For most people the '70s conjures up fondues, 8 tracks, The Brady Bunch and bell-bottom jeans. So don't be disappointed when none of these are featured in this brilliant trip back in time.
Lords of Dogtown delves deep into the lives of the Z-Boys (Tony Alva, Jay Adams and Stacy Peralta), famous for adapting their surfing style to skateboarding and in so doing revolutionising the sport. The Z-Boys influence on skateboarding is seen by many as the birth of popularised extreme sports.
Based on Stacy Peralta's documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys, the real-life story about how the Z-Boys revolutionised skateboarding, Lords of Dogtown brings a nostalgic yet realistic look into the lives of teenagers growing up in ghetto-style Venice, California in the '70s.
At its heart Lords of Dogtown is a story about a group of surfers who found new ways of expressing themselves. When there were no waves surfers could now simply "surf" the immense concrete jungle and empty swimming pools of Venice, California. This was the birth of what today is popularly known as freestyle skating.
Together with the help of their stoner mentor, Skip (Heath Ledger), the owner of Zephyr Surf Shop - later turned Skate Shop - the Zephyr skate team was born. The Z-Boys turned their attention to competitive skating and before long found themselves competing against each other for fame and fortune. But fame would take its toll on their friendships, and this tension turns Lords of Dogtown into a compelling exploration of loyalty and honour among friends.
Realising the need to inject emotion into his script, Stacy Peralta turned to director, Catherine Hardwicke, best known for her frank examination of teen sex and relationships in Thirteen, to bring real life crises into the mix. And so, under Hardwicke's direction, a story about rebellion, attitude, jealousy, loyalty and friendships was born.
Lords of Dogtown is an excellent mix of action and emotional relationships from explosive skating in empty swimming pools to first loves and best buddies. It's about growing up in the '70s, it's about having dreams and following them and - above all - it's about friendship.
So no matter what decade you grew up in, Lords of Dogtown will have something that you will be able to identify with. So pull up your beanbag on the shag rug and return to the 70s with the Z-Boys - Lords of Dogtown is definitely not to be missed.
- Raymond Kilfoil
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