Surfing anorak that I am, I’m always looking out for new DVD’s to keep me stoked while the sou’ westerlies blow. This DVD popped into my mailbox a week or two ago, the new film from Mikey DeTemple, the man behind Picaresque which came out a couple of years ago, called Sight | Sound. With great anticipation I popped it into the dvd player tray and it’s been living in there since!
Although he does wield a camera, Mikey mostly takes on an actor/director role and steer his films firmly into the artistic side of the endeavor with little in the way of voice or titles cluttering the piece. The film flows past smoothly and in full colour from one section to the next, with a “modern electric” soundtrack that is a hell of a lot better than that description makes it sound!
Like Picaresque, Mikey made an effort to seek out some of the roads less travelled while gathering footage. This time we are treated to, amongst others, spitting Nicaraguan beach break barrels, sub zero snowbound Canada, dusty Baja zippers and colourful Barbados.
There’s an eclectic mix of surfcraft to fit with an eclectic mix of surfers. Chris del Moro clearly rips on anything, Ryan Burch makes slabs of foam look fun and there’s plenty of high quality logging on offer from DeTemple, Kassia Meador, Scotty Stopnik and Justin Quintal, an East coaster that few will have heard of but many will remember. There’s some good footage of Tyler Warren and DeTemple on mini Simmons style boards too, maybe the first footage on DVD outside Richard Kenvin’s sphere of influence and making them look just as fun as they undoubtedly are. The Canadian footage is high quality too, even if it does look ball-achingly cold! It’s somehow gratifying to watch pros donning full suits boots and gloves to surf in 40 degree water and snowstorms just like we do!
My favorite section features a rifling right hand Mexican point which looks almost cape St Francis perfect. Jared Mell and Kassia Meador feature heavily, their contrasting styles creating a counterpoint like a conversation through the footage. Meador smoothly logging some of the most impressive women’s longboarding I’ve seen while Mell’s highly technical almost jagged and urgent “Knost-esque” style sitting on the other side of the coin. Mell is exceedingly good and has perhaps the longest hang heels I’ve ever seen committed to film.
The overall feel is similar to picaresque although the production crew and many of the cast have changed. There’s a more balanced mix of short and long equipment, warm and cold water. The most obvious difference is a hike in production values from last time. There’s a more lush feel to the shots and some of the footage is shot on 16mm film stock.
It’s altogether less self-congratulatory this time – something that Picaresque was criticized for – I really liked it and it’s stood up to repeated viewings so far.
Perhaps the best way of rating a new surf film is by answering this most simple of questions… did it make me want to go surfing?
In this case, the answer…….”HELL YES!”
(Mercifully the star wipes are not in the actual film!)
More of my rambling here.
Photo by Nick Lavechhia.