Category: Documentary

Director Stacy Peralta’s an award-winning documentary filmmaker and one of the most influential skateboarders of all time. His documentary Dogtown and the Z-Boys won him the Best Director Award at the Sundance Film Festival and his brand new film, The Yin & Yang Of Gerry Lopez turns its attention to Gerry Lopez.

While “Mr. Pipeline” is famously known for his calm demeanor in the tube, Gerry built his career with aggressive surfing that left behind a trail of blood and tears. He’s one of the most influential surfers and surfboard shapers of all time, an entrepreneur, a family man, a movie star and a lifelong yogi who brought surfing to new frontiers.

Can you tell us about how you first got into surfing?

GL: I spent a lot of time at the beach growing up. My mother was a teacher and some of her students had a surfboard concession. I don’t know whether they were bad boys or maybe she gave them a break on homework or something, but when I was ten, and my younger brother was eight, she took us down to the beach in Waikiki and her students let us use two rental surfboards. And so, that was the first time and we paddled out with my mother. She was a very good swimmer and she pushed me into the first wave. The feeling of gliding, the French call it La Glisse and somehow, when the French speak of it, it has much more than just a physical feeling to it. It has much deeper metaphorical connotations. Just La Glisse, it’s the glide. And I remember that, the gliding of just the wave pushing the surfboard. I didn’t understand it. All I did was feel it and it made me feel really good. And it made me feel like I wanted to do it again and again – and my whole life changed. Actually, it didn’t change right away because it took a few years more before I really started to get into surfing. But that first time was feeling that glide and just, having that wave carry you along like that, it was a real magical feeling.

And then how did you get from there to the North Shore and eventually to the pipeline?

By high school I was really into surfing. I mean more than just the fun of it. You know, in high school you need to be somebody. You have to find some kind of identity. I wasn’t good at sports or big enough to play football or baseball. So, I guess I was a surfer because it was really easy to be – you didn’t even have to be good at it, you just had to identify with it. That was my identity.

When you’re 15, you can get a license in Hawaii. So, I was 14 and my friend was already 15, so he was able to drive and we would go to the North Shore. And one day he wanted to go to the pipeline, and that winter for some reason the surf was very small. That day at the pipeline, the biggest wave was maybe four or five feet. But it was a beautiful day, and we were the only ones on the whole beach, so there was nothing scary about it.

The pipeline already had a little bit of a reputation. But this day was very calm and very friendly looking. So, we went out and the waves at the pipeline break very, very fast and it’s very steep and on longboards that are very straight with no rocker, it’s difficult. You can catch the wave, but then to make the take-off is really hard because the wave stands up so fast that the nose goes down and you end up swimming to the beach. And that’s what happened to me and my friend. Every wave, we would just wipe out, wave after wave. Then another kid came paddling out and we saw it was Jock Sutherland and he already had a reputation. He’s the same age as we were but he grew up on the North Shore, so he had done quite a bit of surfing and he was very good and he helped us to make the take off.

Jock and I went on to become great friends and he was a great mentor to me in those very early days of surfing, because he was a much better surfer. He taught me a lot of things at the pipeline in the very beginning.

You talk in the film about stealing waves. How has that mindset shaped the way that you surf?

If you wanted to get better at surfing and there were lots of people already surfing in your spot, then you have to be aggressive, because the only way you can get better at surfing is by riding a lot of waves and you have to practice.

If there’s a lot of other guys taking waves, you know, sometimes you just don’t want to wait until it’s your turn again. You want to cut in line. And I did a lot of that, which wasn’t very nice, but that’s how I was back then. I’m not like that anymore.

When I was at Eisbach recently, I noticed that there was a line and everybody had to wait their turn. And I went “Wow, that’s a great thing, you know?” And I’ve experienced that here with our river wave that the attitude, the vibe, is really like the early days of surfing, where everybody welcomes everyone and is really helpful and everybody’s having a good time and smiling. I thought about that a lot and went “Yeah, it’s really simple.” Everybody knows who’s turn it is why we can’t embrace that? The world would be a much better place if everybody took their turn.

Another very important part of your life is yoga. How has that influenced you?

I was already really into surfing, but in 1968, I started making my own surfboards as well, so I guess it’s coincidental that yoga came at that point in time too. Looking back on it all, I think that was just the way it was supposed to be, because for every difficult question I’ve ever had in life, every meaningful question, yoga has had the answer.

For example, what happened when I felt so bad losing a contest? I learned from yoga that nothing in life is about winning. It’s about mastering and when you’re able to master something, then you never lose. Even if you got last place, you still won something. That was a light bulb moment for me.

Really the ultimate platform of yoga is the spirituality of it. It lets us know that’s what life’s all about.

Thanks for taking time, Gerry. Any parting words for us?
I really believe that all of us surfers are very fortunate because surfing is a gift that keeps on giving, because there’s so much depth to it. None of us have really examined the deepest secrets that surfing holds – maybe Duke Kahanamoku came the closest. Surfing is something that can really bring a person eternal happiness. And you know when you have that, there’s nothing wrong. Ever.

For tickets to the special Q&A screenings with Gerry Lopez and Stacy Peralta or to find out more about The Yin & Yang of Gerry Lopez visit Patagonia.com.au/gerrylopez.

Director Stacy Peralta’s an award-winning documentary filmmaker and one of the most influential skateboarders of all time. His documentary Dogtown and the Z-Boys won him the Best Director Award at the Sundance Film Festival.


You were a professional skateboarder before you went into filmmaking. How did that transition happen?

I fell into filmmaking. During the 80s I had put together the greatest competitive and innovative skateboard team of all time, a team called the Bones Brigade, and we needed to show the world how good these skaters were so we decided we needed an hour-long film that could play on VHS devices inside skateboarders living rooms. The job of making those films fell on me.

How has your background in skateboarding influenced the way you approach filmmaking?

Skateboarding teaches you to deal with constant obstacles, dead-ends, setbacks and failure and as a result of this it teaches you to be very adaptable and flexible and these are all the same issues one finds in film making. Every corner you turn you find an obstacle. 

You’ve always had a connection to surf culture. How do the surf and skate scene differ and what unites these subcultures?

I originally wanted to be a professional surfer and that is the direction I was headed, until the urethane wheel was invented, at which time I changed my plans. Both surfing and skateboarding were and still are outlaw cultures that the greater society looks at from a distance. Both attract outcasts who are looking for a place they can create their own identity within. Both (surfing and skateboarding) offer a distinctive lifestyle and way of living.

The Yin and Yang of Gerry Lopez tells a long and detailed story. How did you approach this film project and what was your focus?

I originally approached the film, like I do all of the films I’ve made, by asking endless questions and listening. I asked Gerry and anyone I could find questions about him. I asked and asked, and listened until I started getting a sense of what was most important in his life’s journey. Film making is about careful listening, careful observing and paying constant quality attention to the subject you’re documenting. It’s essentially getting my own self out of the way so that I can be a vehicle for this story to pass through and that takes time to gestate.

What interested you most in Gerry’s story that you took on this project?

His dual nature. His peaceful yoga posture on land and his tigershark alpha male mentality in the water. How he struggles and lives with that duality and his relentless pursuit of all forms of surfing throughout the years he’s been alive.

The film uses a lot of archival footage. How did you go about the selection of those scenes and what were some of your favorite parts?

By looking under every single rock we could find. You want to surprise your audience when making films like this and one of the ways you do that is by searching for photos and footage they have not yet seen. It takes a lot of time and a million phone calls to locate the content but it’s worth it in the end.

What were some of the highlights of making this film?

Watching Gerry learn how to foil surf and kite surf made me realize that things actually don’t come so easy for him, that he struggles like all of us, and that he spends lots of time as a kook just like the rest of us when we’re learning something new. Watching him do something not well humanized him for me.

You’ve created some of the most influential films in skateboarding. What projects are you most proud of in 30-40 years of filmmaking?

I never expected that my life would turn out the way it did and that I would have the opportunities I’ve had. My hope is that I’ve delivered and returned on what I’ve been given because I’ve been the recipient of many great opportunities. It’s been an unusual journey of being both an athlete with one foot in and an observer with one foot out simultaneously.

Thanks a lot for taking the time, Stacy!

For tickets to the special Q&A screenings with Gerry Lopez and Stacy Peralta or to find out more about The Yin & Yang of Gerry Lopez visit Patagonia.com.au/gerrylopez.

Madman Entertainment is thrilled to announce that zero-waste innovator Joost Bakker will participate in a series of special Q&A events around Australia ahead of the theatrical release of GREENHOUSE BY JOOST in November. Joost Bakker will be joined after screenings of the film for an on-stage discussion with a variety of special guests including Damon GameauSarah WilsonJack ThompsonClare Bowditch, Neil Perry and Clare Cousins , as well as renowned chefs Matt Stone and Jo Barrett, who both feature in the film.

After recently winning the Audience Award at the Melbourne International Film Festival, the Q&As will take place across metro and regional cinemas in VIC, NSW, ACT and WA between Thursday 3 and Friday 18 November. The film has also been selected for the upcoming Adelaide Film Festival and Brisbane International Film Festival.

“Imagine a house that grows its own food” – that’s the vision of Joost Bakker, who was once dubbed the ‘Poster Boy of Zero Waste Living’ by The New York Times. GREENHOUSE BY JOOST is an inspiring feature documentary following Bakker as he builds a self-sustaining home in the centre of Melbourne, an ecosystem that provides its occupants with water, energy, shelter and nourishment. Joined in his work by chefs Matt Stone and Jo Barrett, Bakker faces his fair share of challenges to finish the home. Bureaucratic delays, COVID shutdowns and blackouts all threaten the build.

GREENHOUSE BY JOOST is directed by Rhian Skirving and Bruce Permezel and was created by the award-winning producers of 2040The Australian Dream, and That Sugar Film.

Q&A EVENTS

Thursday 3 November

Cameo Belgrave at 6.30pm

Guests: Joost Bakker with John Ford and Chris Bissels. Moderator: Cameron Smith

Friday 4 November

Cinema Nova at 6.30pm

Guests: Joost Bakker and Clare Bowditch. Moderator: Cameron Smith

Saturday 5 November

Palace Westgarth at 2pm

Guest: Joost Bakker. Moderator: Cameron Smith

Palace Como at 4pm

Guests: Joost Bakker and Clare Cousins. Moderator: Cameron Smith

Sunday 6 November

Lorne Theatre at 4pm

Guests: Joost Bakker, Jo Barrett, Kristy Stewart and Rowan Reid. Moderator: Cameron Smith

Tuesday 8 November

Royal Theatre Castlemaine at 6.30pm

Guests: Joost Bakker and Jo Barrett. Moderator: Mary Macintyre 

Wednesday 9 November

Star Bendigo at 6.30pm

Guest: Joost Bakker with Derek Layfield and Russell Burnett. Moderator: Mary Macintyre 

Saturday 12 November

Palace Electric, Canberra at 4pm

Guest: Joost Bakker. Moderator: Nicole Hasham, The Conversation Australia  

Sunday 13 November

Empire Cinema, Bowral at 4pm

Guest: Joost Bakker. Moderator: Briannah Devlin, Southern Highland News

Luna Leederville, Perth at 4pm – Virtual Event

Guest: Joost Bakker and Matt Stone

Monday 14 November

Randwick Ritz, Sydney at 6.30pm

Guests: Joost Bakker and Sarah Wilson. Moderator: Damon Gameau.

Dendy Newtown, Sydney at 8pm

Guests: Joost Bakker and Neil Perry. Moderator: Damon Gameau.

Wednesday 16 November

Avoca Beach Theatre at 6.30pm

Guest: Joost Bakker. Moderator: Cheralyn Darcey.

Thursday 17 November

Jetty Theatre, Coffs Harbour at 6pm

Guests: Joost Bakker and Jack Thompson. Moderator: Dave Horsley, SWIFF Festival Director

Friday 18 November

Palace Byron Bay at 6.30pm, 7.10pm and 7.50pm

Guests: Joost Bakker and Cedar Anderson. Moderator: Damon Gameau.

Further screening information and tickets are available here.

GREENHOUSE BY JOOST will be released in Australian cinemas in November:

  • VIC/TAS – 10 November
  • ACT/NSW/WA/SA – 17 November
  • QLD – 24 November

AMC+ today released the trailer for the highly anticipated 53rd season of Documentary Now!Known for lovingly paying homage to the world of documentaries, Documentary Now!Season 53 will premiere with three episodes on Wednesday 19 October on AMC+. New episodes will debut weekly on Wednesdays.

The upcoming season of the critically acclaimed comedy, co-created by Fred ArmisenBill HaderSeth Meyers and Rhys Thomas, executive produced by Lorne Michaels and produced by Broadway Video, will include six all-new documentary-inspired episodes:

EPISODE DESCRIPTIONS

  • “Soldier of Illusion”

Premieres October 19 on AMC+

The two-part, season premiere episode,written by John Mulaney and starring Alexander Skarsgård (The NorthmanBig Little Lies), Nicholas Braun (SuccessionZola) and August Diehl (Inglourious Basterds), was inspired the Werner Herzog-focused documentary Burden of Dreams. In the early 1980s, a visionary German filmmaker (Skarsgård) tries to will his magnum opus into existence while working in the remote, punishing conditions of the Russian Ular mountains. Kevin Bishop (Miracle WorkersThe Tracey Ullman Show), Gana Bayarsaikhan (Wonder Woman), Matthias Rimpler (Ludzie i Bogowie) and Fred Armisen will also star, with Documentary Now! ensemble alumni Deb Hiett returning as narrator.

  • Two Hairdressers in Bagglyport”

Premieres October 19 on AMC+

Stars two-time Academy Award®-winner and Documentary Now! alumni Cate Blanchett (TárBlue JasmineCarol), as well as Emmy®-nominated actress Harriet Walter (Succession, Killing Eve). Paying homage to documentaries 3 Salons at the Seaside and The September Issue, the episode is a fly-on-the-wall portrait of a hair salon owner (Walter) and her staff (Blanchett), in the small coastal village of Bagglyport as they prepare their yearly stylebook. The episode was written by series co-creator Seth Meyers and will also star Fred Armisen as George the Postman.

  • “How They Threw Rocks”

Premieres October 26 on AMC+

Features Welsh actors Trystan Gravelle (Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power, A Discovery of Witches), Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes, The Crown) and John Rhys-Davies (The Lord of The Rings, Indiana Jones), as well as legendary Welsh singer Tom JonesIn the vein of When We Were Kings and other great explorations of sport, the episode chronicles the Welsh sport of Craig Maes, also known as “Field Rock,” and the iconic 1974 bout dubbed “The Melon vs. The Felon (Gravelle).” Fellow Welsh actor Sam C. Wilson (Dodger) joins as infamous Craig Maes competitor Sior Strawboss or “The Melon.” The episode was written by series co-creator Seth Meyers.

  • “My Monkey Grifter”

Premieres November 2 on AMC+

Helmed by actor Jamie Demetriou (The Afterparty), drawing inspiration from My Octopus Teacher, the episode follows Benjamin Clay (Demetriou), a filmmaker who forms a deep, emotional and financially taxing relationship with a monkey. The episode was written by series co-creator Seth Meyers, with Fred Armisen joining as Detective Blakely.

  • “Trouver Frisson”

Premieres November 9 on AMC+

Features French actor Liliane Rovère (Call My Agent!, Family Business) and Ronald Guttman (Godfather of Harlem, Sister of the Groom). Inspired by Agnes Varda’s Gleaners and I and Beaches of Agnes, celebrated French filmmaker Ida Leos (Rovère) searches for why she no longer experiences “frisson” – the goosebumps that have always been her guide. Written by series producers Matt Pacult and Tamsin Rawady and co-directed by Micah Gardner, the episode also stars Documentary Now! alumni Gary Kraus.

The six-time Emmy®-nominated Documentary Now! debuted to rave reviews from critics and quickly became a fan favorite thanks to its insightful take on some of the most well-known documentary films. Each episode takes viewers back in time to honor groundbreaking documentaries. Guest stars in the previous season included Cate Blanchett, Owen Wilson, Michael Keaton, Natasha Lyonne, John Mulaney, Michael C. Hall, Taran Killam, Richard Kind and more.

Documentary Now! is executive produced by Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Seth Meyers, Rhys Thomas, Alex Buono, John Mulaney, Broadway Video’s Andrew Singer and Lorne Michaels. Once again, Thomas and Buono are the show directors with Lee Groombridge, Matt Pacult and Tamsin Rawady serving as producers.  Alice Mathias and David Cress co-executive produce, with Eddie Michaels and Andrew Garland producing for Broadway Video and Erik Kenward serving as consulting producer.  EMU Films produced in the UK and Belgium with Jim Mooney, Michael Elliott and Wali Ullah serving as executives.

Today, Disney+ released the teaser trailer and key art for MICKEY: THE STORY OF A MOUSE from Disney Original Documentary. The announcement comes out of D23 Expo in Anaheim, which launched the official kick-off to the 100th anniversary celebration of The Walt Disney Company. The feature documentary will premiere globally on Disney+ on November 18 – Mickey Mouse’s birthday. MICKEY: THE STORY OF A MOUSE is directed by award-winning filmmaker Jeff Malmberg (Marwencol) and produced by Academy Award-winner Morgan Neville (Won’t You Be My Neighbor), Meghan Walsh, and Chris ShellenThe documentary was executive produced by Caitrin Rogers, edited by Jake Hostetter, Aaron Wickenden, cinematography by Antonio Cisneros, sound design by Lawrence Everson, and music by Daniel Wohl. The film had its World Premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival earlier this year and also screened at this year’s Sun Valley Film Festival and Newport Summer Film Series, among several others.
 
As one of the world’s most beloved characters, Mickey Mouse is recognized as a symbol of joy and childhood innocence in virtually every corner of the globe. Dreamed up at a low point in Walt Disney’s burgeoning career, Mickey became an overnight sensation when he starred in the first sync-sound animated short, “Steamboat Willie.” Through the decades that followed, the character evolved into strikingly different versions of himself that reflect both his creator’s remarkable career and dramatic societal shifts in the nation he came to represent. Director Jeff Malmberg and Academy Award-winning producer Morgan Neville (who previously teamed up for “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”examine the cultural significance of the nearly 100-year-old cartoon mouse. The documentary also features an exclusive animated short film, “Mickey in a Minute,” created by the legendary hand-drawn team from Walt Disney Animation Studios. 
 
“Ninety-four years ago, Walt Disney created a mouse that would become one of the world’s most beloved characters,” said Marjon Javadi, vice president of Disney Original Documentary. “We are excited for the world to see Mickey Mouse in a way they’ve never seen him before. Our award-winning team of filmmakers captures Mickey’s journey through the years and reminds us why he has had such an impact on us.”
 
MICKEY: THE STORY OF A MOUSE features legendary Disney animators Eric Goldberg, Mark Henn and Randy Haycock, as well as animation artist and Disney Legend Floyd Norman. Art historian Carmenita Higginbotham, director of Walt Disney Archives Rebecca Cline and archivist Kevin Kern are also featured in the film. With exclusive archival footage and interviews, the film examines the ongoing artistic and cultural significance — as well as the controversies — surrounding the nearly 100-year-old cartoon mouse. The film features a brand new Walt Disney Animation Studios hand-drawn animated short, “Mickey in a Minute,” and documents its animation process by Eric Goldberg, Mark Henn and Randy Haycock. 
 
“Mickey Mouse is a symbol we see every day of our lives,” director Jeff Malmberg says. “We all know Mickey, but he means different things to different people. We felt like Mickey deserved a documentary that was joyful but also honest. I’m glad that Disney allowed us to delve so deeply into the evolutions and meanings of the world’s most famous mouse.”
 
Jeff Malmberg is a documentary filmmaker whose debut film, “Marwencol,” won more than two dozen awards, including the SXSW Grand Jury Award. It was recently selected for the Criterion Channel and named a Cinema Eye Decade Film as one of the 20 best documentary films in the last 10 years. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship for his second film, “Spettacolo,” a Critics’ Choice nominee for Best Documentary. Malmberg edited Morgan Neville’s documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,” which was released by Focus Features. Most recently, he was nominated for a GRAMMY® for co-directing and editing “Shangri-La,” a four-part series for Showtime about Rick Rubin and the creative process.
 
Jeff Malmberg is directing MICKEY: THE STORY OF A MOUSE with Academy Award-winner Morgan Neville producing under his company, Tremolo Productions. Chris Shellen and Meghan Walsh are also producers. Caitrin Rogers serves as executive producer. Marjon Javadi is vice president of Originals for Documentaries and Docuseries for Disney Branded Television/Disney Original Documentary.
 
Disney Original Documentary previously announced upcoming projects “Goodbye Yellowbrick Road: The Final Elton John Performances and The Years That Made His Legend,” “Madu,” “If These Walls Could Sing,” the untitled film on Jim Henson, and the Oscar® short-listed documentary short “Sophie and the Baron.” Critically acclaimed “Mija” will premiere on Disney+ on Sept. 16, 2022.