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Skate Kitchen

“[I]t’s really authentic in the sense that it captures what it feels like to be a kid who skates and lives in New York.”

[Rachelle Vinberg]

A biographical film — unprecedented for its novelty in adapting an Instagram feed — about the female friendships that form around a common passion and the conditions of living in a New York state of mind. Crystal Moselle brings a unique female vision into the mix of a male dominant profession — depicting the lives of real New York skaters who tackle their lives (“the main characters are all real New York skaters who are playing characters who are very close to themselves in real life“) and the process of growing older and finding your tomorrow-self reminiscent of the boys in Beach Rats from another emerging female director, Eliza Hittman. (Or, as everyone else has pointed out, a 2018 version of Larry Clark’s Kids [1995] told from a female perspective).

Asked about the role that female skateboarders have on the future, lead character, Rachelle Vinberg, had this to say:

Screen Shot 2018-08-23 at 2.03.52 AM

And while — as noted by Mick LaSalle (San Francisco Chronicle) — the film is certainly missing a desired sense of context for these women, it remains valuable (not unlike Saturday Church) as the only experience most will have into a group of skaters readily seen but rarely understood. If filmmaking is anything, it has to be the production of art through the process of illuminating silent figures. This film does some of this well.

Skate Kitchen certainly showed a level of promise for a profound ability to capture a sub-culture, but barely qualifies as a film without a running narrative and a “fly-on-the-wall feeling of a documentary” that leaves much to be desired from its idle chatter and loose emotions.

RATING: C

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