New Australian features shine at Adelaide Film Festival 2013 – review

Unexpectedly, it was an Australian documentary about two professional skateboarders that emotionally blindsided me. Eddie Martin’s All This Mayhem tells the story of Tas and Ben Pappas. They come from a tough outer suburb of Melbourne, and do “the normal things kids do to have fun”, according to Tas. “You know, breaking the windows of abandoned cars, and setting fire to them. Normal stuff. Just kids having fun”. Bonded by rivalry and a desire to give the middle finger to the world, they become good skateboarders. Then they became very good. Tas takes off for America and the professional skateboarding circuit. Ben follows his brother. Their complicated mid-air acrobatics brings new energy and enthusiasm for “vert” – vertical skating – in a circuit which had become very bland and corporate. They hit the heights; their performances were high risk and made them big-money, making safe-skating American rivals look boring. Tas takes the world championship, with Ben a few points behind. They partied hard: and then came the fall.

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