Coan Nichols and Rick Charnoski follow a crew that builds bowl-shaped parks for skateboarders in the Pacific northwest in this 46-minute documentary. While the skaters' moves are often spectacular, they're filmed in telephoto from static positions that become monotonous, and the voice-overs from the youths are less than eloquent (the sport's appeal is “hard to explain, but you know . . . ”). But a neat epilogue, in which skaters trespass in empty swimming pools to trace their curves, demonstrates that “the natural drive of a skateboarder is to basically conquer all terrains.” Striking Fear Into the Hearts of Teenage Girls, a nine-minute video about female skaters by the skateboard crew Villa Villa Cola, uses a low-angled moving camera to better effect.
By Fred Camper