The 2001 documentary, Dogtown and Z-Boys, is a must watch for any skateboarding fan. A true classic, this film, directed by skateboarding legend Stacy Peralta and narrated by actor Sean Penn, who once lived and surfed in the Dogtown area (Venice/ Mar Vista/ Santa Monica (south of Wilshire)), is a historical account of skateboarding in the 1970s, and showcases how a group of kids revolutionized the sport of skateboarding (and to a lesser extent, the surfing) culture.
Using a mix of film the Zephyr skateboard team shot in the 1970s by Craig Stecyk and more recent interviews, the documentary traces the evolution of skateboarding from a sport once ruled by straight-laced athletes, to how a group of badass surfing kids from Southern California’s mean streets (known as Dogtown), and formed the Z-Boys skateboard team (there was one girl – Peggy Oki), made their mark and changed the whole concept of skateboarding.
The film’s $400,000 budget was financed by Vans, Inc., whose skateboarding shoes Stacy Peralta had been paid to endorse during his days as a professional skateboarder.The film opened to gross sales of $103,355, but since then, has grossed over $1.2MM. The incredible moving images in action, some say the birth of “extreme sports,” and how environment influences people keeps the film timeless, relevant and interesting year after year.
Moreover, it has an amazingly good soundtrack featuring songs from Aerosmith, The Allman Brothers, Black Sabbath, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin among others.
It’s a sick flick. You really get a genuine feel of who the Z-Boys were and how they made their mark on skateboarding.
If you’re a Newport Beach resident, you can watch it free at the Newport Beach Public Library when they show it on Wednesday, August 10, 7:00pm.