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Lords of Dogtown: The Rise of the Skateboarding Posse

Posted by Fara Kearnes on June 3, 2005 8:35 PM |

Victor Rasuk as Tony AlvaIt looks like an Abercrombie & Fitch catalog come to life. With buff So Cal hot boys and plenty of teen angst and attitude, "Lords of Dogtown" shows how surf punks came to pioneer skateboarding as we know it.

The "Z-boyz" were made famous in the 70s thanks to good marketing by Team Zephyr and Skateboard Magazine. They didn't really invent the sport, but they did make it enormously popular and became celebrities themselves.

The year is 1975 and the movie focuses on four key players: Zephyr surf-and-skate shop co-founder Skip Engblom (Heath Ledger) and teen skaters Stacy Peralta (John Robinson), Tony Alva (Victor Rasuk) and Jay Adams (Emile Hirsch).

More than just a skateboarding movie, it shows the tribalism and wolf-pack mentality of the boys as they look for something they can believe in -- and a way to stay on summer vacation for about 20 years. It gives the film an appeal along the lines of "8-mile."
, Engblom, the skateboarding pioneer, chose actor Heath Ledger to portray himself on screen. "It was one of those dream situations where they said, 'Who do you want?' and I said, 'That guy would be nice.'" Engblom saw Ledger in "The Patriot" and thought that the actor seemed "really coordinated." "I later found out that he was a surfer and a skateboarder."

Having grown up in L.A., Emil (who plays Jay) has been skateboarding since he was a kid and found the film to be a dream come true: "I got my first real board when I was nine. I always had a different board. I have a huge collection of them now -- 20, 30 of them -- and each board has different memories with it," he says. "I saw the documentary before I even knew there was going to be a movie. My dad was like, 'You've got to go check this out.' And I thought afterwards, 'Man, I wish I could play that Jay Adams part.'"

Johnny Knoxville plays a character who is a scummy agent who didn't know his way around a skateboard, which mean Johnny didn't have to attend skateboard camp with the other actors. "That was great, because I don't skate and it saved me a lot of broken stuff."

Dogtown pic  Dogtown pic

Actor Jason Lee ("Almost Famous" and "Mallrats") is a former pro skateboarder. "I saw Tony Alva and Jay Adams around a lot, [but] they were more '70s, and I was more '80s, early '90s." Of his own injuries back in the day, Lee said, "I chipped and cracked my pelvis; that was the most excruciating pain I ever felt in my life. I was skating a ramp, and I slammed on the ground face first. ... I was laid up for two weeks, but now if it were to happen, I'd be laid up for two months."

Co-producer, Stacy Peralta, has given skateboard fans a strong followup to his "Dogtown and Z-Boys" the documentary about the skateboarding revolution that he experienced in Venice, a.k.a. "Dogtown" (near Santa Monica). "Lords of Dogtown" opens today. Go see it for the rush, even if the dialogue is downright dumb. And don't miss the original documentary - great skating, music, and attitude.

Engblom, the skateboarding pioneer, chose actor Heath Ledger to portray himself on screen. "It was one of those dream situations where they said, 'Who do you want?' and I said, 'That guy would be nice.'" Engblom saw Ledger in "The Patriot" and thought that the actor seemed "really coordinated." "I later found out that he was a surfer and a skateboarder."

Having grown up in L.A., Emil (who plays Jay) has been skateboarding since he was a kid and found the film to be a dream come true: "I got my first real board when I was nine. I always had a different board. I have a huge collection of them now -- 20, 30 of them -- and each board has different memories with it," he says. "I saw the documentary before I even knew there was going to be a movie. My dad was like, 'You've got to go check this out.' And I thought afterwards, 'Man, I wish I could play that Jay Adams part.'"

Johnny Knoxville plays a character who is a scummy agent who didn't know his way around a skateboard, which mean Johnny didn't have to attend skateboard camp with the other actors. "That was great, because I don't skate and it saved me a lot of broken stuff."

Dogtown pic  Dogtown pic

Actor Jason Lee ("Almost Famous" and "Mallrats") is a former pro skateboarder. "I saw Tony Alva and Jay Adams around a lot, [but] they were more '70s, and I was more '80s, early '90s." Of his own injuries back in the day, Lee said, "I chipped and cracked my pelvis; that was the most excruciating pain I ever felt in my life. I was skating a ramp, and I slammed on the ground face first. ... I was laid up for two weeks, but now if it were to happen, I'd be laid up for two months."

Co-producer, Stacy Peralta, has given skateboard fans a strong followup to his "Dogtown and Z-Boys" the documentary about the skateboarding revolution that he experienced in Venice, a.k.a. "Dogtown" (near Santa Monica). "Lords of Dogtown" opens today. Go see it for the rush, even if the dialogue is downright dumb. And don't miss the original documentary - great skating, music, and attitude.


Comments

I found this sidewalk graffiti footprint and initials in vence, aka, dogtown, a VANS shoe footprint and the intials JA, next to it, surrounding graffiti, seems to date to the mid 70's, I posted a picture on my site www.retardeddicaprio.com under "dogtown fun pics
check it out ! j the b

I still havent got to see the movie yet,me and all my millions of friends that skate would love to see the movie,but our town is the most retarded town...that wants to have nothing to do with skateboarding,..the movie didnt come out in any of our theaters,though we asked them kindly a million times to even consider the movie..also there is over 200 skateboarders in my town and i have gotten petitions from bike riders,roller bladers,and skateboarders which adds up to about 400-500 signatures and people would come from out of town,..and we presented it to the parks department,with our suites and ties,and they didnt want anything to do with it. If there is anyone that would like to help contact me at faraone_08@hotmail.com or if any sponsors are open and reading this im excellent on a skateboard and looking for sponsors;)


Vince Faraone,13,
Poplar Bluff,Missouri

Saw the movie. Thought they did a great job making Venice look like the shithole that it was. In fact all the beach towns of LA south of Santa Monica were shitholes in the '70's.

The actor that played the Skipper was perfect. There were so many characters like him in the area in the seventies. The direction was good(see Thirteen if ya haven't) and Stacy wrote a good script.

I loved Dogtown and Z-boys and was concerned that a dramatization would be embarassing for those involved and lame to watch. It wasn't. Lots of fun and good skating to boot. Once on dvd it'll be in my collection next to DT@Z-boys and Decline of Western Civilization #1.


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