runman


SURFERS JOURNAL

There was a time back in the early 1900s when Marcel Duchamp put a toilet on a pedestal and declared it art and there was a time back in the mid-70s when Johnny Rotten screamed "I am an anti-Christ" and for a few seconds was entirely believable. There was also a time in the mid-80s when Runman came out with a couple videos that, much like Dada and punk rock, tore down all that came before it. There were no logos, no surf stars, no contests, no obligatory North Shore hits, and nothing taken even remotely seriously, particularly itself. Instead there were pranks and punks and secret point breaks throwing shallow, spiralling, rock 'n' roll barrels... A little more than a decade later and Runman delivers much the same stuff, the difference being that today our surf world has become more corporate, more tennis-like and more fucking serious. It's for this reason alone that Runmental comes like a clown at a rodeo, a bad joke at a wedding, or a loud fart at a funeral. This is the Anti-surf flick. There are rock surfers, manure boarders, pool skaters, hippie festivals, puppy jugglers, drunken fist-fights, chicks and centipedes, dogs and seals, long, perfect lefts and rights and enough breasts to feed a hundred starving babies. And just when you think it's a film for the whole family you're treated to a close-up shot of a cigarette smoking orifice that's most certainly not a mouth. But there's more than just smoke, mirrors, and strange perversions here. There are nameless soul surfers getting tubes as long as any of the publicized pros get in any of the mega-marketed videos that seem to fill the libraries of every surf-stoked kid trying to surf like Kelly Slater. And what pushes it further into the realm of uber-Anti is the stream of consciousness narration that at times drives you nuts and at others hits it so on the head that you wonder if the video said that or you just thought it. Runmental is a perverse, curious and uncensored montage that's well worth imprinting on your brain.

Jamie Brisick

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