Skaterdater: Fantastic 1965 skateboarding movie

[Updated 24 Sept. 2009]

I was floored by Skaterdater when I saw it in about 1970 as a short before a feature film (possibly the Beatles’ Let It Be). I never even knew the title of it until just this evening when it suddenly flashed in my mind and I did one of those shot-in-the-dark Google searches like “old skateboard movie.”

The movie has no dialogue, just a beach-music soundtrack. It’s a coming-of-age movie about a California skateboard gang. One member disgraces himself by taking up with a (gasp!) girl. The movie ends with a skateboard duel between the traitor and his former buddy. The two face off doing slaloms down a steep hill.

Wikipedia has an article on Skaterdater here.

I almost hate to link to this low-res version of Skaterdater on Google Video — it might be posted without permission. Sadly, however, the movie does not appear to be available commercially (otherwise I would buy copies for children, grandchildren, and some kids I know!)

[Update 24 Sept. 2009:] Since I posted the Skaterdater entry, I have heard from Bill McKaig, one of the cast from the film — see his comment below.

My friend Paul Girolamo (with whom I originally saw the movie, although sadly he doesn’t remember that) is a video professional — after watching the movie recently, he commented:

I took a film class once where the perfect film was defined as a story told with pictures and no dialogue or captions. I think Skater Dater is pretty close to the ideal. What a gem.

It’s pretty sophisticated technically too. Those close-ups following the feet on the board would be tricky today. In 1965 the camera team really had to know what they were doing.

AB — 2 April 2009

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Some documentaries that make you think

I’ve been meaning to make note of some striking documentary films from the past couple of years. If this makes sense, one thing they have in common is their diversity of viewpoint. Another point is their uniqueness of viewpoint — all of them really make you think.

Sicko — Michael Moore’s exposé of U.S. healthcare — and an opportunity to see Moore’s work in a non-R-rated production.

Knocking — A rare non-biased look at an unpopular minority religion.

Expelled — Ben Stein’s controversial movie about Intelligent Design.

What Would Jesus Buy? — An inside look at Reverend Billy Talen, his Church of Stop Shopping, and their anti-consumerism message.

AB — 16 February 2009