Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Surf Porn

When I was a child I watched a lot of surf movies on VHS tape. This evolved into surreptitiously viewing surf films on DVD while at work in the cubicle, or loudly with beers and friends at home. In recent years I've seen many surf films at fancy, well-produced "surf film festivals."

In spite of this great evolution in surf picture viewing, my complaint remains the same: surf films are terrible. The vast majority of them attempt to tell a weak story, and it's told very poorly. These surf stories are amateurishly cut with "surf porn", repetitive images of perfect waves that lull you into a sense of fulfillment while destroying your brain cells and forcing you to listen to mediocre music.

Even expensive, well-produced contemporary surf films mostly suck. They're made for young, drunk men to watch on DVD, over and over again, when there's nothing else to do. These flicks also suffer the surf porn trap: the cinematographer falls in love with his perfect images of perfect waves, with the result being 30 to 50 minutes of repeatedly perfect surf droning past us in idyllic locations being expertly surfed by attractive young professional surfers flashing well-placed logos and impossibly acrobatic maneuvers. My god, just writing this makes me want to burn my collection of surf films. They are a disservice to culture by forcing upon us incredible waves and amazing places ripped off by white-bread surfer athletes until we're ready to puke or fall asleep from overstimulation. Even the older "classic" surf films are no better. Too much of a good thing is never a good thing. Why is surfing, such a great pastime, often portrayed so incompetently? Perhaps we take ourselves too seriously?

Art? I make better art in the bathroom every morning. Surf films are worse than crap.