The Stil Point (Taki Bibelas, 2010): USA
Reviewed by Rhys Davis, Viewed at the Metro 4, SBIFF 2011.
One of the many surf films I saw at this years SBIFF was The Still Point directed by Taki Bibelas, which took a new look at surfing and how we as humans connect with the ocean, and how it affects us in a mental, physical, and spiritual way. I have never seen a surfing related film like this and it was interesting to see.
Bibelas was very interested in why he loved the ocean and surfing so much just like so many others, along with inspiration from a T.S. Eliot poem he decided to make this film .
“At the still point of the turning world …. Where past and future are gathered …. Neither movement from nor towards …. Except for the point, the still point, There would be no dance, and there is only the dance”
Bibelas puts together great archival footage from the early days of surfing, and mixes it in with some of Hawaii’s surfing pioneers. Certain unique thoughts and questions are brought up through the film such as – is the ocean alive, and does it have a conscious? If we believed it did than we would be more respectful – “Being in tune with life, understanding the concept of nothingness, having respect for everything, will in the end lead us down the path of seeing all things in a simpler way.”
As surfing has gained wide spread popularity, some of the pioneers in the film feel that surfing has lost that spiritual connection and respect it used to once have. Being one with the wave, and feeling that nothingness. Bibelas dives deep to find what is behind the passion that people have to go out into the ocean.
After the film Taki Bibelas was on hand to answer questions. He told the audience that the thought to make this movie started in hi head years ago. He knew he wanted to make a surf film that did not include much actual surfing at all, but that as you watched you really felt the meaning of surfing without having to actually see it. He went on to say that it took several years for him to actually shoot it because he did not have a budget to work with, so he would film some then work some more then repeat the process until he got all of his footage together.
I believe this film should be shown to all aspiring surfers out there. This film really gives you true insight to the great powers of the ocean and how it can personally affect you. It also shows how surfing should not be taken for granted, and should be completely respected, and more importantly this film shows how you must respect the ocean that gives you the great gift of waves.