"We pioneered the way to make money at skateboarding.
" - Lance Mountain
Before the 80's skateboard boom, the industry had hit another downward spiral so bad it had been coined the "Dark Ages." Zephyr, the world's biggest in-your-face skate team at the time had disbanded and the sport started fading away (again). Soon after, Stacy Peralta (one of Zephyr's former riders) built and managed a new team with fresh, young talent. He scouted and handpicked them by way of contests and friend recommendations. Six riders would make up this team: Rodney Mullen, Lance Mountain, Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero, Mike McGill, and Tommy Guerrero, and they would be known as the Bones Brigade. Not knowing it at the time, these six misfits would forever change the skateboard revolution. Decades later, skateboarder-turned-skateboard-coach-turned-filmmaker Peralta flawlessly and passionately documents this story, appropriately titled Bones Brigade: An Autobiography
is a talking heads documentary which means there are first-hand stories being told and, at times, things get intense and very unapologetic. Peralta gave all of the skateboarders room to completely express themselves and open up about the most exciting and difficult times in their careers. Nobody wants the world to know things that make them rattle - particularly not stars of a sport based on bravado - but these guys courageously share just that - it's tragic, heartfelt, and inspirational.
Peralta has tackled other subjects in his film career - surfing and the most notorious gangs in recent history, the Bloods and Crips - but telling stories about skateboarding is what he was born to do. He first garnered Hollywood's attention with the moving story of the Zephyr team called Dogtown and Z-Boys
. Just like the Bones Brigade team, the Z-Boys just wanted to skate. They didn't care about money or fame.
I was an avid skateboarder throughout my teen angst years and grew up watching and idolizing these guys, so I went into this film completely biased. I know, I know, you're not supposed to do that, blah blah blah, but this is so nostalgic and I'm the writer so I'll do whatever the hell I want. However, Bones Brigade
defines itself as a film about people who passionately believed in something special. You don't need to be knee-deep or even care about skateboarding to fall in love with this film. Bones Brigade: The Autobiography
is a masterpiece.