SKATE KITCHEN (2018)

Skate Kitchen - Still 1

Story By & Directed By: Crystal Moselle 

Written By: Crystal Moselle, Jen Silverman & Aslihan Unaldi 

Cinematography By: Shabier Kirchner 

Editor: Nico Luenen 


Cast: Rachelle Vinberg, Nina Moran, Jules Lorenzo, Kabrina Adams, Jaden Smith, Elizabeth Rodriguez 


Camille’s life as a lonely suburban teenager changes dramatically when she befriends a group of girl skateboarders. As she journeys deeper into this raw New York City subculture, she begins to understand the true meaning of friendship as well as her inner self.Camille’s life as a lonely suburban teenager changes dramatically when she befriends a group of girl skateboarders. As she journeys deeper into this raw New York City subculture, she begins to understand the true meaning of friendship as well as her inner self.


Director Crystal Moselle previously made the narrative documentary THE WOLFPACK. Here she expands on her short doc and interviews with female skateboarders to make a docu-drama narrative.

This film actually feels like a revelation more than her previous film. As it is a loon at skateboarding through female lives. Which while it sounds simple is a movie that feels empowering and fascinating.

The characters seem to be playing versions of themselves. Only more of a structured nature involved, the only actors who seem involved are Jaden Smith playing a rival skateboarder and potential love interest and Elizabeth Rodrigues as one of the characters disapproving mother. They are really the only artificial here as they also seem to add more he more dramatic nature of the story.

It’s nice to see young women show more of an aggressiveness in behavior a certain bravery while being able to also be emotional and sensitive and not make it seem like their only trait or like they are going overboard. It’s always appreciated when a film offers up a more well rounded and three dimensional approach to characters.

The film offers beautiful skateboarding scenes surround by a thin narrative that adds a little reasoning to give the film a more coming of age shine. That allows the film to showcase youth lifestyle dealing with drugs, sex, romantic rivalry, friendship and betrayal. Showing the sexism at times and rivalry within these circles. Also the welcoming nature and nurturing community for others like them.

One of the more powerful themes of the films seems to be when the film shows the absense if passion feels lien death to a certain degree.

The last act shows action in terms of story that the film has built to where there is a kind of betrayal. When in a sense of adventure seen as something new that she wants to conquer. As she has a crush that she let’s lust take over and is willing to sacrifice for another. Losing what she had it seems for little to nothing of an aloof crush.

This isn’t some kind of social issue movie or a female version of Anything. It has it’s own meaning and character and it’s nice to see a film in skateboarding culture from a different point of view, amongst female shockingly the first of it’s kind at the time. It’s nice to see even if some of it might feel familiar. It has female characters who are just as flirtatious, clueless, horny and silly as the boys but not as scary.

The film is really like director Moselle’s first film of outsiders finding their place or tribe as well as meaning. Not much really happens as this is more a slice of life film.

While this film doesn’t Feel as personal or dramatic as the similar recent MID 90’s. Where they both are about coming of age involving skateboarding. Only this film doesn’t have as much story and seems smaller not as emotionally big.

The film shows a bravery as the characters keep moving forward exploring. Not judge mental just watches as friendships take shape and accepts lessons while observing in what seems almost like an alien Culture to her at first. Watching this film it all seems so natural and simple. That while you watch it you feel like you are watching poetry to some degree. A rather younger richer form that feels the need to stand out but still something.

It’s like watching a movie like KIDS, but not having a gross factor or feeling uncomfortable watching it purely because of it’s subject matter. It doesn’t feel as unadulterated as that film but has a nice balance of watching modern youth in their natural habitats

GRADE: B+

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