The Man Who Souled the World (Mike Hill, 2008)
THE MAN WHO SOULED THE WORLD tells the story of Steve Rocco, the irreverent genius who transformed the skateboard industry from corporate to skater owned with a do-it-yourself punk attitude.
For those who are regulars on this film oriented blog you know how I like to digress to my other interests. And boy, do I have lots of interest: Cinema & Films, History, Snowboarding, Skateboarding, Graphic Novels, Music, Drums, etc. Well, this review combines three of my main interests this summer. Mostly Skateboarding, History, and films more specifically documentaries. This very fun documentary narrated by Jackass’ very own Jason Acuna aka Wee Man. Brought me back to my high school days when I was skipping classes to go skate, until dawn and destroy shoes, decks, wheels, etc. Not being a big fan of documentaries, except when they treat about subjects I have in heart might be a flaw for this review but I think it is interesting to still review The Man Who Souled the World.
Centering on Steve Rocco a pro skater who decided to found his own skateboard company and get the actual money into his pockets and the skater’s instead of letting the big guys behind their desks who owned the companies back then. He founded World Industries and it became one of the bestselling brands of skateboards in the 1990’s. However, in the process Rocco didn’t only made money and friends. He attacked the other companies directly in the publicities and always kept a “fuck it all” “do it yourself” attitude towards the business. Using the mottos of Punk Rockers he built an empire by crossing every rules of his enemies.
|World Industries' Logo|
The format of the documentary is pretty standard letting the people involved at the time getting full expressions and punning each other in response. Besides Rocco’s interviews one of the most supernatural skaters Rodney Mullen has a lot of air time. We also see Steve Berra, Jason Lee, Mike Carroll, and many other skating legends.
Rocco crossed so many lines that he had to create his own magazine to run his publicities and it was the genesis to Jackass. He also gave film director Spike Jonze first directing job to shot a skate video.
At the end we feel that the community of skate has respect and hate towards Rocco. He publicized and made a whole bunch of money because of the sport but also pissed so many of his friends in the same time. This is a very good documentary on the coming of a sport that was considered as counter culture but that is now available in shopping malls and skate shops are as frequent as clothes shops. This is a character that can be as interesting as Mark Zuckerberg who revolutionized another aspect of our 21st century lives. Recommended.