Surfing in the Movies: A Critical History

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9780786495214: Surfing in the Movies: A Critical History
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Since a Thomas Edison crew shot Waikiki beachboys in 1906, the visual delights and cultural curiosities of surfing have fascinated filmmakers.  That relationship is the subject of "Surfing in the Movies," the first full-length work to combine the historical details of surfing's representation in cinema with a close critical attention to hundreds of the most important individual films.

Before the 1950's surf culture boom, surfing showed up in travelogues or as exotic background in studio features and cartoons.  Gidget's arrival on the big screen in 1959 swept the sport into popular culture, but already creative surfer-filmmakers were featuring the day's best surfers in dozens of enthusiastic two reelers self-narrated along the beach circuit.

From Bud Browne's earliest efforts through "The Endless Summer," "Riding Giants," and today's often brilliant videos, over 1000 "surf movies" have celebrated the stoke.  Hollywood and independent filmmakers have followed suit, producing several dozen surfing stories in the last half-century from the frothy Beach Party movies through "Point Break" and "Chasing Mavericks."

Whether made for sandy beach community theaters or inland multiplexes, surf movies of every sort have celebrated the stunning beauty and visceral thrill of surfing, as well as the enduring attractions and marginal positionings of the surfing life.  For decades they have also charted its real-life contradictions, including the insistent pressures of competition, the star system, and merchandising, not to mention such recurring issues as sexism and cultural imperialism.

In "Surfing in the Movies: A Critical History," John Engle examines the various meanings of surfing and its cinematic representations through the work of dozens of important surfer filmmakers and videographers, including Bruce Brown, Greg MacGillivray, Alby Falzon, Jack McCoy, Thomas Campbell, Jack Johnson, and Taylor Steele.  The studio and independent narrative productions covered include such films as "Gidget," "Big Wednesday," "Drift," "Soul Surfer," "Puberty Blues," "In God's Hands," and "Blue Crush".  Analyzing both recurring patterns and the precise critical choices informing hundreds of individual films, "Surfing in the Movies" frames a new understanding of a fascinating cinematic genre.

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About the Author:

John Engle is a professor of literature and film at the Universite de Toulon. He has written extensively on modern literature, education, popular culture, and cinema. He lives in Southern France.

Review:

"A Great New Book Weighs in on the History of Surf Cinema." - The Inertia

"'Surfing in the Movies: A Critical History' is a fundamental surf book.  It should be read by surfers, surf historians, surf journalists, and sociologists interested in surfing's own 'subculture.'  As you browse the 249-page publication, you will feel an uncontrollable desire to watch the world's best surf movies.  One by one.- SurferToday.com

"A precise critical analysis of the surf film, it is not only well written, but such a good read that I couldn't put it down." - Anna Trent Moore, Bud Browne Film Archives (budbrownefilmarchives.com)

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Book Description McFarland Co Inc, United States, 2015. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Surfing has fascinated filmmakers since Thomas Edison shot footage of Waikiki beachboys in 1906. Before the 1950s surf craze, surfing showed up in travelogues or as exotic background for studio features.The arrival of Gidget (1959) on the big screen swept the sport into popular culture, but surfer-filmmakers were already featuring the day s best surfers in self-narrated two-reelers. Hollywood and independent filmmakers have produced about three dozen surf films in the last half-century, including the frothy Beach Party movies, Point Break (1991) and Chasing Mavericks (2012). From Bud Browne s earliest efforts to The Endless Summer (1966), Riding Giants (2004) and today s brilliant videos, over 1,000 surfing movies have celebrated the stoke. This first full-length study of surf movies gives critical attention to hundreds of the most important films. Seller Inventory # AAS9780786495214

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Book Description McFarland Co Inc, United States, 2015. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Surfing has fascinated filmmakers since Thomas Edison shot footage of Waikiki beachboys in 1906. Before the 1950s surf craze, surfing showed up in travelogues or as exotic background for studio features.The arrival of Gidget (1959) on the big screen swept the sport into popular culture, but surfer-filmmakers were already featuring the day s best surfers in self-narrated two-reelers. Hollywood and independent filmmakers have produced about three dozen surf films in the last half-century, including the frothy Beach Party movies, Point Break (1991) and Chasing Mavericks (2012). From Bud Browne s earliest efforts to The Endless Summer (1966), Riding Giants (2004) and today s brilliant videos, over 1,000 surfing movies have celebrated the stoke. This first full-length study of surf movies gives critical attention to hundreds of the most important films. Seller Inventory # AAS9780786495214

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Book Description McFarland Co Inc, United States, 2015. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Surfing has fascinated filmmakers since Thomas Edison shot footage of Waikiki beachboys in 1906. Before the 1950s surf craze, surfing showed up in travelogues or as exotic background for studio features.The arrival of Gidget (1959) on the big screen swept the sport into popular culture, but surfer-filmmakers were already featuring the day s best surfers in self-narrated two-reelers. Hollywood and independent filmmakers have produced about three dozen surf films in the last half-century, including the frothy Beach Party movies, Point Break (1991) and Chasing Mavericks (2012). From Bud Browne s earliest efforts to The Endless Summer (1966), Riding Giants (2004) and today s brilliant videos, over 1,000 surfing movies have celebrated the stoke. This first full-length study of surf movies gives critical attention to hundreds of the most important films. Seller Inventory # BTE9780786495214

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