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Surf Movie Tonite!

12:01 29th March 2007 by
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By Matt Warshaw

Chronicle Books

www.allthewaytotheocean.com

Surf Movie Tonite

Warshaw, Matt Diligent and prolific
writer, editor, and surf historian; former
pro surfer (ranked 43rd in the world
in 1982), editor at Surfer magazine in
the late 1980s, he moved to Berkeley in
1990, took a degree in history (Phi Beta Kappa), and eventually
settled into a San Francisco neighborhood just two blocks
from the pounding peaks of Ocean
Beach. There Warshaw embarked
on his writing career, producing a
series of meticulously researched and
nicely-illustrated tomes: Surfriders: In
Search of the Perfect Wave (1997), Above the
Roar: 50 Surfer Interviews (1997), Maverick’s:
The Story of Big-Wave Surfi ng (2000), and
Zero Break: An Illustrated Collection of Surf
Writing, 1777-2004 (2004). His greatest
contribution to surf history and culture
to date, however, is his sidewalk-cracking
compendium, The Encyclopedia of Surfing
(2003), to which he and a small staff
devoted three hair-raising years of research
and writing.

Warshaw’s latest book, comic
relief in this man’s oeuvre, is Surf Movie Tonite!:
Surf Movie Poster Art, 1957-2004. An exquisitely
mounted oversized soft-cover volume, it chronicles surf
culture through its films – more precisely through the posters
advertising its films – over the past 40 years. The posters range
from the earliest Bud Browne movies, through the heydays of
the ’60s cinematographers, to the bad and better of Hollywood
productions, to the video uprising of the ’80s, to the DVD cult
fi lms of today. Throughout, Warshaw’s descriptive captions are
diverting and witty, his contemporaneous extracts are to the
point, and his introductory essay is both breezy and pithy. See
also: Another one for the ages – Drew Kampion