Last weekend Chris Nelson brought us the second Approaching Lines International Festival of Surf at the Newquay Lighthouse Cinema. The bold and beautiful of the county and beyond braved the nippy weekend weather to revel in a host of contemporary surf filmmaking.
This year’s line up stretched over three evenings and brought us the weird and wonderful that our crazy addiction has to offer.
Opening with an evening to thought and reflection Pierce M Kavanagh’s What the Sea Gives is a brief but beautiful exploration into what draws us to the ocean. While for those lovers of history 70 Something draws on classic footage and great tunes. Is it possible to tire of Rolling Stones soundtracks?
If sir or madam prefer their wave sliding with a little more competitive drive then there was Sunday evening’s Stephanie in the Water documenting the four times world champ’s hard fought return for her fifth title. If you needed a little more Indo on your serving of sport then one had the chance to peruse Chasing Dreams as it followed Lakey Peaks’s Oney Anwar in his battle to progress from Junior Champ to the first Indonesian WSL member.
But it was Saturday that was the big draw. Oddly though the weekend’s biggest disappointment and brightest light sat next to each other on the bill. Tin Ojeda’s Expencive Porno Movie proclaimed that it drew inspiration from Quentin Tarintino and Wes Anderson but it ultimately accomplished little more than the palest pastiche. While undoubtedly full of breathless talent and grace the scrappy editing and 16 mil just seemed old and tired. The seventies influenced colour and Warhol statement skits simply detract from the skills of Knost et al. Mute, almost pastel, overlays offered little colour to a nearly universal black neoprene and white foam. The monochrome got a little tedious and if you don’t believe me ask all those who chose to leave early to use the loo before the intermission.
What everyone was waiting for was Kai Neville’s Cluster. Neville’s signature chop and change editing has been at the forefront of surf movies since the release of 2009’s Modern Collective. For the last five years the Aussie filmmaker and his lost boys have torn about oceans and reinvented surf punk. From the opening punt to the last frame Neville’s nihilists blew tails and minds across a host of line-ups. One point of note is Ozzie Wright. Ozzie Wrong, as he goes by now, kept the Molotov cocktail of surf punk blazing between the Fletcher/Archy years and the arrival of the Anderson/Aguis crew, but his section just goes to show the lumps these guys take if the slob goes wrong. The only downside to a flawless piece was Noa Deanes’ constant smoking. The boy’s rarely seen on land without a cigarette, which just seemed like the laziest rebellion but there’s no disputing his hacks and air game. What about his influence on the community? Well let’s see how many Astro deck front pads turn up in the line up this summer.
The UK Premiere Cluster was a winner on the night