Catherine Hardwicke, US/Germany, 2005, 107 mins
John Robinson, Emile Hirsch, Rebecca De Mornay, William Mapother, Heath Ledger
A fictionalised take on the documentary Dogtown and Z Boys, this sporting drama follows the heady days of California 's skateboard movement and it is a passionate, exciting trip by Catherine Hardwicke, the director of the critically acclaimed drama Thirteen.
Although making less of a direct impact in the UK, the sporting and style shift that happened from surfing the water to skating the drought-afflicted swimming pools of Southern California perhaps does affect us directly - as a walk down to the smooth surfaces of the South Bank will prove. Skateboards and their masters are a movement whose birth we see here.
Set in the early 1970s, a gaggle of young surfers - exploited in the surf shop of Skip Engblom (Heath Ledger) - discover how to use the newly designed urethane skate wheels to make their skateboards capable of more dangerous and thrilling moves than ever before, as well as learning new ways to actually ride the boards themselves. From a script by one of the skaters who was there, this is a predictable tale of young boys finding fame and fortune and mishandling all of it. But the period feel, the skating shots and the fantastic soundtrack make this one to watch. Rebecca De Mornay appears as one of the skaters' burntout but still delectable mothers.