film by Ian Romaker May 13, 2021
*It is important to preface this article by pointing out in no way, shape or form am I hating on the film North Hollywood – in many facets it was brilliant.*
North Hollywood is the culmination of Mikey Alfred’s entire life as a skateboarding documentarian.
Obviously, to capture the sickest flips & board tricks you must be able to skateboard, too. Alfred has pushed the skateboarding subculture to new heights through his signature fisheye lens.
Clearly, Alfred has garnered some traction with his efforts and proven that he does not need validation from secondary education. Following your dreams versus going to college is a major theme that is touched upon throughout North Hollywood.
The essence of the North Hollywood film relies upon visual style and pop culture homage. Oftentimes, skateboarding is misrepresented as a subculture and does not receive proper documentation.
Mikey and his Illegal Civilization collective have essentially cheated the system and broke the mold of traditional film.
By doing so, North Hollywood has a crisp visual style and savviness to it. The substance of the film and plot progression is slightly lacking, but where it loses steam in development it makes up for it in cinematography.
The film itself is loaded with aggression, obscenities, and general disobedience. Exactly what you might expect from a skateboarding movie. The cast features Miranda Cosgrove, Vince Vaughn, and even a cameo from Kelvin Pena (Brother Nature).
Mikey had a tough time landing the script with any motion picture company. The reason being, white characters were chosen to delineate his life experience. Major Hollywood execs could not fathom this as Mikey chose to tell a human story regardless of race.
All in all, given the fact that this is the first feature film directed by Mikey – it is not bad. Some of the intricacies that really sparked interest lie within the fine details.
Such as, the protagonist punching the air after catching a shiner could be interpreted as a slight nod to Trey from Boyz n the Hood. Also, the unique bond between Mikey and his girl grew from the likes of stones such as rose quartz and citrine.
Traditionalism can be viewed as one character must do push-ups as punishment for foul language and another throws pebbles at a window to get his friend’s attention.
All in all, this film was above average. It lacked cohesion, had an off-kilter soundtrack, but had some very bright moments. Look for Mikey Alfred to lock in another publishing deal and continue to advance the skateboarding genre with his future films.