Whether you’re looking to spend a day with the kids or a romantic evening under the stars, this Saturday’s S.B. premiere of Highwater is the place to be. The surf movie screening is taking place as part of this year’s WorldFest at Earl Warren Showgrounds (3400 Calle Real), which means there’s a whole day of family-friendly activities leading up to the event. For tickets and info about WorldFest or Highwater, call 687-0766 or visit sbworldfest.com.
1) The Legacy Lives: The latest effort from Dana Brown, the filmmaking son of the legendary Bruce Brown, Highwater is the next link in the chain for the surf-stoked Gaviota family. Like his father’s seminal efforts (The Endless Summer, Slippery When Wet) and his award-winning Step into Liquid, Brown’s new movie, which his son Wes edited, is a vibrant, high-action, and occasionally humorous ode to the Sport of Kings.
2) The Mother Land: Unlike his father’s films or his prior surf efforts, Brown narrows his focus in Highwater, abandoning the age-old surf-pic formula that his family more or less created. Instead of hopping around the world and creating a visual menagerie of tasty waves and ripping rides, Brown turns his rose-tinted lenses on the timeless gladiator pit of the North Shore of O’ahu. Specifically, the film chronicles that magical and brutal time of year when the entire surfing universe comes home to the Hawaiian mecca for the months of November and December. It’s a saltwater circus with half-naked bodies, oddball personalities, waves bigger than buildings, cutthroat contests, and mindboggling free surfs all put together by a guy who clearly is head-over-heels in love with surfing.
3) Malik Joyeux: The tragic death of the young Tahitian while surfing Pipeline in December 2005 rocked the tight-knit North Shore community and the surfing world at large. Not only does Highwater document that day, but, perhaps more importantly, it does a damn fine job of showing the familial bonds that bind the various wave-riding tribes of the world. The footage of Joyeux’s paddle-out memorial is about as moving and emotionally poignant as a surf movie can be.
4) It’s Going to Be a Party: Thanks to the folks from Ultimate Boarder, the movie is showing outside on a big old screen, with plenty of adult beverages on hand to help enhance the experience. All you need to do is bring yourself, a blanket or two, and maybe a beach chair. Even better, the man, the myth, and the legend that is Tommy Curren is scheduled to show up and play some acoustic guitar following the traditional Hawaiian melodies of Kaleo Na’ea.