"Bones Brigade: An Autobiography," the long-awaited, much-anticipated 1980s skateboarding documentary was screened Monday night at the Tribeca Grand Hotel. Fans of all ages and fame levels came to check out Stacy Peralta’s latest tribute to the sport.
The movie screened twice at the hotel’s plush theater, and the mostly-skater crowd filled its velvet-cushioned, leather-backed seats long before the Edison light bulbs dimmed for a 7 p.m. showing.
The film, an exploration of the small, young, talented and sometimes troubled team that forever altered the sport, consists of photographs and archival footage narrated with free-form interviews Peralta did with riders Tony Hawk, Rodney Mullen, Lance Mountain, Tommy Guerrero, Steve Caballero and Mike McGill. Skaters Mike Vallely, Tony Alva, Christian Hosoi and the unforgettable Duane Peters were also interviewed, as were Ben Harper, Fred Durst and Shepard Fairey.
Last month, Peralta said in an interview with RedBullUSA.com that he was planning to self-release the movie theatrically and "make a deal with a company called Topspin Media... to manage our entire presence on the web. This will include selling "Bones Brigade" directly from our website via download and DVD, as well as many other things." He expected the film to be available in October.
"Stacy didn't tell us anything. I went in thinking we'd talk about skating but had no idea what was going to come out, and so much did." -- Lance Mountain
Among the viewers at the New York screening was Hosoi. The legendary high-flying, hard-crashing ramp rider, who the film paints as Hawk’s great rival, sat closest to the screen, sipping an iced coffee and wearing a cocked fedora. A few other recognizable faces dotted the crowd, most of whom wore skate T-shirts, pocked elbows and new but sometimes old tattoos.
“Bones Brigade,” which earned five standing ovations at Sundance in January and premiered the following month in Santa Monica, started late and lasted nearly an hour and forty-five minutes, and elicited a full range of emotions from the crowd. As the final credits rolled and the sound went down, the 9 p.m. crowd’s murmurs could be heard through the theatre doors, and three figures made their way toward the front. The lights went up to reveal McGill, Mountain, and Mullen, who were there for a quick thanks to the crowd.
“OHHHHHHHHHHHOHOO,” said Mullen, spotting Hosoi. “Sooo good to see you.”
The guys answered a question or two, tottered uncomfortably for a bit, then posed for pictures with fans.
I asked Mountain if Stacy had given them questions or an outline prior to filming. "No," Mountain responded. "Stacy didn't tell us anything. I went in thinking we'd talk about skating but had no idea what was going to come out, and so much did."
By then the outside crowd's murmurs had turned to rumbles and Vans brass had opened the doors, ushering out the first crowd while trying to hold the hungry second one at bay.
Cole Louisons is the author of "The Impossible: Rodney Mullen, Ryan Sheckler, and the Fantastic History of Skateboarding."
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