~Lucky 13 strikes again~
Legendary skateboarder Stacey Peralta is in the process of filming a new documentary, but not on skateboarding, but rather on the gangs of LA. It is his follow up to Dogtown and Z Boys, and may be something interesting to check out...here's a recent article of it:
[Qoute = Skaters News]
L.A.'s Gang Scene Proves Tougher Than Skateboarding for Peralta
Think of Los Angeles, and what comes to mind? Hollywood, glitz, and glamour. But what do you find in reality? Los Angeles’ South Central: extreme poverty, unemployment, failing schools, and—as Made in America suggests—an all-out war zone. Stacy Peralta’s documentary, Made in America, traverses the richly complex social history of gang violence in South Central, focusing specifically on the evolution of the area’s most famous gangs, the Crips and the Bloods. Crammed with heart-wrenching interviews and gangsta-rap, this film bites off a social issue a little bigger than it can chew.
Made in America opens with a bold and sickening upside down aerial shot of LA. With a 180-degree turn, we’re in the heart of South Central. The clock flips back to the early 1950s, and young, hopeful black boys—Kumasi, Bird, and Ron Wilkins—are shown being rejected from the Boy Scouts and white mainstream society. In contemporary interviews with the same characters, they argue that this rejection prompted them to form gangs in South Central, founding the gang culture that would shape the region for decades to come. Peralta then goes on to pinpoint the 1965 Watts riot and the assassination and imprisonment of America’s most influential black male leaders in the 60s and 70s as the key historical events that allowed black gang violence to prosper into the 21st century.
Jumping to the present, Peralta splices together various interviews with current members of the Bloods and the Crips, who describe their experiences with violence and poverty. Touching briefly on the issues of gun control, crack cocaine, gangster-rap, and the imprisonment of black men, Peralta notes that the issues that keep gang culture alive are multifaceted.
Yet, with the introduction of so many new social issues, the film starts to get confused. Barely touching on the Rodney King uprising in ‘92, and failing to describe the terrain of gang violence in today’s slums—which is highly influenced by the influx of Latino immigrants—Peralta skims over some key issues while relying on interviews with gangsters who repeat the same lines of tragedy. There are about four places where the film could have ended. The director needed to part with some of his favorite footage and streamline his film to fit more closely to his thesis.
Stacy Peralta’s filmmaking style—replete with motion-control graphics, gut-throbbing music, and paint-splattered shot transitions—is heavily informed by his own filmmaking history of skateboarding and surfing documentaries. Known for his skateboarding doc, Dogtown and Z Boys and the surfer chronicle Riding Giants, Peralta’s highly visual and gritty style applies well to the rough theme of gangs and street-life.
If Peralta intends to make a historical documentary, though, he needs to pinpoint the catalyzing historical events more precisely. If he wanted to explore the contemporary issues of gangs in L.A., he needed a lot more footage of the South Central community, and research on the changing terrain of contemporary gang-violence. Nevertheless, if you want to learn something about gang violence in L.A., take a look at the grit and vigor of Made in America.
This is quite a change from his other works, but it will be interesting to see how this movie turns out.