USA – 2010 – 74 MIN – COLOUR - FEATURE - IN ENGLISH
A FILM BY TRISTAN PATTERSON
Directed by Tristan Patterson and executive produced by indie-maverick Christine Vachon, DRAGONSLAYER is the Grand Jury Prize winner for Best Documentary Feature at SXSW 2011, and is the second feature to be released theatrically by Drag City following Harmony Korineʼs Trash Humpers.
￼DRAGONSLAYER documents the transgressions of a lost skate punk falling in love in the stagnant suburbs of Fullerton, California in the aftermath of Americaʼs economic collapse. Taking the viewer through a golden SoCal haze of broken homes, abandoned swimming pools and stray glimpses of unusual beauty, DRAGONSLAYER captures the life and times of Josh “Skreech” Sandoval, a local skate legend and new father, as his endless summer finally collides with the future. Set to the alternately roaring and dreamy soundtrack of bands from the indie labels Mexican Summer and Kemado Records — including Best Coast, Bipolar Bear, Children, Dungen, Eddy Current and the Suppression Ring, Golden Triangle, Jacuzzi Boys, Little Girls, Real Estate, The Soft Pack, Saviours, as well as DEATH and Thee Oh Sees —DRAGONSLAYER is a punk- rock manifesto to youth, love and learning to survive after the decline of western civilization.
I met Josh Sandoval at a party in an abandoned airfield off the I-10 in Chino, California. He had a lime-green mohawk and was wearing a matching Screamers T-shirt, in honor of the L.A. punk band that never recorded an album. He looked malnourished and lost, and claimed he was on 5 tabs of acid. It was impossible to talk to him. His head was lost in the clouds. Then I saw him skate.
I think Josh is like a lot of kids from his generation — smart enough to know a potentially bleak future looms and scrambling to figure out a way to survive in it. Heʼs also on a wavelength all his own.
DRAGONSLAYER is my attempt to capture this wavelength and preserve it: a portrait of a new generation of kids from the rotting suburbs of inland California, and a celebration of what makes one of them so unique.
"Recession-Ravaged Yards, Inviting Skaters to Drop In"
- THE NEW YORK TIMES
"The 2012 Cinema Eye Honors nominations, announced Wednesday in London, were dominated by Tristan Patterson’s skateboard doc DRAGONSLAYER…"
"DRAGONSLAYER heralds the directorial debut of Tristan Patterson, who documents, over the course of one turbulent year, the life of Josh Sandoval, a local skate board legend growing up in the suburbs of Fullerton, California."
"Winner of Grand Jury and cinematography awards at this year’s SXSW festival, DRAGONSLAYER is an impressionistic documentary that follows a turbulent year in the life of journeyman California skateboarder Josh "Skreech" Sandoval."
- THE GLOBE AND MAIL
"Winner of the Best International feature prize at the 2011 Canadian International Documentary Festival (you know, Hot Docs), Tristan Patterson’s DRAGONSLAYER is a steely, affectionate portrait of Southern California “scumbag” scene, embodied by 23-year-old skate punk Josh “Skreech” Sandoval. A skateboarding movie with very little skateboarding, DRAGONSLAYER stages a sly countercultural narrative in its lensing of kids skating emptied-out in-ground pools (as good a symbol of modest middle-classdom as any) against the backdrop of California’s faltering economy. In Skreech, Patterson has found a complex, frustrating anti-hero, one whose blasé attitude is checked by the passions seeping through his half-baked exterior."
- AV CLUB
"...an uncommonly lyrical and frequently gorgeous extended skate video, DRAGONSLAYER will certainly satisfy."
"Tristan Patterson’s Hot Docs and SXSW Film Fest award-winning documentary, DRAGONSLAYER, takes a complex, if somewhat too glossy, look at a skate punk celebrity afflicted by mounting personal and economic responsibilities."
- NOW MAGAZINE
Interview with Director Tristan Patterson
- AV CLUB
"A beautifully composed documentary about a subject whose life is fast unravelling"
- THE GRID
"An artfully revealing documentary about a poor California skateboarder in search of America, DRAGONSLAYER might be subtitled On the Road with Training Wheels."
- THE GLOBE AND MAIL
"DRAGONSLAYER succeeds as a documentary without a plot"
- THE NATIONAL POST
"...a moody portrait of a young man at the fringes of American society"
- THE TORONTO STAR
"Everything you need to know about the decline of Western civilization is available in DRAGONSLAYER, an indie documentary about a skateboarder in California."
- SUN MEDIA