Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I felt like a bad Jew on Sunday night. It was the beginning of Yom Kippur and I should have been starting to fast. Instead, I was downing Pepsi and popcorn as I settled into my seat at New York Surf Film Festival. Being a native Californian and a former boogie boarder, I was STOKED to be amongst other people who wanted to see films about surfing.

I was pleased with my movie choice - Hanging Five by Christopher Cutri. This was the East Coast premiere of the film, featuring Q&A with Chris as well as one of the artists featured. Here's the festival's synopsis:

"Hanging Five is a film that follows five artists who all happen to be surfers. The film documents their work and looks at different aspects of their lives and how those experiences have impacted their work. The film also looks at why the surf culture embraces and supports the arts. The artists include: Andy Davis, Tyler Warren, Julie Goldstein, Alex Knost, Wolfgang Bloc."

Most inspiring to me personally was footage of Julie Goldstein, who is reflective on her experiences and identity as a female artist and surfer. I also liked the bits where Tyler hauls out his childhood report card and drawings.

Two films I was sorry I missed were The Women and the Waves and Whitewash. Synopses takes from the festival's website:

"The Women and the Waves is a documentary surf film that explores the lives of female surfers who, through the decades, have chosen to paddle head first into the male dominated sport of surfing and found a place of their own. "

"Whitewash, the documentary, is a film exploring the complexity of race in America through the struggle and triumph of the history of black surfers."

Speaking of Whitewash, I did notice that most of the folks at the festival where white. Also noticed that everyone on the 2009 Screening Panel for the Festival was a guy.

Still, psyched that this festival is happening and hope to see more of the film selections next year.

P.S. - I was a better Jew on Monday night. Went to services at Ramaz and had a great time. Beautiful gym full of people praying together.

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