Since this is a four-day week, and my last three posts were surf related—I think I’ll make this surf movie week. I’ll start with a placed called Mavericks. In the world of big wave surfing, Mavericks is known for its winter swells just north of Half Moon Bay, California that can produce waves between 25 and 90 feet. Check out the Stacy Peralta film Riding Giants documentary to get not only a glimpse of what makes Mavericks special but to learn the about the history of surfing. The film features Laird Hamilton and others surfers including Jeff Clark who first exposed Mavericks to the world.
While many surf films are considered “surf porn” because they often lack substance—merely showing one spectacular ride after another—Riding Giants stands on its own as a documentary and was an offical selection at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.
Over the weekend I learned about the film Chasing Mavericks which will be released next month.The narrative film was directed by Michael Apted & Curtis Hanson (Oscar-winning co-writer of L.A. Confidential) and written by Kario Salem . The film stars Gerard Butler, Jonny Weston and Elisabeth Shue and tells the true story of Jay Moriarity. (Jay was a popular surfer from Santa Cruz and inspired the phrase “Live like Jay!” which you can learn more about on the website for the Jay Moriarity Foundation.)
As this summer comes to a close, I’ll spend a few days this week looking at the recurring themes found in surfing films and why the surf culture seems to continually fascinate people who live far from the ocean.