Sydney’s Proximity Premier Was Highly Opulent
The most humanising surf film we’ve seen in a while.
Stab’s been awaiting this one for a while. Then, it happened. Sydney’s newly-opened (and quite chic) QT Hotel provided the acoustics and floor space, and Corona brought the gratis (and much appreciated) liquid gold.
There were culinary themed dishes tailored to Proximity’s various shooting locations (a cheese room for Scotland, sushi for Japan, tacos for Mexico), and VR headsets for the public to experience, which Stab happily took advantage of and can now say we’ve surfed a flawless Baja pointbreak with Dave Rastovich and Steph Gilmore. Well, kinda. Regardless, the event was sheer opulence, an embellished affair rarely seen these days in the game of surf.
And, the film! You’ll find no spoilers here, but it must be said that Proximity is one of the more upfront surf films to land in some time. There’s Steph and Rasta in Mexico, with cutscenes of them discussing the comparisons of tour life and freesurfing to an audience of none in the desert. Rob Machado and Craig Anderson trekking through the snow in Japan, their breezy remarks helping fill the time spent searching for waves. Shane Dorian and Albee Layer taking time to stop and smell the peat in Scotland. And of course, Kelly Slater and John John Florence playing chess (an obvious metaphor, but everything you’d hope in execution) and trading barrels in Micronesia. The surfing is just what Taylor Steele built his early film career on. And it’s the interactions between the surfers that add an extra element, making plain the vast maturation our filmmaker has undergone since Momentum. Plus, the added bonus of greatly humanising the cast.
Highlights include Albee and Shane surfing a deviating mass that closely resembles something that technically qualifies as a wave. Both looking like warriors you’d wanna charge into battle with. Also, John’s surfing in general. If Proximity is a standard of the young Hawaiian’s ability, expect another title… or 10. Altogether, there’s performances, waves and conversations that everyone will find enjoyable one way or another. It’s absolutely worthy of your attention.
Proximity is still touring around the world, and you can find all the dates and locations here.
All photos by Life Without Andy, you can find the full gallery over at their site.
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