Barely Dead Review

  Szymon: Hello Basza. As you know the end of 2006 brought us many anticipated videos. Also, as far as I know most of your favourite skaters are featured in Heat Team DVD, but weren`t you more curious about the first true documentary on rolling - Barely Dead? I don`t know how it was in your case, but after watching Black Market I didn`t know what to expect from BD and anxiously was counting the days to the premiere.

Basza: Well as you said, the most anticipated videos of last year for me were Heat and Meantime. Barely Dead was on the third place. Why? Since the first info released from JDU it was obvious that this video is not directed into rollerbladers themselves, but to people who don`t know anytthing about rollerblading, or know some myths and bad stereotypes. After great sample of such video which was added to Black Market, I expected something more or less the same but longer and more comprehensive to ‘non-blading’ people. Yet the final version of BD is rather different, the narrator, lots of history - I won`t hide that I`m little dissapointed – I think that there is too much of bitching how bad situation is with us right now, using some non-relevant moments from our past. Haven`t you noticed that?      Szymon: You know what, I`m looking at it from some other point of view. I enjoyed those small episodes because I know that there are a lot of younger skaters who don’t know anything about it or forgot it. I can agree that whole thing is filled up with complaints, but isn`t it the idea of documentary movies? Remember that it is for people who do not particulary know that inline skate can be used for girnding. About Black Market..I guess comparing these two is not a good idea, taking into consideration the fact that it was about the skating tour and was made for rollerbalders mostly, while the aim of BD is completely different. It`s just like you would look for vocal from Audioslave in RATM – similar yet slightly changed. Which of the episodes shouldn`t be used according to you?      Basza: Wait, wait I want to straighten something. When comparing the BM and BD I didn`t take into consideration the main part of the BM – Euro-tour, but that bonus section on second disc. The fact of using the same speeches by some people in both movies doesn`t help either, but as we agreed earlier – this is not the flick directed to rollerbalders. What else.. hmm I know – the part about Alro giving the interview to some magazine, and I guess there are too many numbers, graphs etc. The other thing are the statements of skaters, some of the are really short and plain, Shima tells maybe three sentences? But enough of this complains, let`s not forget that there is also ‘only skating’ section which whitout any doubt is a top-notch! Which part of it did you like the most?      Szymon: Damn it is the hard one. In general, all profiles were awesome, the tricks and the editing – everything well done (not to mention the quality). Its hard to pick one but I really enjoyed Stockwell, Bailey, Farmer and Alex B ,which of course doesn`t mean that the rest was bad. I just like to watch those skaters, their skating is just flawless. Nothing was missing there, clean, fast and solid skating. I didn`t like the Julian/Franky`s section thought, maybe its because of the music type – but in the other hand, section to your own song is a radical idea! What I liked most about the whole thing is the way it portrayed skating, althought there are lot of hammers, you won`t find here some 540 kind on a triple kinked ledge and other such ‘massive’ tricks. The skating here is showed in a specific way, with focus on style and personal approach to skating. 
But there is something I`m dissapointed with too. Where are the icons like Aaron Feinberg, Dominic Sagona, Rachard Johnson or Brian Aragon, Dustin Latimer, Carlos Pianowski?? I get it that not all of them have enough filmed tricks for mini-profile etc but since the purpose of this movie was to show the history of inline, lack of those skaters is a huge miss! What do you think about the ‘skating sections’ and do you agree with me with things I mentioned?      Basza: Well, for me the absence of some skaters is clearly explainable. I agree that people like Aaron, Petty or Dustin should have some input. I guess Carlos is back in home in Brasil, and absence of Brian Aaragon is not so big miss, having so many good rollerbalders out there makes it simply impossible to show them all even for a second. Personally I was happy to see such skaters as Rob G. or even a small clip of Andy Cruise. JDU comes from Atlanta so its obvious that he covered his scene most. As far as profiles are considered – Stockwell and Bailey were my favourite. Julian/ Bah section – skating is flawless and if you are into hip hop you will love it! Even I`m not huge fan of such genre, such selection of skaters and way there are presented is cool. It shows how many different people are engaged in rollerbalding and how distinctive rollerbladers can be. The movie is half rock, half hh – so everybody will be pleased. So what is your final imprresion about the movie? Should every roller buy it or should choose something else in this month?     Szymon: This product is for sure a rarity. The documentary part will gain supporters as well as opponents, but nobody will be dissapointed with the skating part. Perfect angles, new quality, awesome tricks, all your favourite skaters and amazing editing. Soundtrack is stunning, not to mention that the BD comes as a two DVD set, with one in HD quality. Besides BD is somehow perfectly balanced – not a hh video like Hyphy3, nor the alternative/rock production as Meantime. I`ve recently read that JDU is already working on some new project, I think he started a new genre of inline videos, something which can be watched by wider audience and be understandable enough. I hope Barely Dead will have a big contribution to developing our sport in future.   Text: Szymon and Basza Translation: Basza Screens: Basza