In Boogie Nights, Paul Thomas Anderson’s film about the porn industry of the 70s and 80s, Burt Reynolds’ Jack Horner gives a fateful speech admonishing the advent of home video: “I have a stable of actors and actresses. They’re professionals. They’re not a bunch of fucking amateurs. They’re proven in the box office. They get people in theaters, where films should be seen, and they know how to fuck.”
It is not hard to imagine similar tirades (maybe with a few words switched out) occurring in Powell-Peralta boardrooms as the 80s were coming to a close, and skateboarding was around the corner from a crash. Skate videos of the decade were refined and narrative-driven, and for good reason. There were only like, six tricks invented at the time, so they had to fill up those other 53 minutes in an hour-long skate video with story, personality shots and other shit.
But what would come after skateboarding’s believed-to-be demise was a rebirth. Videos like Snuff, Video Days, Tim & Henry’s Pack of Lies, and Questionable were unrepentant in their progression — they were too busy inventing modern skateboarding in front of your eyes to worry about the extracurricular malarky from the Animal Chin days. New faces and a camera thrown in a backpack was the name of the game. The old mode was dead. But for how long?
Skateboarding draws many parallels to pornography, but one of the most curious ones is an incessant need to add narrative to something that nobody watches for the story. As we will soon learn, plots returned to skate videos as quickly as they went.
The QS Film Desk isn’t the most enthusiastic group of Harmony Korine fans (haven’t watched the Epicly Later’d yet…), but gotta #respect anyone who made the leap from growing up on skate videos to making feature films. He talked about some of his favorite videos over on Vice.
Congrats to Yaje on his Transworld cover. 1) Is it safe to say the easiest way to land on the cover on a major magazine while skating a spot in New York is via the Columbus Park rail. 2) Why does the cover layout of TWS now look like TSM?
Even though it was only partially based in New York, Last of the Mohicans was a 2008 that further propelled the typical mode of skating this city into deep outer borough crust. Joe Perrin and OJ Wheels put together Relapse of the Mohicans, a 13-minute video with parts and cameos from the entire original cast.
We don’t often run posts of a single photo, but in a year with a lot of remarkable New York-set photographs already (Mehring’s shot of Olson on Water Street, Atiba’s Dylan Reider cover shot, and Keith Morrison’s stolen shot of Austyn Gillette all come to mind), John Shanahan’s diptych of James Juckett stands out in particular.
Located at 135th and Riverside, this stoned-lined pathway leads you to 12th Avenue under the Riverside Drive Viaduct. There isn’t much to skate here, but for such a photogenic location, it’s surprising it hasn’t popped up in even a lifestyle-y skate photo until now. Your Tumblr dashboard won’t tell you two things about the spot: 1) Both the runway to the first set and the space after it are downhill. The guy had half a second before he hit the wallride. 2) The brownish spot on the ground between the two sets has to be one of the most urinated-on pieces of public space in New York City — we’re talking decades of piss that probably couldn’t be cleansed if you threw a bucket of bleach on it. The dude literally risked a staph infection for this awesome pair of photos.
On some full movie nerd shit: This stairway’s scenic qualities have been put to use for quite a while now. It appeared at the end of the 1948 film Force of Evil, which was one of the first movies to have a sizable chunk of its photography done on the actual street in New York, as opposed to a set. Martin Scorsese has been geeking outover it for pretty much the duration of his career.
Great work from skater James Juckett and photographer John Shanahan.
There is a great new Nike commercial that features “Gino pushing.” Ending a skateboarding commercial off in Times Square, or even acknowledging Times Square in anything skate-related comes off corny and touristy 99.9% of the time. Times Square has a lot to do with New York, but absolutely nothing to do with New York skateboarding — even your typical “Summer Trip to NY!” montage knows to avoid it.