Thursday, September 27, 2012
Film captures street ball culture in NYC
By Adena Andrews
With 700 playgrounds, 500,000 players and 8 million stories, New York City is the perfect petri dish for street ball culture to thrive in. The sound of a basketball hitting asphalt is as common as a car horn in the Big Apple.
Amid the grit of the five boroughs, street ballers have been flourishing for decades. Their story is told in "Doin' It in the Park," a documentary co-directed and 100 percent self-funded by Kevin "Ze Frenchmen" Couliau and hip-hop cultural icon Bobbito "Kool Bob Love" Garcia. The film uncovers the street ball movement through playground legends, NBA athletes and average players. Starting in 2010, Couliau and Garcia visited 180 courts throughout NYC primarily by bicycle, carrying video equipment and a basketball in their backpacks to find out who had game.
"The beauty of playground ball in New York is that our scene has its own culture, own behavior patterns, dress codes, forms of mentoring; and in the film we explored all those things," Garcia said.
For 85 minutes, viewers are treated to scenes as vivid as the city streets, played out to a soundtrack of hip-hop groups like the Roots and the familiar beats of Latino culture. NBA players and New York City legends Kenny Anderson, Kenny "The Jet" Smith, Smush Parker and Julius "Dr. J" Erving all make appearances.