Freewheelin' ★★★

This odd little film is actually fascinating. It's really a commercial for skateboarding that plays like a documentary that plays like a teen romance.

Shot crudely on 16mm and mostly dubbed in post-production, the film takes you on a journey through the world of skateboarding- specifically the world of DOGTOWN, the area of Santa Monica and Venice known to be the birthplace of extreme skateboarding. The film focuses on Stacy Peralta, the famous "Z-Boy" who went on to be a skateboard champion and the skate mogul (he also directed the documentary DOGTOWN and ZBOYS, which almost serves as a pseudo-sequel to this film). Narrated by his "girlfriend" Camille, it follows a staged reenactment of Peralta's life before fame, where he works at an Italian restaurant, goes to school, and spends his free time skating and surfing. It plays like an after school special, but is actually quite fascinating for fans of skateboarding, as there is a lot of footage showing the origin of the sport and the dangerous stunts skaters pulled off before helmets and pads were even considered.

This would play well as a double feature with DOGTOWN and ZBOYS, as well as LORDS OF DOGTOWN. Check it out!

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