In the mid-1970s, teen skateboarder Jay J. Adams descended on an empty swimming pool in Southern California, with beers and board in hand. A drought had recently ripped across the state, forcing residents to drain their backyard swimming holes. For many, it was a disappointing summer. But not for a crew of misfit young skaters known as the Z-Boys. From their vantage point, those smooth concrete craters made perfect skate bowls—sanctuaries for a sport and subculture they were unwittingly pioneering.
I’ve not watched Space Jam 2 yet (tomorrow night) but the signs are not good. So I’ve collected a list of reviews that I’ve not read but the varying titles intrigued me.
- The new Space Jam is apocalyptic horror (Vox)
- Space Jam: A New Legacy’ review: LeBron James film is an abomination (New York Post)
- ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ Is an Exercise in Excess (Rolling Stone)
- ‘Space Jam’ 2 is a soulless, overlong HBO gimmick. (LeBron’s OK in it, though.) (NBC News)
- Michael Jordan’s “Cameo” In ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ Is a Hilarious Let Down (Decider)
And an extra special mention to Dom Griffin who did a video review you should watch (I’ll view it after I’ve seen the movie).
I’ll add more to the list as and when.
Filmmaker Matt Payne shot footage of Tom Karangelov skating on 16mm film and it looks really cool. Then again, everything looks good on 16mm. Matt also did an interview with Jenkem about the film and his techniques
How much did u guys spend on 16mm film to make this?
Not that much! Tom lands everything first try!
Just kidding, it was expensive and when we rolled on a trick we really had to make it count.
But we made this project on the side over a couple of years and got some deals with Kodak / Pro8mm so it didn’t hurt my wallet all at once. And I may or may not have used it as a tax write-off and sold some b-roll.
How do we know you didn’t just film this all on iPhone and use a 16mm filter or app?
I might have. The apps are that good. What if I told you this was all a marketing rouse to unveil the newest Kodak filter for iPhone 12 Pro Max? [laughs]
How much money would it cost to make a ~10 minute skate video on film?
I would say probably $2500 – $3000 on the cheap side. Maybe upwards of $5000 if you do it proper with good transfers and real cinema cameras.
North West Decks tried his hand at making a Hey Arnold! skateboard using some cool-looking decals. Before watching, I assume the decals were complete with the outlines and the colour but they were separate, meaning you need a steady hand and an eye for detail. The result is the coolest thing this side of 1998.
Jenkem did something unthinkable and unexpected: they tracked down Werner Herzog and discussed skateboarding with him.
He’s a guy who brings a true sense of uniqueness to an industry increasingly overrun with superheroes. But what does he have to do with skateboarding?
Technically speaking, nothing. Werner has no background in skating. But I believe he is one of us.
He preaches maxims like getting the shot by any means necessary, carrying bolt cutters everywhere, and thwarting institutional cowardice with guerrilla tactics. His entire career has been built on a DIY approach to life, his craft banged into existence through decades of trial and failure.
The result is surreal and short but wonderful. The filmmaker declared his puzzlement at being approached for the interview but found a commonality in what skateboarders do and what he does. One thing he pointed out was his seeming dislike for David Blaine which I was unaware of. In comparison, he said “skate kids” weren’t out for the publicity but did it for the joy of skating.
I think we should have more interviews like this for different disciplines. What does Ja Rule think about the imminent post-pandemic recession? What are Mads Mikkelsen’s views on comic books? How does Whoopi Goldberg feel about skateboarding? Now that I’d like to hear.
Through pure coincidence, I’m posting this on what would have been Karl Hubenthal’s 104th birthday.
This from Bob Staake:
Growing up in Los Angeles in the 1960’s, there were two types of people — those who read the Los Angeles Times, and those who read the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner — and our family was of that latter persuasion — Dad not knowing that the “Herald” wasn’t the best of papers, Mom not really caring, and me delighted just to be able to see Hubenthal’s cartoons each day.
Hubenthal. I’d heard it said as “hoo-ben-thal” once or twice, yet Dad had always pronounced it (rightly) “hugh-ben-thal”, and while at the time I wasn’t sure which was correct, one thing was certain: this Hubenthal could draw.
It’s a small world we live in. Sometimes, you have to go a little further than just down the street to find certain things in life. This time, the journey took our squad to the Middle East to check out the lost world of skateboarding in Jordan. Josef ‘Speed Demon’ Scott, Manolo Robles, Milton Martinez, filmer Edu ‘Eddy D’ Munoz, and photographer Sergio ‘Astronaut’ Alvarez hoped on board for the mission. The locals greeted them with open arms, and even some traffic control at times to ensure the boys could shred some good spots. Sit back and enjoy some banger clips from their skateventure.
(via Red Bull)
Skate-related: An empty water park In Dubai made a dope skate park and the Uganda skateboard union.
Proper Gnar is a woman-owned skateboarding and streetwear brand, created by Latosha Stone. She set out to draw her own designs not only for clothes and skateboards but as standalone art.
Talking to Skateism, she talked about sizing and the struggles she has faced when trying to get clothes in plus sizes:
The size thing is something that really bothers me as well. And it’s an issue with the apparel industry as a whole. I’d love to carry all sizes but it’s almost impossible to find suppliers that go past a 3X, sometimes 5X on tee’s, and on crop tops I haven’t found larger than an XL. I always feel so bad when someone asks if I carry their size and I can’t because my suppliers don’t.
And her views on a connection between skateboarding and “femme power”:
I don’t think there’s a direct connection, I’m just a feminist in general. And I just feel like there’s something badass and powerful about taking something and putting your own twist on it, making it your own.
The Uganda Skateboard Union started as an organisation for Ugandans to skate and “have a positive impact on the youth’s development and growth.” Back in 2006, Jackson Mubiru and Shael Swart built the nation’s first skateboard ramp out of bricks and cement. Later, a Canadian filmmaker named Brian Lye worked with them to build a small course beside the ramp and fundraised to create a skateboard park.
The skatepark featured in the music video for Naughty Boy, Kyla & Popcaan’s “Should’ve Been Me” (although the video description says the park was built in 2004).
Stream it below.
I watched Space Jam with my son for the first time last week (his first time; my 7 millionth). He loved it and now I can show him something from the upcoming sequel. The LeBron James Family Foundation Instagram account posted the first look at King James in his “A New Legacy” jersey.
It’s more colourful than the original white jersey with blue and red trim and that caught me off guard. I’m interested to see how the Looney Tunes gang look in it.
Esquire gave an in-depth analysis of the new kit (certainly more comprehensive than I’d care to give it):
A reading from the Book of LeBron: When James did the whole taking my talents to South Beach bit in 2010’s ‘The Decision,” he traded number 23 for number 6. The new digit became synonymous with his newfound status as a villain in the league, something he played into a lil’ bit (R.I.P. Mask LeBron), which wouldn’t really be redeemed until he won a ring in Cleveland.
Check the shorts—number 6 is back.
OK. What’s the next logical thing to do after you save your planet from the grubby green hands of a raging alien capitalist? Secure a Nike sponsorship! With the entire NBA devoting little squares of jersey real estate to sponsors like Bumble, even the Tune Squad, apparently, isn’t opposed to making an extra buck from a corporate overlord. You have to ask: Did word of the Tune Squad’s heroics somehow reach Earth? Making them something of a well-known, traveling hoops act actually worth sponsoring—a la the Harlem Globetrotters?
When I first heard Space Jam was getting a sequel with LeBron James, I was sceptical. The original was a big part of my childhood and I wasn’t sure if I wanted the magic to be replicated. Nothing against LeBron (his cameo in Teen Titans Go! showed me he has the cartoon acting chops), but I don’t know how good the writing will be so we’ll have to see.
As for the shirt number and the brand sponsorships… I couldn’t care less. Apathy seems to be a common theme with recent branding announcements.
2020 has been a dumpster fire of a year so when you find something wholesome, you’ve got to wash your hands, wear a mask, and cling to it for dear life.
I found this wholesome video of Tyler the Creator skating carefree and it’s the right amount of relaxing. If you didn’t know he could skate, and, like me, you haven’t played Tony Hawk Pro Skater for nearly 20 years, you might also be surprised to know he’s also in THPS5 as a playable character.
And Mr Hawk holds him in high regard too:
Honestly, the best skater that I’ve seen who raps is Tyler, The Creator. He really can skate… He’s legit.
Stream the clip compilation below and watch out for that super long manual he pulls off at the end.
What do you do when your child gets into a hobby but doesn’t see other children or adults like them? For Rob Hewitt, creative director and the publisher of OH-SO magazine, he decided to do something about it:
OH-SO magazine was founded after my daughter (7yrs Old) took an interest in skateboarding this past summer. We started with the board—we went to a store and looked for something that appealed to her—we both noticed that it was a male dominated selection. She asked me why she couldn’t find something she liked…so began the search to help her find something she could identify with while she immersed herself in the brief history of female skateboarding. Ultimately, this led to the development and production of OH-SO, a magazine that celebrates the global female skateboarding scene. We’ve reached out to many talented individuals, looking to contribute and collaborate along the way, and we will continue to do so to document this journey.
Representation of all people in any community is important and it’s good that Hewitt highlighted the importance of women in skateboarding. So far, OH-SO has 5 issues out featuring stars such as skateboarding legend Mimi Knoop, England’s first female pro Lucy Adams, Leticia Bufoni, and the dynamic duo Sky Brown and Rayssa Leal.
Black Lives Matter is not a catch-all term. It represents the fight for equality, liberation, and radicalisation for Black people around the world and we will continue to challenge every institution and system until it happens.
As part of that fight, supporting Black-owned businesses is becoming more important. Black people are often denied bank loans and leases because of their race, particularly in the US. According to the ACLU, Black people are 3.73x more likely than White people to be arrested for marijuana charges. But we’ve seen a recent boom in the marijuana industry and it’s headed by White people. Unfair and unjust. Also check for the CBD legality before getting them.
Skate publication Jenkem Magazine care about Black businesses too, and with the help of friend and contributor Patrick Kigongo, compiled a Google sheet of Black-owned skate companies to support, aptly named The Black List.
At the time of writing, there are 140 different Black skate brands, stores, organisations, and media outlets to give your money and support to. There’ll be some names you recognise (like Tyler The Creator’s Golf Wang) and some you might not. But all your proceeds, shares, likes, and listens will go a long way to bring a balance to a system created to marginalise Black people.
Got half an hour spare? No? Well, you do now.
Tony Hawk sat down with GQ to talk about movies featuring skateboarding. Unless you’re into it, you probably can’t think of many off the top of your head. But the kickflip legend runs his way through some great films including The Amazing Spider-Man, Back to the Future, and Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.
The video comes as part of GQ’s The Breakdown series where athletes “break down” their respective sports in movies. The series has featured the likes of Brian Ortega, F1’s Daniel Ricciardo, wrestler CM Punk, and the LA Dodgers in its first season.
Back to the Future
Gleaming the Cube
The Amazing Spider-Man
Police Academy 4
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
Rather than say stuff was good or bad, Tony dissects scenes and gives a flavour of the eras they were trying to depict. He also gives his opinion on the “realness” of the tricks performed. And he gets technical (because it’s friggin’ Tony Hawk). Imagine if Tony Hawk was the director for some of these scenes and you were an actual skateboarder!
Of course, Tony was asked what he thought was the best skate movie he’d ever seen. You can watch the video to find out what his answer was.
Picture a modern art museum. Perhaps one like MoMA with all those white paintings nobody understands. Now think of skateboarding culture. How well do you think those worlds complement each other? Very well, in fact.
Artists like Ai Weiwei and Andy Warhol have lent their artistry to skateboards. From what started out as a niche collaboration became a money venture; according to CNBC, Sotheby’s sold a collection of nearly 250 Supreme skate decks to Carson Guo for $800,000. Oh, and he’s 17. I wish I had that kind of money.
But the important number today isn’t 17 or 800,000 – it’s 5. Because I’ve chosen 5 examples of modern artists who’ve inspired skateboarding culture. Or how skateboarding culture has influenced 5 modern artists. I don’t think the order really matters so let’s check them out.
It wouldn’t be an art-related Cultrface article without mentioning Basquiat. The neo-expressionist painted and drew on any medium he wanted. But never skateboards. Decades after his death and his work adorns quite a few skate decks including Demon, on a set of 5 decks, and Skull, one of his most famous pieces (and my favourite), on a set of 3. Although Basquiat never explicitly worked with skateboards, his early days as SAMO© was certainly imbricated with skateboarding culture.
One word: Obey. It’s primarily a verb but it’s synonymous with Shepard Fairey, the street artist who turned it into a clothing brand, based on his iconic André the Giant Has a Posse artwork. Fairey played a pivotal role in bringing skateboarding culture into the popular scene through art and clothing thanks to OBEY. His 2009 work Alva Frontside portrays skateboarder Tony Alva.
Robert Rauschenberg was an artist who pioneered the “Combine painting” style involving the mix of painted canvases and objects. He was also seen as a forefather of pop art alongside Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol. Much like Basquiat, he never worked directly with skate decks but they were posthumously printed onto a series of decks including his works Doubleluck, Watermelon Medley, and Sri Lanka VI.
If you don’t already know Takashi Murakami for his solo art efforts, you might know him for his collaboration with Kanye West on his Graduation album artwork. The Japanese artist is more postmodern than modern but his style looks incredible on skate decks. They’re unique, vibrant, and exhilarating – just what you need for board used on death-defying air tricks, right?
The final artist in this list is Jim Houser. Born in Philadelphia in 1973, Houserʼs is well known in his city as well as galleries in Italy, France, Brazil, and Australia. Enjoi teamed up with Jim Houser to create a series of decks, showing a more whimsical side of skateboard culture compared to other artists. He also created a piece called The Line Up involving a collage of skateboards painted on a panel to complete the skate culture cycle.
Of course, there are way more than 5 artists involved with skateboarding culture in some way: Mark Gonzales, Skip Engblom, Banksy, and Keith Haring to name a few. Many had art printed on boards after death but the opposite was also true, as in their art depicted board life, whether it was on wheels or on the waves.
Postwar modern art, as it transformed into postmodern art, was the perfect aesthetic for youth culture to express itself. Skateboarding was just one such pastime that did the same. Graffiti played a part too. So it was only a matter of time before they all came together in some form and evolved through one another.
The impact of skateboarding on the arts and culture and vice versa is how countercultures thrive. Skate culture is for everyone, not just the men. It’s all about how far you can go before you land something big that’ll change the world.