Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|8 Wheels and Some Soul Brotha' Music|
Actors: Polyester Players, Bow Wow
Director: Tyrone D. Dixon
Genres: Sports, Documentary, African American Cinema
Capturing the feel of the skate revolution and every funky movement around the rink, director, Tyrone D. Dixon, stirs the soul in his debut feature doc, 8 Wheels & Some Soul Brotha Music. This emotional blend of funk and o... more »
Great footage of "traditional" roller skating culture
Stephen Cobb | Upstate New York | 05/18/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The maker of this independent documentary put together some great footage of skating on 8 wheels, that is, regular roller skates (4 wheels per foot). This is the only type of roller skating I knew as a kid. My father had a pair of skates and on rare occasions would demonstrate his considerable skills on the pavement outside our house.
But our house was in England and we are white folks. This film was made in America and these skaters are black folks, and that made the documentary matter fascinating to me. Because it's truly folk culture. There is an entire skating scene, with its own language, locations, heroes and stars, of which I was not aware, and I reckon a lot of Americans are equally unenlightened on this subject. That's a pity, because this is some cool stuff!
The sheer variety and creativity of some of the skating moves you see in this film is amazing. I had no idea people were doing this stuff on wheels, with wheels, despite wheels, powered by wheels. It was inspiring. I nearly ordered some wheels on Amazon the same night I watched the film (but then I remembered I live on a dirt road many miles from any skatable surface).
A lot of the inspiration, for me and for the skaters, came from the soul brotha music. And the film could have used more complete music coverage, with fewer "clips" as these started to get repetitive. Toward the end I started wondering if the material could have been assembled differently. Would a chapter approach have worked better: history, performances, interviews, politics.
Yes, politics. Apparently some communities have been less than supportive of skating, which is a great pity. Here's a safe, engaging, energy-consuming, off the street in a good way, activity. Why would you not want to encourage it?
In the end I stopped re-thinking the film and enjoyed it for what it is, a great collage of African American skating culture, one that educates and inspires. You can't ask for more than that."