SKATE KITCHEN

Full board…

Total Film - - Big Screen -

The first thing you’ll want to do af­ter watch­ing Skate Kitchen is buy a board. Then you’ll want to down­load ev­ery song off the killer sound­track. Be­cause Crys­tal Moselle’s movie is pure, se­duc­tive cool. Fol­low­ing a sub­ur­ban teen skater (Rachelle Vin­berg) as she finds her­self and her crew amid NYC’s buzzy, gold­en­hours streets, this is a raw, hyp­notic, joy­ous mood piece.

True, it’s nar­ra­tively slight. And Jaden Smith’s stunt­cast­ing jars. But those short­com­ings are more than com­pen­sated for by the film’s sen­sory rich­ness, tan­gi­ble sense of place and re­fresh­ing por­trayal of young women (who dis­cuss vagina in­juries, date rape and fem­i­nism in the same stoner breath as the Man­dela Ef­fect).

Moselle’s doc­u­men­tary back­ground is keenly felt. Swoop­ing along as­phalt, the hand­held cam­er­a­work cap­tures an ob­ser­va­tional vibe. Mean­while, the screen­play weaves fluid arcs into the nat­u­ral­is­tic ban­ter of the skaters-turned-ac­tors. Moselle was in­spired to write the film by a chance meet­ing with Vin­berg and she un­der­stands what the at­trac­tion is here, de­vot­ing sev­eral ki­netic mon­tages to the girls’ mad skills that cap­ture the thrill of the ride, the com­fort of tribe and the eman­ci­pa­tion of truly be­ing one­self. Jane Crowther

THE VER­DICT

An evoca­tive com­ing-of-ager that chal­lenges def­i­ni­tions of fem­i­nin­ity while shred­ding it at the park.

both bold and cool. the bum­bag over the shoul­der look, that is…

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