Skate Kitchen is the latest film from director Crystal Moselle. Having adored her work on The Wolfpack, I was pumped to see this one come out in time for the Holidays. Attempting to carve out an identity as a documentary-narrative, I’m not sure it fits. The film is a cleverly shot narrative feature about girls making their way in a male-dominated endeavor. But, even that doesn’t feel right. Girl skaters weren’t a novelty when I was a teenager, why are they now?
Maybe I grew up weird, but seeing all-girl skater collectives isn’t that abnormal. I knew many girl skaters who were too busy shredding to give anything resembling a damn about what the guys thought. While I appreciate seeing their camaraderie, it’s also refreshing to see how cliques can develop even among close friends. While it’s not the best movie I’ve seen this year, it’s sticking in my brain days after watching it.
I also enjoyed how Jaden Smith hung around the edge of the film without becoming the star. Walking such a balancing act between characters and actors is a skill lost on many films. That being said, I wish it had a hook to grab me like The Wolfpack. Oh well, Skate Kitchen is still well worth your time.