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SXSW 2011 Film Reviews

By Cindy Widner, Fri., March 18, 2011

Dragonslayer

Documentary Feature Competition
D: Tristan Patterson

There are parts of Dragonslayer that look like Laguna Beach and others that look like Gummo. Either way, it's a looker. One would have thought the well of Southern California skateboard culture as film subject to be long-dry by now, but Patterson's debut documentary makes room in the genre for an updated vision of disaffected suburban youth. Focusing on one Fullerton, Calif., skater – Josh "Skreech" Sandoval – the film weaves artfully composed, richly textured footage shot by the filmmakers with flip-cam video that Sandoval and friends produced themselves. Combined with a throwbacky OC punk soundtrack, the mix of images amps up the visual excitement. Paradoxically, it also allows our affection for the charismatic Sandoval to develop. By the end, we admire his struggle to live authentically in the land of plenty even more than we do his skills.

Wednesday, March 16, 9:15pm, Alamo Lamar A

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