One of my favorite documentaries of the year is Tristan Patterson’s skater portrait, “Dragonslayer.” But I guess I should tell you it sucks, because punks and other anti-establishment folk don’t bother with critical darlings. That might explain why distributor Drag City Records has included, in the doc’s new trailer, this scathing quote from The Film Stage: “An ugly, brutal, punk rock documentary. I’m not sure why it needs to exist.” That’s taken from John Fink’s review from SXSW, in which he grades the movie a “C-“.
Okay, so the trailer also highlights a total rave from The Playlist’s Catherine Scott and a fairly ambiguous festival highlight from Ty Burr at The Boston Globe, as well as many festival laurels, including those advertising the doc’s Grand Jury win at SXSW and Best International Feature prize from Hot Docs.
Still, it’s easy to see who they’re marketing this one to. I don’t see any acknowledgment of Eric Koretz’s cinematography award from Austin, probably because that would imply this doc is pretty (it’s downright gorgeous). From the anarchy spewing voiceover to the use of Death’s “Rock-n-Roll Victim” on the soundtrack, this one is for the punx.
Check it out after the jump.
As I noted in my short praise earlier this year, “Dragonslayer” is one of those docs that needs to be seen on the big screen. And if you’re not a fan of nonfiction, just pretend you’re watching something by Gus Van Sant, or more appropriately consider yourself a viewer of a visual album, complete with a track-listing-like structure. Just get to know pro skateboarder Screech Sandoval and his aimless lifestyle, regardless of whether it serves any point. It opens officially November 4. Before then, Alabama gets the doc this Saturday via The Sidewalk Film Festival, and next month there are fest screenings in Denver (DocuWest), Tucson (Arizona Underground) and Sydney, Australia (Sydney Underground).
Here’s a glimpse of the excellent new poster, too. It leaves out Fink’s blasphemous blurb.