#TOURNOTES: View from a Blue Moon Premiere with John John Florence
Words by Jake Howard Wandering down Ke Nui Road under the cloak of night can be a dicey proposition. But with the Kam Highway running bumper-to-bumper and excited islanders and foreigners alike making their way through the darkness like wandering Dead-heads, the premiere of View From A Blue Moon was anything but typical. It was […]
Words by Jake Howard
Wandering down Ke Nui Road under the cloak of night can be a dicey proposition. But with the Kam Highway running bumper-to-bumper and excited islanders and foreigners alike making their way through the darkness like wandering Dead-heads, the premiere of View From A Blue Moon was anything but typical. It was a night Hawaii’s been waiting for for three years, maybe forever. And you can thank John Florence for that.
As narrator John C. Reily (of Step-Brothers and Gangs of New York fame) so succinctly put it, “Today you can call him John.”
When last we saw John premiere a movie it 2013, the title was Done, it was also held on the grass at Sunset Elementary, and toe-head grommets and North Shore strongmen were equally delighted. But besides all the hype and hysteria surrounding View From A Blue Moon, this premiere was different in that this is John’s world now, you’re just living in it.
Forget the hyperbole of View From A Blue Moon being the best surf movie of all time, that’s debatable, but what’s undeniable is that with this film John has asserted himself as hands down the best surfer in the world. In fact, no one even comes close. And Hawaii couldn’t be prouder. Big-wave impresarios, pumped up grommets, seven-foot tall Hawaiians, the aina was out in mass.
“I’ve seen him grow up and go through this whole evolution, it’s crazy where he’s taking things,” says Jamie O’Brien, who has a big part in the film. “I think my favourite moment in the movie is when he calls me an asshole. It’s done with love, and it’s kind the nature of our relationship. We’ve been neighbors at Pipeline our whole lives.”
Asshole or not, John out surfs O’Brien at Pipe, out rotates Filipe Toledo in Brazil, and has more steeze in his straight airs than Bruce Irons. What else do you want? In View From A Blue Moon John’s unbridled talent is clearly the star, but just like his tail whips, there’s an understated casualness to it all. And by dropping of the second John from his name—the credits have him listed as simply John Florence— he’s made it clear that the once-wunder grom is all grown up and he ain’t fucking around anymore.
But almost more than the surfing is John and Director Blake Kueny’s cinematic eye. Sure, they were infused with a Hurley (read: Nike) budget, and they got a little production help from Kurt Morgan and the Brain Farm guys (makers of Travis Rice’s The Art of Flight), but this creation is predominantly their vision.
“This is all John and Blake’s vision,” said Morgan in an interview a couple months ago. “We offered them some technical help, but the creative vision and what they wanted to capture and how they wanted to tell the story, that’s all them.”
So were there any big reveals in the film? Well, did you know John had his pilots license before he had his driver’s license? Or that his boat that they show in the movie his actually his small boat? John’s a man of many talents, but he plays his cards close to his chest, and we love him for it.
“I hope you like it,” said John as he introduced his magnum opus.
Yes, John, we love it.
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