Still of Tony Hawk from Bones Brigade: An Autiobiography
Bones Brigade: An Autobiography
Sundance Film Festival
Director: Stacy Peralta
Sundance-vet Stacy Peralta returned to the festival this year with his fourth documentary, Bones Brigade. Opening with a completely black screen and the sounds of polyurethane wheels again cement, Bones Brigade tells the story of the team by the same name, managed by Stacy Peralta, who eventually churned out some of the biggest and most influential names in skating: Mike McGill, Rodney Mullen, Lance Mountain, Tommy Guerrero, Steve Cabellaro and Tony Hawk. The film is composed of confessional-style interviews with these riders, Peralta and others in the skate industry and a combination of vintage photographs and footage filmed by Peralta back in the day. Throughout the interviews, each member of the Bones Brigade reflect on their childhood and how skating changed their life, but some of the funniest comments came from skaters outside of the Brigade (“Tony Hawk was an annoying little kid with way too many pads on,” says Duane Peters). The film’s vintage footage also serves as interesting look at how skating has progressed since the ‘80s: There is footage of Rodney Mullen inventing the flat ground ollie and an awesome segment featuring Tommy Guerrero’s street skating. Although the film was incredibly well done and well received by the massive audience at Rose Wagner (seriously, I can’t count how many old dudes stood up during the q&a, not to ask a question, but to gush about how the Bones Brigade changed their life) at times it did feel overly sentimental. I suppose it’s hard to remain objective when you’re creating a documentary film about a team that you managed. Despite the moments where the film got a little gushy, Bones Brigade maintained an awesome energy throughout. I don’t skate, but I imagine that the feeling I had leaving the theater is the same feeling that rushes through so many of my friends' bodies after a day of skating.