The 2008 New York Surf Film Festival is pleased to announce a special 30th Anniversary screening of ‘Big Wednesday’ (1978) on September 26-28 at Tribeca Cinemas in Lower Manhattan. Warner Brothers’ California surf classic, directed by John Milius (Apocalypse Now, Conan the Barbarian) and co-written with Denny Aaberg, is loosely based on their own experiences at Malibu and a short story Aaberg had published entitled ‘No Pants Mance.’
The film follows three friends, the straight-laced and responsible Jack Barlowe (William Katt), party maestro and hot surfer Matt Johnson (Jan Michael Vincent) and the up-for-anything Leroy ‘the Masochist’ (Gary Busey), as they transition from adolescents to adults and how their relationships change with surfing, as well as with each other. The film takes place over the course of twelve years (1961-1974) and set to the backdrop of classic 60’s Malibu point surf, trips to Baja, beer-infused parties, the Vietnam War, introduction of psychedelic drugs and the shortboard revolution. The characters, informed by bad politics and equipment change, eventually drift apart; Jack goes to Vietnam, Leroy goes to Hawaii and Matt gets married. Even their surfboard shaper and mentor Bear has gotten married and moved inland. However, the trio reunites for the films climax, the great ‘Swell of 74,’ that cleanses everything that came before it and defines what they’ve become.
The cult classic’s gorgeously filmed surf sequences are credited to legendary cameramen Dan Merkel, George Greenough, George MacGillivray and pioneer surf film maker Bud Browne.
The NYSFF 2008 submission deadline is now closed. Official festival selections and ticket sales will be announced mid-August.