Skateboarding has often been used in films, often the depiction has made me and many other skateboarders cringe. But with the expansion of skateboard culture into a mainstream position a lot of things have changed. One of the best depictions of the pre mainstream life of a skateboarder is the Larry Clark’s movie Kids from 1995. The great thing about this one is that the director took the risk of combining actors with non actors.
Harmony Korine who wrote the script was from the skateboard world and the director Larry Clark had made his mark depicting urban culture in both photography and film. What we got was a realistic portrayal of a group of kids that also skate. The film captured a moment when skateboarders where still considered outcasts, paradoxically making a film would push skateboarding further towards mainstream culture.
As a young skateboarder I could somewhat relate to the people in this film, sure I lived in a small city and I certainly wasn’t fucking girls like that, but the feeling of being with an outcast group of people roaming the streets was and is something I know quite well. Being the age that I am (I’m 28), I saw the transition from sub to pop culture happen. The first couple of years I skated with my friends. We would get yelled at, spit on etc. This all started to change slowly but surely with the appearance of young creative people like Pharrell Williams aka Skateboard P. I noticed more people started to look and dress like me and my friends, the yelling and spitting slowly stopped, only the regular contact with the Police stayed the same. The weird thing is, that even though the mainstream had accepted skateboarding, the skateboard world didn’t accept the mainstream world. We as a group remained skeptical against “others” coming in. You can wear the skateboard uniform, but as soon as you step on the board your true colors are shown. In that sense skateboarding is still a very closed society, and although race might not be a real issue, sexual preference still is.
I am sure many of you know the rumors surrounding certain individuals and I am big on respecting people’s private space. At the same time there are some cases of people getting dropped from their sponsors after their coming out. Now obviously we can’t be sure that their coming out is the reason and companies will definitely not admit to this, but still the fact that such rumors exist might make people doubt openly coming out during their career or to their circle of friends.
I haven’t seen this new film yet, but it seems at least partly to deal with these kind of issues, which is important expand people’s view of the skateboard world and the skateboarders view of the world.
A more detailed review can be found by clicking this link.