Free As A Dog
Occy: The Occumentary
The Jack McCoy Collection (Bunyip Dreaming, Green Iguana, Sons of Fun, Sikjoy)
Well, if you want to have fun – just pure, sophomoric, get-crazy surf-movie fun – no one delivers the goods like expat Americano Jack McCoy, who’s been a virtual downunder movie machine lo these past 20-some years, cranking out one hardcore video (or dvd) after the other. Most of that time he’s been a hired documentarian for Billabong, who knew a good thing when it was staring them in the face.
McCoy’s goofy narrative devices (iguanas, dogs, babies, weird little double-exposures, comical speedups, computer graphics, whatever) are always somehow endearing. His soundtracks are eclectic and smokin’ and keep the action charging forward, and the surfing is always up there with the best in the world. These are classic party videos with heavy emphasis on the key Billa riders of the past 15-plus years, which ain’t a bad entertainment roster: Occhilupo, Sunny Garcia, Munga Barry, Luke Egan, Shane Dorian, Ross Williams, Keith Malloy, Donovan Frankenreiter, Pancho Sullivan, Neil Purchase Jr., Rabbit Bartholomew, and a slew more.
His latest opus, Free as a Dog, epitomizes the genre – a comprehensive study of the surfing of Oz pro Joel Parkinson as told by his boxer. Like I said, goofy … but always well-photographed and hot as shit for pure surf action, even if you might find yourself groaning at some of the “humor.”
A limited-edition of Occy: The Occumentary has just been released by McCoy/Billa, and this truly is (as billed) one of the great surf biopics ever done. Very inspiring, beautiful, poignant, and chock-a-block full of magnificent surfing by ’99 World Champ Occhilupo, who just retired (finally!) from the pro tour. The new edition features some two hours of bonus footage, which is every bit as compelling as the feature itself.
The Jack McCoy Collection includes four of his classics (Bunyip Dreaming, Green Iguana, Sons of Fun, and Sikjoy), and each one follows his successful formula of perfect waves, great surfers, and amusing and trippy graphics. Lurking amidst all the great surfing, fun imagery, and cornball humor throughout each of these films is McCoy’s very real soul, as embodied in his artistry, his professionalism, his humanity, and his love of Earth. Witness the “Planet Ark” animation he’s included on the Green Iguana dvd – as strong and powerful enviro statement. [Ark: “Fighting for life on earth”]
Jack McCoy already has created a huge body of work, but I get the feeling the best is still to come. Meanwhile, savor these beauts.