levelland (2003)

Genres - Music  |   Sub-Genres - Coming-of-Age, Teen Movie  |   Run Time - 107 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Zach (Matt Barr) is a smart and talented, but troubled 18-year-old growing up in suburban Texas. With the summer approaching, he and his crew have little to do in their stifling small town but look for places to skateboard. While Zach's single mother works at the local oil company and barely has time for her family, his hyperarticulate and deeply cynical older brother, Nick (Layne McKay), is sinking into depression. Zach has a serious crush on Judy (Kelly Bright), and though he seems to have an in -- they star together in a school play -- he can't get up the nerve to ask her out. The summer arrives, and Zach, Nick, and a group of five close friends are ready to spend it skateboarding. They even steal lumber from a local construction site to build their own half-pipe. But Nick's mental instability lands him in the hospital, while Zach learns that his teacher Sally's (Marie Black) intense interest in him goes beyond the accepted boundaries for drama teachers and their star pupils. Through all the turmoil, the kids find a place for skating, relishing the opportunity to make something out of the emptiness of their environment. Writer/director Clark Lee Walker, making his directorial debut, and his wife, producer Anne Walker-McBay, had worked together previously on nearly all of Richard Linklater's films, and Walker wrote the original script for The Newton Boys. For levelland, they cast many avid skaters (including McKay, a former professional) in key roles. levelland had its world premiere at the 2003 Tribeca Film Festival.

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Keywords

brother, competition, depression, lifestyle, skateboarding, small-town, Summer, teacher, teenagers