Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Feb 08th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Highwater

film_HIGHWATER-BethanyIt's the perfect antidote to a muggy summer evening: wave after wave of crystal-clear, turquoise walls of water towering some 20 feet up into the sky, then crashing down again in an explosion of surf, like shattering diamonds. These are the true stars of Dana Brown's latest surf documentary, Highwater, the gigantic, justly fabled waves off the North Shore of Oahu. Every so often you might notice a tiny human silhouette maneuvering a board under the curl or plowing over a crest, but mostly it's the natural spectacle of the thundering waves themselves, more than the people trying to ride them, that deserve the accolade "awesome." Brown (son of Bruce Brown, whose seminal The Endless Summer in 1966 set the standard for the genre) goes to the North Shore to document surfing's Triple Crown, a prestigious series of surf contests that cap the annual pro surfing circuit with a six-week climax in Oahu. (As one on-camera surf enthusiast explains, "Hawaii is a speed bump in the middle of the ocean," whose powerful break creates "the biggest ride-able waves on the planet.") Brown follows the pros, fans, wannabes, hangers-on, tourists, and locals from Haliewa Alii to Sunset Beach to the fearsome Banzai Pipeline. He follows the fortunes of various contestants throughout the three events, each with its individual winner, whose top scorers are then in competition for the title of Triple Crown Winner. Brown doesn't explain the scoring film_highwatersystem, who the judges are, or how they evaluate, so the details of the contest are a little hazy. He's more interested in the surfers themselves—from veterans Sunny Garcia (six-time Triple Crown Winner), Pat O'Connell and Kelly Slater to 13-year-old North Shore homeboy John John Florence. He builds up a little tourists vs. locals drama, celebrates the spirit of a place where lifeguarding is a career, and captures a genuine moment when the competition halts and the surfers paddle out to form a memorial circle for one of their own who never made it out of the pipe. (He also devotes a few well-meaning, if perfunctory, scenes to the North Shore women's surf competitions, still evidently deep in the shadow of the guys.) Hand-held guerrilla production values chip away a bit more of the film's potential. But if the sheer majesty of "the best waves in the world" floats your board, this movie won't disappoint. Not rated. 90 minutes. (★★1/2) | LJ

Watch film trailer >>>

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

On the Run

Is there hope for California’s salmon?

 

Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey

Monday, Feb. 8, is Aquarius new moon (19 degrees) and Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey (an imaginative, intelligent and vigilant creature). Monkey is bright, quick, lively, quite naughty, clever, inquiring, sensible, and reliable. Monkey loves to help others. Often they are teachers, writers and linguists. They are very talented, like renaissance people. Leonardo Da Vinci was born in the year of Monkey. Monkey contains metal (relation to gold) and water (wisdom, danger). 2016 will be a year of finances. For a return on one’s money, invest in monkey’s ideas. Metal is related to wind (change). Therefore events in 2016 will change very quickly. We must ponder with care before making financial, business and relationship changes. Fortune’s path may not be smooth in 2016. Finances and business as usual will be challenged. Although we develop practical goals, the outcomes are different than hoped for. We must be cautious with investments and business partnership. It is most important to cultivate a balanced and harmonious daily life, seeking ways to release tension, pressure and stress to improve health and calmness. Monkey is lively, flexible, quick-witted, and versatile. Their gentle, honest, enchanting yet resourceful nature results often in everlasting love. Monkeys are freedom loving. Without freedom, Monkey becomes dull, sad and very unhappy. During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 - 476 BC), the Chinese official title of Marquis (noble person) was pronounced ‘Hou,’ the same as the pronunciation of ‘monkey’ in Chinese. Monkey was thereby bestowed with auspicious (favorable, fortunate) meaning. Monkey years are: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016.  

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of February 5

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Wine and Chocolate

West Cliff Wines gets its game on, plus a brand new chocolate cafe on Center Street

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster

 

Dancing Creek Winery

New Zinfandel Port is a ruby beauty

 

Venus Spirits

Changing law could mean new opportunity for local spirits