Crystal Voyager
Filmfest 2004

Catch a ride into the green cathedral with legendary surfing cameraman George Greenough. This cult documentary travels with Greenough and his playmates, champion dudes Nat Young and Ritchie West, to the awesome (and then unchartered) "tubes" (that pocket of air created by a wave as it curls over itself) pummelling the islands off the South Californian coast. Majestic, trippy visuals, a psych-out soundtrack from acid meisters Pink Floyd, and the riders' beach bum philosophy should chill you quicker than toking on a doobie in Iceland. Using a specially designed, high-speed 3.5mm camera, Greenough (who went on to film the action sequences for John Milius' quintessential 1978 surfing drama, Big Wednesday) takes us into the thick of the action, filming Young and West from within the watery tunnels themselves. It's a common practice today, but few have managed to capture the magnificence of the ocean, or the exhilaration of riding the waves as this movie does. "Perspectives flatten a seascape into a field of ploughed-up furrows. Slow motion reveals the multitudinous beauties of sea water. Sometimes a wide-angled lens distorts the horizon's curvature: the world becomes a green ball you can throw up and catch...To see it all stone cold sober on a wintry morning is exhilarating. To see it 'stoned'... must be out of this world. Alexander Walker

tags: Documentary


Director: David Elfick