There are not many more important chroniclers of surf culture than the Ojai-born and Lompoc lurking Chris Malloy. At 37-years-young, Malloy somehow finds the time and energy to remain (in no particular order) a committed and ultra talented slider of waves, a father, husband, rancher, explorer, thinker, activist, and filmmaker. Adding to a movie legacy that includes classics like Thicker than Water, Earth to Meekus, and Shelter is Malloy’s recently released One Track Mind. An unusual blend of interviews, high-performance surfing, and music, the movie is showing this Saturday, February 21, at UCSB’s Campbell Hall at 7 p.m. Here are a few reasons to check it out:
1) Multiple Personalities: You can’t quite pin down what type of movie OTM is. It moves from impressive contest footage to refreshingly thoughtful views of the world’s best surfers going bananas in dream-tastic tropical paradises, to up-close, in-depth interviews and laughable rants about fin choice and waxing techniques. It’s a bizarre blend of documentary meets surf porn meets art.
2) Vista de las Cruces School: The Saturday night screening is also a benefit for the small, often overlooked-yet high performing-K-8 public school located in the heart of Gaviota.
3) History Lesson: Interviewing and providing a visual feast of ripping footage from guys like Jordy Smith, Dane Reynolds, Kelly Slater, Andy Irons, Rabbit Bartholomew, and Kolohe Andino, OTM consciously traces a line from the birth of high-performance surfing in the 1970s to the mentally liberated spinning and flipping antics of today. Moreover, the interviews give viewers a great appreciation for how much surfers influence one another, no matter how old (or young) they are.
4) The Music: Malloy-made movies typically are known for having a soundtrack that is ripe with underappreciated musical gems, and OTM is no exception. From The Raconteurs and The Black Keys to Sigur R³s and Bon Iver, the film delivers the goods for audiophiles.
5) Introspection: Funny, informative, and often surprisingly honest, the interview segments of OTM are pure gold. You get Slater admitting how reluctant and unmotivated he is to compete mere days before commencing his unprecedented ninth world title run, Rob Machado waxing poetic about the intersection of ego and contest surfing, Reynolds admitting to feeling bad about beating people, and Smith talking about his regrets over punching a judge in the face. All told, it is some meaty navel gazing with just enough humor mixed in.