Anyone who has been to a place with overhead power lines (um, most of us) has seen the result of shoe tossing— shoes (usually sneakers), tied by their laces, thrown over a power line and suspended in midair. Hanging shoes are ubiquitous, but their intent, and meaning has long been a mystery.
I once had a landlord who said she evicted a tenant for dealing drugs—her evidence? She caught him shoe tossing and claimed that was a “signage” to addicts indicating the apartment housed drug dealers. Really? There are other tales that suggest the sneakers signify lost virginity, or are the remembrances of murdered friends, or simply an expression of tossing skill.
In The Mystery of Flying Kicks, the filmmaker set out to gather up the stories of shoe tossing. It’s simply a film about shoes hanging from wires, but it is the mystery and broad stories that make the film truly interesting. The film examines a fine detail of our day-to-day life, and uncovers a remarkable story about a phenomena, and a subculture dedicated to it including blogs, message boards and photo-sites dedicated to shoe tossing. We thought it a perfect Sunday in Shorts.
Shoe tossing image courtesy of Shutterstock