One of the best things about working on Giant Robot magazine during its 16-year run was providing a showcase for rad work by talented friends. This weekend I get to do it in a different setting–a film festival. With the encouragement of FAAIM director Tim Hugh, I put together Animal Style. The first part collects indie skate videos by Asian Americans, while the second section cherry picks pieces from Asia itself.
If it seems like a stretch to show skate videos at an Asian American film festival, it really isn’t. Skateboarders get a bad rap for being foul-mouthed, anti-authority, property-destroying vandals–and maybe they are–but the scene has been accepting to Asians since the beginning. Giant Robot has always respected and reflected that. Shogo Kubo, Lester Kasai, and Christian Hosoi are only a few of the early rippers who have passed the torch to the likes of later studs like Willie Santos, Kien Lieu, Eric Koston, and Don Nguyen.
This program is dedicated to less-famous-but-just-as-dedicated riders–not to mention filmmakers and crews. Legendary skate director and one of my oldest friends Wing Ko finished a cut of The Brotherhood: Chicago (above) less than a week ago specifically for the show. Another one of my best friends Ben Clark and Langdon Taguiped’s never-seen Traveling Sounds documents Bones Brigade member Ray Barbee (below), but jamming on music and not on a skateboard. The contributions from Hong Kong’s 8FIVE2 crew and Bangkok’s Preduce team will blow your mind, too.
As of now, 3:15 on Saturday, April 14 at the Siskel Center is your only chance to see the entire program. Wing will be in attendance, and so will The Working Man/The Perfect Time‘s Tadashi Suzuki (another homie, who invited me to be in the Perfect Timing remix) and a host of behind-the-scenes and on-screen contributors and friends. I hope to see you there as well!