Notes from Hydrodynamica/San Diego Surf Warhol excursion 2008.
Drove from New York to Pittsburgh with Blaine Vandenberg to see the film in June 2008.
No surfer that I knew of had ever seen it. They had seen Andy Makes a Movie, but not San Diego Surf. We had to make an appointment, and were ushered into a little viewing room with security cameras everywhere. We watched the film on an old 19” computer monitor. There were no plans to release the film at that time, and it seemed there was little interest in it.
My interest? Read everything Warhol & crew wrote for years, saw films like "my hustler" (truman capote in a beach chair on fire island with perfect offshore tubes in the background) at Whitney in the 80s, heard the stories of Carl Ekstrom making boards used in Warhol's surf film...one was asymmetric. Never met anyone who had actually seen the film. Primary interest was pop culture in relation to Simmons, Ekstrom, board design...1966-1968 in La Jolla = Steve Lis Fish, Ekstrom asymmetric, Mirandons Twin Pin. Interesting stuff to me.
Tom Wolfe writes about Simmons and Windansea in '66...Warhol shows up in '68, uses an Ekstrom board, to La Jolla, mind you, Windansea, both of these guys. Not Malibu, not LA, but Windansea. Struck me that both of these hipster kings of pop were way on the outside of a nut they couldn't crack when they showed up here and used the place as subject matter for their work. So saw the film for those reasons hoping to license some footage for effect for segment on late sixties in La Jolla. Foundation was saying there were doubts, legal etc, about being able to license any. My resources were slim.
The film: Warhol soft core with male homosexual overtones, campy surfsploitation, extremely funny in places, has themes of that are awesome satire of everything in surfdom: competition vs soul, golf vs surfing, gay vs straight, etc etc etc. plot: married couple viva (or Ingrid?) and taylor mead move to la jolla from the east. taylor coming out of the closet, viva not getting any. house on beach surrounded by bronzed surf flesh of both sexes. taylor uses surfing as means to hook up with boys and crack california society. viva is drunk and bitter and wants to hook up with the boys surrounding the house...the boys are happy with the girls, and taylor just keeps chasing the boys through his "interest" in surfing. viva opens film with monologue about how "all surfers are repressed homosexuals" so viva (Ingrid?) and taylor are just frustrated the whole time. film ends with taylor getting a golden shower while standing on the ekstrom board screaming"i'm a real surfer now!" which was worth the drive to Pittsburgh for me.
San Diego Surf has now been released, going with Carl to MCASD this Saturday to see it again. It will be the first time Carl has ever seen it.