Saturday, July 27, 2013

Daughter : A Surf Film Review

I've always felt like an outsider.  I think maybe that's why I've always been an outsider.  I was an awkward kid given to playing alone in my room.  I was the apple in every bully's eye for a period of time.  I switched schools, tried to find my place, switched back.  The regular kids distrusted me, I wasn't smart enough to be a nerd and the jocks despised me. But there was nothing Trench Coat Mafia about me, I wasn't that despondent, just on my own.  I started fantasizing about ways to get out early, finding those surfing magazines on the magazine rack at Thompson's Drug, watching as my brothers moved off to California.

I didn't as much start surfing as it came to me mid-stream.  Perhaps earlier mid-stream than some, but tardy enough to feed my neurosis. I've never felt much like the surfer's surfer anyhow.  My wife comes from much older surfy stock, being the product of a beach-side, native Californian household with bespoke Phil Edwards balsas hanging on the walls, the sort actually ridden in Hawaii when that was still an anomaly.

We sometimes laugh about the fact that she married a "surfer."  Of course the obvious caveat being how much I don't think of myself as a "surfer" and how perhaps "unsurferish" I might have looked to her.  See, she wanted to get away from all that lazy beach stuff as soon as possible.  Her words, not mine.  It's no wonder we found ourselves in New York.  And we see how successful that strategy has worked, but such is the pull of the ocean. No fighting it.

So when you tell a wife like mine that the date will consist of going to see a surf film, well, you can imagine the screwy eyeballs in return.  But I've gone to enough dance performances to warrant a free pass on this front and so we found ourselves last night at the SMASH Fest watching Daughter.

By way of review I'll say this: as we sat nearer the back than the front, I could feel her settle in and actually start to semi-enjoy the film.  We actually whispered opinions about the surfing.  Little asides about the weight in one rider's feet versus the weight in the belly of another, a comment here about how properly the music matched each section, a couple laughs over a few of the arty interludes there.  

I liked the film very much.  I thought the pacing was tight and survivable, the surfing taut with aesthetic problem-solving, and the sensibility right down my alley.

But more importantly, wifey liked it.  And really, she is the surfing aficionado in the family.

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