about skateboarding.
Lords of Dogtown
Director Catherine Hardwicke
USA, 2005. 107 min. 16+