Surf movie madness reached its peak in Australia in the mid '70s when it seemed that every second week, a new surf film reached our shores and did the circuit of clubs and halls. There was a lot to choose from too - everything from the latest from McGillivray-Freeman, to those from local filmmakers, one of whom was Steve Core.
Released in 1975, Ocean Rhythms captured the cream of the first wave of pro surfers competing on the Aussie circuit at Bells, North Narra, and Newcastle and although the surfing here is first class it's familiar territory, as is the footage of a brief sojourn to Bali. However, the real strength of this film lies in the other footage he has captured.
Unlike most Australian filmmakers, Core was based at Cronulla and in what must have been a first, managed to get some pretty exciting footage of local Cronulla breaks as well as some of the South Coast's most photogenic surf spots . . . some of them still secrets after all these years.
Much of this film was shot while Peter Townend was ensconced at Cronulla working with Gordon and Smith, so we get a chance to see just what an assortment of unusual craft PT was riding - including a very rare W.A.V.E. Hollow board and a Gordon and Smith fish, an SS Model which stood for Summer Stubby. If you're in any way interested in how these boards should be surfed, then this film will make you sit up and take notice.
Other highlights include footage of Gold Coast breaks introduced by a short rundown of the famous tourism and surf icons of the day . . . which will bring a tear to many an old Gold Coaster's eye. Other unexpected delights are the grabs of Wollongong hottie Terry Richardson. Unfortunately Richo is almost a forgotten figure now but this footage is a reminder of just how hot he was.
Throw into the whole mix a short sequence of the late Peter Crawford's futuristic kneeboarding, and you've got a very entertaining flick. Core's film has been cleanly remastered and like all good '70s surf films includes shots of surfers leering into the camera, pervy bikini shots and a groovy old-skool soundtrack, but alas no sunset finale. C'mon Steve – I was looking forward to that!