I Saw A Film!

Surfing! A thing I’ve never tried, but have always assumed I’d botch disastrously, but since I don’t dwell on a beach, and exist in a surf board free world, and probably haven’t been near the right kind of surf anyway, it’s not a likely undertaking. West coast beach kids, or Hawaiians I suppose have the leg up on this kind of enterprise. Though, growing up in New England I do recall seeing guys in wet suits sort of surfing in Narragansett, Rhode Island. It didn’t look compellingly fun.

Here we have a narrated film of a pair of California fellows who chase summer around the world with their surf boards. As winter comes they go to the Southern Hemisphere, and enjoy South Africa and Australia and New Zealand. You’d think, just on the outside of this concept, that there wouldn’t be much to sink your teeth into here. But it’s a much more entertaining film than you’d expect, if a bit arrogant at times in poverty stricken regions on the West Coast of Africa. Our intrepid surfing representatives seem to do a fine job just smiling and surfing and interacting with local populations even as language barriers create opportunities for humor. There’s no direct sound, the footage is all shot entirely soundless, and narration and guitar music added after the fact in a comfortable manner infused with mild humor. When the fellows are in South Africa and we’re hearing about a local “pal” who puts cobras in their sleeping bags, we just take their word for it. This doesn’t seem like a funny joke to me, but then I have to assume the narrator is spicing up the travelogue.

Most of the footage is really just lovely beaches and impressive surfing, riding long waves and a bit of instruction on how to do what looks like effortless traveling on a curl of a wave. People do get hurt crashing into coral, and we do get some clear images of sharks in Australia. Our surfing protagonists don’t play with sharks, there’s little to justify that.

This runs free on American Prime, and is a rather refreshing taste of pure pleasures pursued. There’s no murder, no mayhem, just young folks seeing the world and exercising a passion.

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