Surfmovies (1981)

Run Time - 46 min.  |   Countries - Australia  |  
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Surfmovies chronicles both the history of a unique film genre on surfing, as well as the progression of the sport ever since Duke Kahanamoku headed into the Hawaiian surf, board in hand, during WWI. As far as the media were concerned, surfing did not fit into the class of land-bound, big-business/blue-collar football games or high-brow tennis matches that would draw in money, sponsors, and viewers - besides, it looked like fun. So while the media chose to go for the big bucks in the big competitive matches, the surfing Aussies decided to develop a cinematic record of their major meets and carnivals, in a kind of self-preservation. By the 1950s, surfing had enough followers to accommodate international competition and that is when surf movies started in earnest. Now director and writer Albie Thoms has compiled a montage of historical footage, interviews, and scenes taken from wild rides through the surf, in homage to a sport that is hindered because it cannot seem to attract either a landlocked population or the underprivileged (no chances of "surfing" scholarships to major universities).