Dogtown Redux: ‘Cannonball’ Examines the Ills and Opportunities of The Great Recession
Cannonball is a short film focused on a very specific side effect of The Great Recession: A glut of foreclosed homes in Fresno, California, and tons of empty swimming pools that have attracted legions of the city’s skateboarders. Armed with sump pumps and skate decks, the subjects in Cannonball provide a unique look at the nationwide fallout of the economic crisis. Instead of seeing the country through the eyes of those who have lost so much, we instead see the opportunities these losses have created.
It’s impossible to watch this film and not be reminded of the exploits of the Z-Boys (Tony Alva, Jay Adams, Stacy Peralta, etc.) skate crew, who took great advantage of the Los Angeles drought of the 1970s — as residents were forced to drain their pools — and subsequently invented/pioneered modern skateboarding culture. Produced by the gentlemen at California is a Place (Drea Cooper and Zackary Canepari), Cannonball manages to tackle the tough subject of economic hardship in a compelling (and visually stunning) format. It’s a reminder of how important storytelling can be.