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Jul. 23 2010 - 12:06 pm | 715 views | 0 recommendations | 2 comments

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.


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    About Me

    I am a writer, editor, and blogger who lives and works in the once-decaying heart of America's Rust Belt (i.e. Pittsburgh, PA). My work focuses on subculture, crime, mental health, race, class, and creativity.

    My writing appears in Spin, Good, XLR8R, Next American City, RaceWire, and Swindle, among other print and online publications. I have reported on the decline of sampling in hip-hop; interviewed artists and musicians who survived Cambodia’s killing fields; investigated the struggles of U.S. military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder; and shadowed graffiti writers, coaxing candid confessions about their obsession with illegal art.

    If you have story ideas or tips, please email me at mr.newton@gmail.com. You can also follow me on Twitter at newtonmatthew. And I've recently launched a companion site to my blog here at True/Slant. You can check it out here.

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