Sunday 27 July 2014

Review: All This Mayhem

World of Blackout Film Review

All This Mayhem Poster

All This Mayhem
Cert: 15 / 104 mins / Dir. Eddie Martin
WoB Rating: 5/7

Eddie Martin's intimate documentary about the rise and fall of the world-champion skateboarders, Ben and Tas Pappas, does little to brighten the day of the audience, but my word it engages them. Featuring the talking-heads of Tas and close friends and colleagues from throughout the brothers' careers, the bulk of the film is constructed from archive footage (something which, in skate culture, there is an abundance of) both on and off the ramps.

The first half of the film concentrates on the boys' skating, depicting it as more of a need than a passion, laying the groundwork for their seemingly inexorable fall (which is glimpsed in the trailer, but that's by no means the worst of it). And just as gravity pulls a skater back onto the ramp, when they fall, they fall hard. What shocked me most was that I was previously unaware of these (relatively recent) events. This can be partially explained by me not being part of the skating scene in any way, but even then I'd imagine that if an athlete in any other globally popular and televised sport had gone through the story we see unfolding here, it'd be mainstream-news-worthy.

The most interesting aspect (for me) is that while many of the commentators have been filmed speaking 'in one session', Tas has been recorded on three separate occasions (and judging by his hair in each, with some considerable gap between). What this means is that the crew filming Tas at the start (and indeed Tas himself), wouldn't have known how things would turn out by the final frames. It gives the film a very organic feel; documentary in its truest sense.

There aren't many chuckles in the tale of two lost souls who happen to be the best at what they do, but watching Tony Hawk get his arse handed to him by a guy who's broken one of his ribs but carried on regardless is both inspiring and grin-inducing.

It's rare that a title perfectly encapsulates its film, but All This Mayhem comes as close as dammit.

Is the trailer representative of the film?

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
I did.

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
Almost certainly.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
Probably best to watch at home with the amount of camcordered archive footage they've got going on.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Will I watch it again?
I won't avoid it, but probably won't seek it out.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
There isn't.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

And my question for YOU is…
Seriously though, was this all reported on the mainstream news outside of Australia, and I just missed it?

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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