THIS MONTH at the SALON: Apr 08

Morning of the Earth
1971, Albert Falzon (79 min.)
presented by Annie Teneyck

Morning of the Earth is a "visual poem of the backsurfer lifestyle." Made with the assistance of a loan of $20,000 from the newly established Australian Film Development Corporation, the film represents the emergent proto-hippie-New-Age, "soul-surfing" lifestyle in a color-saturated, "psychedelic" manner that resonates with the content; that is, in ways which emphasize the fusion of avant-garde and documentary techniques characteristic of the discourse of ecstasy and delirium.... Morning of the Earth replaces voiceover with a [fantastic] music soundtrack that fuses and integrates its episodic "narrative." Falzon's film explores a number of themes prominent in underground film (drop-out sub-cultures, eco-hippiedom, indulgence in soft drugs) incorporating multiple innovations in form and content, and setting a whole new benchmark for documentary surf movies.

Today the film remains the most influential of all Australian surf movies and a gauge of quality for the large number of current surf moviemakers who film the world's best riders in exotic locales across the globe. Apart from its superb camerawork, what distinguishes Morning of the Earth is that “flow” which seems to emanate organically from its editing rhythms, and which is enhanced by the liquidity of the music score. All these formal aspects merge to produce the sounds and images of a quintessential body-and-head-trip we could call: 'Surfin' Down Under.' *

*from Arthur O'Bryan, October 2004 at

Tuesday, April 1

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