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on 22 November 2009
"The best skate film since Dogtown and Z-Boys" says the blurb on the cover.

You what? Beautiful Losers isn't a skate film. There is some skateboard footage in there, but it's not the theme of the film or even much of a feature of it.

Beautiful Losers is a retrospective documentary about a group of loosely connected artists and their early development as such during the early 1990s. The film is curiously downbeat, and despite the New York locus has more of a Midwestern vibe.

Some of the interviewees speak more interestingly than others - Steve Powers, Cheryl Dunn and Harmony Korine are all insightful and fascinating. Most of the others aren't. This isn't a criticism of their art or their respective personalities - not by any means. It's just that because of the editing or the way the interviews were conducted, there's a lot of thin chat: "my friends liked what I was doing, they said it was like, so rad" - do we really need to hear this? The interview with Mike Mills, the multitalented musician and sleeve designer/video director for Air, Beastie Boys, Sonic Youth, is particularly tedious. Which is a shame, because he's clearly an interesting guy who's done a lot of great stuff.

Yes, there was some kind of nexus between skateboarding, the DIY ethic, and some great, great art. But Beautiful losers fails to muster any kind of directorial vision.

The most interesting bit of the film: archive footage of Harmony Korine attempting a classic noise up whereby he 'threatens' a sixteen stone hell's angel with a banjo.

Packaging: A Jason Lee lookalike on a skateboard. Odd use of colour (drab/muted-lurid). The Region 2 edition's cover is undoubtedly misrepresentative of the film. Check the region 1 cover art - completely different.

Extras: no director's commentary here. Even if there was I wouldn't deploy it. However there is a handy 'scene selection' feature whereby you can go and select scenes. The DVD comes in a durable case constructed from injection moulded lightweight polymer, with a paper inlay.

3.5 rounded up to a 4 - directors Joshua Leonard and Aaron Page haven't made a bad or unlikeable film with Beautiful Losers, just one that doesn't have enough energy.
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on 29 November 2009
i'm a big fan of ed templeton and thought i'd give this documentary a shot. i was truly inspired by the work and people involved as i take a lot of influence from subcultural people and movements in my own photographic work. it's definitely worth taking a look at as well as the book if you are looking to find some influence from some DIY artists; painters, film makers, photographers.
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on 29 November 2013
What can i say an absolute Awful awful awful film

They need to remove the misleading photo from this film

Dont waste your time - if you want to see how this type of film should be made watch any of the following amazing films

1)dogtown z boys
2) waveriders
3)exit through the gift shop
4) dig
5)waiting for lightning
6)riding giants

Beautiful losers wouldnt even make it onto the cutting room floor of any of the above films
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on 14 July 2009
Beautiful Losers tells the story of a group of talented outsiders in New York who came together to create art through different mediums in the early 1990s. As they began exhibiting their work throughout the US, their efforts quickly caught the eye of marketing executives throughout the country, and before long they were directing promos for Pepsi and designing Bennetton billboards. Despite this, they remained true to the original ethos as symbolised by skateboarding and street graffiti.

Among the artists featured include Ed Templeton, Mike Mills (director of Thumbsucker) and Harmony Korine (Kids, Gummo, Mister Lonely).

The documentary itself is amazing, a truly breathtaking portrait of a unique art movement. Each of the artists are covered in-depth as we get a glimpse into their personalities and inspirations. Also featuring music from the likes of Cat Power and other brilliant musicians. Highly recommended.
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on 20 July 2011
Y'know what? If you have any interest in lowbrow art, underground art or graffiti, skating or just diy, think for yourself ways of doing things then buy this dvd.
I've watched this once already and 15 minutes in knew that it'd be one of those things that gets watched over and over.
Feeling in a creative slump and need your arse kicking?
Watch this.
Can't be bothered to put pen to paper, brush to canvas, pencil to sketchbook or spend all that wasted time fiddling with the zips on your camera bag?
Watch this.
It'll be a well spent wodge of time that'll pay you back by starting little fires in those gloomy synapses.
I don't particularly condone giving loadsa money to a webcommerce giant (naming no names) so why not find one of the indystores located in the country you live in and purchase from one of them?(generally only a few pence difference pricewise 'n' you can rest assured that your pennies are at least going to a lesser of many evils or maybe even supporting one of the myriad underdogs)
So yeah, while your waiting for this to turn up in the post why not pick up a markmaking tool and apply it to a surface-go on; let go and doodle.Make today a day that you've made something.
Build the world you'd rather see.
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on 23 November 2011
I stubbled across this documentary on-line and immediatly after watching I ordered the dvd.
It's so inspiring, It's shot beautifully and captures your imagination. It's not only about street art but how this collection of artists get intertwinned in each others lives and work, Inspiring and encouraging eachother.
It speaks for every struggling artist out there in need of support and encouragement.
So keep going...and if you can buy/borrow this dvd----do it!
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on 10 May 2013
Not at all a film about skate boards; this is a film about collaborating, making and exhibiting art... Simply, Beautiful Losers will inspire creative people to just keep working - even if you don't particularly like the art.
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on 29 December 2010
I have a son who is obsessed with the Graphic Design culture and this was on his 'to buy' list so I purchased it as a surprise for him. He loves this documentary/movie and has watched it more than once.
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on 28 January 2014
Interesting story of creative-types getting out there and creating something from nothing. Fans of art and the skate scene should enjoy this.
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on 14 July 2009
I'm not normally a fan of documentaries, but this was a really interesting and enjoyable film to watch. I'd highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in art, skateboarding, or anything counter-cultural.
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