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Five Summer Stories (1972)

 -  Documentary  -  1972 (USA)
8.2
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surfing | free sport

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The ultimate original surf movie
31 January 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is the full-on original surf movie. It is everything you would hope for, bearing in mind it was made in 1972. But don't be put off by the age, the waves are just as big, the surfers just as amazing and the colours just as rich as any surf film. The soundtrack is magnificent, a guided tour of the sounds of the 60s & 70s. It is sometimes hard to tell if it is supposed to be taken entirely seriously as some parts feel so 'californian' and so over the top and wacky that you suspect it was made somewhat tongue-in-cheek. It doesn't matter. There are hours of footage of beautiful surfing. Modern extreme sports movies cut from shot to shot every couple of seconds and tend to focus on the big tricks and extreme moments but Five Summer Stories is mostly long shots showing the start, the ride and the fall of each surf. It is long but breaks away from surfing to feature skateboarding 'The Magic Rolling Board' is part of the film, chat with some of the exponents and show clips of dancing, flowers, people in the bath and any number of somewhat mental moments. I think you could describe the movie as psychedelic. But it is not all nice and lovely. The director/commentator take plenty of snipes at commercialism and competitions in general - it has a definite political angle, which only enriched the film for me. High points for me were long shots of Gerry Lopez pushing the limits in the pipe to fantastic music, and the over enthusiastic of the titling machine - there are big yellow titles for all sections of the film, adding another level of commentary. enjoy


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