you are true to the game, it will be true to you. On the other hand, if you
secretly moonlight with a rival team, you might just suffer a season-ending
injury. That’s how it is in the big leagues and in the Los Angeles’ women’s rec
league as well. Everything you like to think about sports will be confirmed in
Brent Hodge’s Pistol Shrimps (trailer here), which screens during this
year’s Tribeca Film Festival.
were plenty of intramural basketball leagues for guys in LA, but nothing for
women. As unfair as it sounded, it was also a reflection of demand at the time.
However, when a group of actresses, comediennes, and models decided they wanted
to play, they managed to drum up enough interest to field a small league.
Having built it, more players and teams started to come. In fact, the league
sort of caught on, becoming something of a thing.
they played a pivotal role in the league’s founding, the Pistol Shrimps ranked
towards the bottom of the standings during the initial seasons. Yet, they built
up a strange cult following, largely due to their roster, which includes Aubrey
Plaza, Molly Hawkey (who became internet-famous for splicing herself in clips
from The Bachelor), model Melissa
Stetten, and actress Angela Trimbur (who totally kills it in Trash Fire and The Final Girls and also leads the Shrimps’ halftime dancers).
really have a halftime show, but it is probably the play-by-play podcasts that built
their fanbase. Frankly, it is more random color commentary than play-by-play,
but whatever. The point is, people seemed to like following the Shrimps and the
poise they gained on the court also seemed to carry-over to some extent with
their professional careers.
Plaza nearly torpedoed their championship run when she tried to play on the
down-low for another team, earning herself an untimely injury and a stern
talking-to from her management. Can the Shrimps come back? Is there a Hollywood
ending in the house?
It is gratifying
to see players from different walks of life come together through their passion
for the game. The Pistol Shrimps are particularly cool, because they are one of
the few teams that did not femme-up a pro team’s name, like the She-Cago Bulls.
Rather they took inspire from the small crustacean whose powerful snapping claw
emits a mini-sonic boom, so there is your Animal Planet sound bite of the day.
As you would expect, the Pistol Shrimps can talk trash with the best of
them. Funny is their business (in most cases), but they play to win. Their
enthusiasm is contagious throughout the film. While Hodge and co-producer
Morgan Spurlock surely see wider social significance to the Shrimps’ appeal,
they keep the film breezy and snarky, as the fans would prefer. Recommended for
all basketball fans, Pistol Shrimps screens
again today (4/23) as part of the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, with future
screenings scheduled for May 11 and May 15 at the DOXA Documentary Film Festival in Vancouver.
Labels: Aubrey Plaza, Documentary, Tribeca '16