Jock Docs: Wintersports


dir. David Barbra and James Pellerito, 2009, 85 minutes

POP STAR ON ICE is an unprecedented behind-the-scenes portrait of outspoken Olympian and three-time US Figure Skating National Champion Johnny Weir. When Johnny fails to win a medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics, the media turns on him and he feels the backlash. Love him or hate him, Johnny is one of the most talented skaters of all time, but talent alone does not make a champion.

Johnny’s complicated relationship with his longtime coach Priscilla Hill and his struggle to reach the top of the sport takes us from small town Delaware – his training home – to competitions, shopping sprees, fashion shows and personal appearances around the world. The inspiration for Jon Heder’s character in the box office smash BLADES OF GLORY, Johnny seeks to balance his larger-than-life persona with the constraints of his sport. POP STAR ON ICE uncovers the graceful, athletic, cut-throat and melodramatic sport of figure skating through the prism of its most controversial athlete as he tries to fulfill his potential on the world stage.


Jockdocs: Wintersports Double Feature!

The Ecstacy of Sculptor Steiner

dir. Werner Herzog, 1974, 45 minutes

This 45-minute feature takes a look at the life of champion ski-jumper Walter Steiner, who also carves out a career for himself as a carpenter. Director Werner Herzog shoots Steiner as he breaks the world ski-jumping record in Yugoslavia in 1974, while also highlighting his unusual wooden sculptures, and allowing time for Steiner to muse on his life and career. Herzog beautifully captures this odd character as he soars through the Yugoslavian skies, while also painting him as a daredevil whose regular dalliances with death on the slopes are a pointed contrast to his off-slope career.


Double Davis (2006)

dir. Kees Jongkind, 46 minutes

This award-winning film, made by Dutch channel NOS, about longtrack speedskating champion Shani Davis from Chicago, first aired in 2006.  Shani (a Swahili name picked by his father meaning ‘light’ and ‘weight’) was the first black speedskater to earn a spot on the Olympic Team in 2002 and was the first skater to make all three World teams in the same season winning medals at all three events.  In 2009-2010, he broke two world records (1000m and 1500m), won Gold and Silver in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games -- becoming the first speedskater to repeat as Olympic 1000 m Champion -- and he won his third consecutive Overall World Cup Titles in the 1000 and 1500 meters.

Deathbowl to Downtown: The Evolution of Skateboarding in New York City

(Special Screening in Honor of Andy Kessler)

Dir. Coan Nichols and Rick Charnoski (2009) 87 min.

Deathbowl to Downtown documents the shift in skateboarding primacy from the parks and the pools of sunny California in the 70s to the gritty streets of New York in the 1990's. This transition also foretells the recent hybrid uptake of skateboard culture in Harlem and other communities of color.

AFTER THE FILM: Panel Discussion and Reception sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery.

Jock Docs: Skateboarding

In our sixth monthly installment of Jock Docs we roll through the local history of skateboarding focusing on two legends of their eras: Andy Kessler and Harold Hunter. Both passed before their time, and we are recognizing their talents and impact through skate videos, documentary, demos, a photo exhibit, discussion and celebration. Presented in association with the Andy Kessler and Harold Hunter Foundations.