Anthony Burns makes his feature film directorial debut with Skateland premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival as one of the 16 films which were selected from 1,058 submissions for the U.S. Dramatic competition. Skateland is a coming-of-age story which takes place in the early 1980s in small-town East Texas. Dramatic events force a 19-year-old skating rink manager named Ritchie (played by Deadgirl‘s Shiloh Fernandez) to look at his life in a very new way.
“Skateland explores the rupture of charismatic Ritchie Wheeler, brother and sister Brent and Michelle Burkham, and wise-cracking lady-killer Kenny Crawford’s seemingly complacent existence as they struggle with the collapse of their tumultuous home lives, the alcohol-induced idling of reckless adolescence, and the wane of their hometown hangout, the local roller rink. A story syncopated with moments of violent turbulence, of heartbreak and of new beginnings, Skateland immerses the audience in the brutal, but beautiful vastness of East Texas blue skies and the emotional claustrophobia of the bible belt. Enveloped by the brooding melodies and incendiary rock riffs of the early 80’s, Skateland is a place where aging values wrestle with contemporary pop culture to create a paradoxical balance between old and new.”
The movie also stars Ashley Greene (Twilight), Heath Freeman, Taylor Handley, AJ Buckley, and Haley Ramm. I’m usually a sucker for coming-of-age stories, and growing up in the 1980’s makes this all the more appealing. However, I screened this at Sundance this year and only mildly liked it. Watch the trailer now after the jump.