The sense of escapism you feel when watching a good movie is all consuming. If you’re disorientated by reality when you leave through that cinema’s doors, you know it was made well. But it’s rare that surf films have this effect.
Despite capturing fantastic surfing, their length and budgets aren’t usually Hollywood size, the combination of elements that generate perfect swells are fickle and not everyone can be flexible enough to commit.
So like a blue moon, this project was a rare and very special thing.
After three years of production, John John Florence’s new movie, View From A Blue Moon premiered in the UK on Friday at Newquay’s Lighthouse cinema.
Two minutes in, we realised that you don’t simply watch this film, it consumes you.
Florence and Kueny have created an anomaly, marrying rival production genres into one fluid piece of film that documents John’s life, world travels and unbridled talent. Every shot is a high definition experience of the deepest seduction, but this is so much more than a surf porno. It’s a piece of surf cinematographic art.
The duo’s collaboration with Brain Farm brought a level of production value that has never been seen in surfing before. Suddenly they had a budget of nearly $2million and helicopters were helping them capture John and his friends’ waves from all angles. With a soundtrack of ethereal classical, new indie and Motörhead tracks, the footage is also backed by a score that will make your ears as happy as your eyes.
The journey takes us from John’s grom days on the north shore of Oahu, to west Australian slabs, dark waters in South Africa and free surfs with Toledo in Brazil, before bringing us full circle back to pipeline and some of the deepest barrels ever busted on film.
But surprisingly it’s not all about the surfing. You don’t just see these places; you’re transported to them in 4K footage that champions the environment’s wildlife and scenery. You get the impression that John wants you to experience what he sees; his wholesome lifestyle of family, friends and experiences. Not just his waves.
John’s neighbour, Kelly Slater even makes an appearance and is thinking of maybe reporting John’s “illegal tree-house to the authorities so that it’ll get chopped down”.
Florence isn’t the 5-year-old paddling into pipeline anymore; he’s the world’s best all-round surfer with sights on world titles that will throw a backside air reverse over your head. He also flies a plane, so even though he calls himself “just plain old John”, he isn’t really either of those things.