Friday, September 17, 2010

Roller Derby - Way of Life

Brutal Beauty: Tale of the Rose City Rollers (2010) - Mabry
What's not to like about seeing sexy tattooed girls in hot pants rollerskating really fast, going round and round, bumping off each other violently? Roller derby seems like a dream sport for any respectable punkabilly. Brutal Beauty follows the Rose City Rollers in Portland, OR. as they compete in the 'bouts'. They play in teams like High Rollers, Break Neck Betties and Guns N Rollers. The girls are dedicated bunch. They all have day jobs but when it's the derby season, they practice 3-4 days a week. Roller derby is more than a hobby, it's an effective anger management, psychotherapy and, um, way of life. Players go by their flamboyant alter ego names, Blood Clottia, Cadillac, Smack Ya Sideways, Marollin' Monroe, White Flight... They have dedicated superfans who travel with them when they go to regional and national games.

So how is roller derby played? There are Pivots, there are Blockers and there are Jammers. Even after Wheels of Justice (the all-star team for regional/national competitions) coach Rob Lobster eloquently demonstrates at work using donuts as players (he works at the famed Voodoo Donuts in Portland), I still have absolutely no idea how it's played. Don't matter though. It's all about the girrrl power, it's about comradery and friendship, it's about competitiveness and it will save your soul.

Brutal Beauty barely touches upon subjects like being role models or seen as sex symbols.
Don't matter, it's endlessly entertaining as the girls shout colorful obscenities at each other, tumble, elbow, we share their passion for the game. The film made me look up the local roller derby league. I might get hooked, too. Drew Barrymore's movie didn't make me do that.

Review at Twitch

No comments:

Post a Comment