Bones Brigade: An Autobiography


Stacy Peralta documents what he knows best: the ’70s–’80s California skateboarding culture of which he was a seminal figure. Having already tackled his own early years with Dogtown and Z-Boys, he now turns to the 1980s and the skate team he founded and mentored to immense success. Bones Brigade: An Autobiography details the squad that launched the careers of Tony Hawk and Steve Caballero, among others. Peralta’s blend of archival film and photos with new interviews is traditional but energized, and his talking heads are candid and insightful about the insecurities, jealousies, parental hang ups, and internal needs that drove (and beset) them. Revolutionizing the sport through a constant desire to one-up one another’s groundbreaking tricks, the brigade’s members became modern street-skating forefathers simply by doing what they loved, and Peralta captures a convincing sense of how skateboarding gave these outcasts a sense of identity and purpose, and how the resulting community in turn spawned innovation. Chockablock with lofty pronouncements (many from Rodney Mullen), the film risks self-importance, but when Peralta admits through tears just how much he loves his skater charges, it imparts what every parent knows: that even better than achieving one’s own success is shepherding the success of others. Nick Schager