Skateboarding always looks like such fun. When I watch it, I see effortless grace and feel the pleasure of others gliding along and up and getting close to flying.
When I try it, it looks a little more like Bambi on the ice. Bruised knees play quite a big part in my attempts.
So a movie about excellent skateboarders who became the world’s best, despite a background of poverty, appealed to me. And it was a free screening for members of the Stratford East Picturehouse.
You get the vicarious thrills but you also get a much deeper film than you might expect. The Pappas brothers – Tas and Ben – rose from a poor suburb of Melbourne, Australia to conquer the USA. Who knew Melbourne had poor people? “Neighbours” – a glossy Aussie soap set in Melbourne that launched the career of Kylie Minogue – lied to me.
It’s a very moving tale of two exceptionally close brothers who got to the top on sheer hard work. It also tells a great deal about the perils of fame and fortune. Don’t go see this if you are uncomfortable about watching the casual use of illegal drugs.
But if you possibly can, see this. It’s honest and independent film-making at its best. Real and emotional, only those with hearts of stone could fail to be moved by this.
Everybody who watched it with me really enjoyed it. It’s a little movie that hits big heights, on the skateboards and in the feelings it provokes.