Thursday, 15 December 2011

Dragonslayer (2011)


Dir: Tristan Patterson - feature film directorial debut
Documentary following skateboarder Josh 'Skreech' Sandoval
USA, 2011

Reason to see: Documentary following a skateboard is an easy yes from me!

Dragonslayer (2011) is a documentary following skateboarder Josh 'Skreech' Sandoval, and that was more than enough to get me interested although it's been a long while since I’ve thought about skateboarding, I've always thought it was one of the coolest things on the planet. The film has lots of skateboarding in abandoned pools, skate parks and competitions as well so there is lots of fun physicality to watch, and I really loved that they show the rhythm of it; that the repetion of trying to find the pattern of path plays as intriguing (over boring); and that is actually what the film feels like as a whole as well, that finding the pattern of life, feels intriguing even though arguable it doesn't always feel like that much is actually going on.

The film is stylistically more vérité than documentary, full on with shaky cam but it's very unusual to see that when the camera person is *not* the protagonist, or in this case subject - which really shakes up the format and makes you aware of who is shooting this film, and why; but then you go back to just watching in wonder as Skreech life unfold whether it be skating or competitions or personal relationships or travelling, it always has something interesting going on although it's hard to put a finger on it. I think the pacing welcomes and embraces the relaxed rhythm they show of the skateboarding lifestyle of going from place to place, park to park and always on the lookout for a great new spot to skate over. That always looking point of view reads clear in the tone throughout, and I feel like just as they are looking at the perfect spot, we are looking in the same way about the film; always looking.

I really enjoyed the relaxed point of view and tone created, and it was fantastic to see all the skateboarding for sure; and even though there isn't lots of informative help for the uninitiated I think it still reads strongly for fans and non-fans of the sport and lifestyle. You just have to go with it. I'm glad I did.

Dragonslayer (2011) opens in Toronto on December 16, 2011 and plays at The Royal from December 16 - 22, 2011.

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'd watch it again
I'd highly recommend it to skateboarding fans and recommend it to fans of film that look at human nature

Also see: All 2011 Films Reviewed and All Film Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2011



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