Posted May 29 2018

Sundance London 2018 Preview - Skate Kitchen

Dir: Crystal Moselle

Starring Rachelle Vinberg, Kabrina Adams Jules Lorenzo, Taylor Gray, Elizabeth Rodrigues, Jaden Smith

Director Mozelle, who previously impressed with the off beat cine-literate doc The Wolfpack, makes a move into narrative cinema (sort of) with this beautifully understated move through a sub culture within a sub culture. Not only does it ride with the street skaters of New York City but, more specifically, the females within that tribe.

After a nasty lady garden related accident – later described as being “credit carded” (ouch!), the sullen Long Islander Camille (a reserved but compelling Vinberg), is forced by her mother (Rodriguez) to give up skating. Unable to do so, she starts to make trips into the city, where she falls in with a gang of like-minded young women who live to skate, and skate to live.

Mozelle bring a naturalism to her subject and her cast, as well she should, having enlisted the real life crew name of Skater Kitchen – with no acting experience between them - after a chance encounter on the subway, eliciting performances that absorb more and more as the film progresses. If at times it evokes the feel and style of Larry Clark’s Kids, it thankfully lacks that film’s exploitative tone, instead relishing in hanging with these youngsters, and trying to get to know them.

Lovingly shot with a feel for the action on the boards, and with a beguiling score by Aska Matsumiya (backed up with great contributions from the likes of Sigrid and Khalid – the brilliant Young Dumb & Broke), Skate Kitchen is a strong observational character piece. Even when its plot starts to develop actual “plot” – a near romantic triangle that almost unbalances things – the movie still remains true to its strengths.

The Sundance Film Festival  ’18 London runs from May 31 to June 3


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