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Before YouTube, you had VHS. That was how you started a movement, by taping as much as you could, and then distributing it around to video stores. This was perfected by Powell-Peralta, the legendary skateboarding company, with their series of Bones Brigade skateboarding videos.
And I am about to argue that they MUST be added to the National Film Registry.
You see, the fact is this is a documentary that chronicles the rise of 1980s skateboarding culture, and all that entails, from the athleticism, to the fashion, to the music, but it's also the best example of the humor that thrived within skateboarding at the time. The music video segment 'Skate and Destrory' is the perfect example. In Bones Brigade II, we're shown amazing skating of two distinct eras: the 1970s low and intricate style that we see from Rodney Mullen, and the cutting-edge flyign style that we see from Lance Mountain, Steve Cabellero, Mike McGill, and a young young young Tony Hawk. It's amazing the difference between them, and they're both great to watch, and ideal to the early age of home video. You can't watch segments like the downhill portion, where guys on boards wearing heavy, welding-style glove go down a mountain road at high speed, and not see the influence it would have over the evolution of things like the X-Games.
Aethsetically, it's an influential piece because you can see hundreds of imitators of these in the 1980s and 90s, in both the skateboarding and inline skating worlds, but also in the way that almost every extreme sports video took the imagery and use of music and applied them in the same way, from YouTube to ABCSports. Historically, it's a perfect record of this movement, in a way that is much more natural than a doc I know will end up listed - Dogtown and Z-Boys, which was also directed by Stacy Peralta. Culturally, this serves as a record of a culture that has been ignored, for the most part. It is the record of the 1980s skating scene, as well as the entire Teen world.
The video is low-res at heart, and should be enjoyed as such. It's the DIY heart of 1980s skating.
Klaus at Gunpoint
A Film Journal dedicated to all film.A segment of Office Supply Publishing.