Mike Hill’s Frustratingly Inarticulate Chronicle of Steve Rocco


If the breadth of your skateboarding knowledge is Tony Hawk, Vans low-tops, and whatever you retained from Dogtown and Z-Boys, director Mike Hill’s frustratingly inarticulate chronicle of champion freestyler-turned-“godfather of street” and countercultural entrepreneur Steve Rocco can sound like it’s in an alien tongue. From the late ’80s through the ’90s, Rocco proved either a marketing genius or a lucky lunatic when his World Industries enterprise irreverently shook up the biz by running competitor-smearing ads, launching and selling its own magazine to Larry Flynt, producing edgy videos that begat Spike Jonze and the Jackass crew, and ultimately transferring corporate ownership to the hands of skaters. Hiding somewhere in these anecdotes (and the requisite fisheye-lens feats and follies) is a compelling tale of large-scale bridge-burning and the repercussions of giving the young and immature too much money, power, and freedom (including a tangent never explored in which this changing of the guard is intriguingly compared to communism). But Hill’s bionic jump cuts and far-too-insider approach may cause dizziness for those who don’t know their double kick molds from their Jell-O molds, and just because he had access to countless post production digital effects doesn’t mean he should’ve used them all.