SXSW Film Review: Sneakerheadz

Fame and fortune in unlikely places – like a sneaker vault

When you see kids and adults camped out in a line for two days, they’re probably not in front of a record store these days. It’s more likely a footwear purveyor where Nike or Adidas or Puma is holding a LR collab release at 8am, unleashing something like Del Toro x Snarkitecture LE collab Alto Chukka, or maybe Nike LeBron Fruity Pebbles.

Under such circumstances it would be imperative to know what “colorway,” or color combination, you seek that day. If that sounds like sneakerati-speak, then you should get a pair with which to get out more, as sneakerheads not only have an evolved underground, but are ruefully scratching their heads as they’ve seen that underground permeate every corner of mainstream culture since James Dean was photographed in a pair of worn Jack Purcells.

So it is with a sense of humor that filmmakers David T. Friendly and Mick Partridge invite the audience into the private collections of scene-stealers who still seem surprised at stardom, such as designers Frank the Butcher, skater/designer Rob Dyrdek, jeffstaple of Staple Pigeon, and retailers like the legendary, lower Manhattan Alife crew and Jeff Elliott of Sneakerology. Expert collectors including DJ Clark Kent, DJ SKEE, Kansas City Royal pitcher Jeff Guthrie, and DJ Samantha Ronson are also on hand to share insight on “the habit” and show off vaults full of shoe boxes. Sound designer Rick Marotta does not disappoint, making full use of Run DMC’s seminal “My Adidas,” among others. But it’s the really well-structured, tongue-in-cheek American history as told by brilliant knuckleheads that makes this one a must-see.


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Saturday, March 21, 4pm, Alamo Lamar

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