If you read any surf blogs then you have probably already seen this clip for Nathan Oldfield's new film, The Heart and The Sea. It's everywhere! But, well, what do you do? Because I can't deny that this film looks lovely.
The Heart & The Sea: Official Trailer from Nathan Oldfield on Vimeo.
A while ago I was talking about music with a friend who described the tunes we were listening to as 'insincere'. He explained that his cynicism for any tune (or film, or etc) is always tempered by sincerity. Like, if he feels that the sentiment of the piece is 'sincere' and true to the person making it, then that cuts through any kind of uncertainty for them. And no matter how good a tune is, if he feels that the musician is trading on a fad or trying too hard to fit an image, that insincerity ruins it for him. And he doesn't just mean that they like it. He means that they believe what they are saying, rather than they are trying to fit into some idea or sell you an image.
I'm pretty much the same.
I've admitted before that I can be a bit of a cynic, and that I find it hard to approach new films (etc) with a completely open heart. And I don't deny that is a failing I should work on. But, like my friend, no matter the subject matter, no matter the film-maker, if I feel there is a sincere connection to the topic and the way they have gone about it, I can be swayed to see value of the film even when I don't agree.
With Nathan Oldfield, I've always felt that there is sincerity. He isn't trying to sell an idea or an image, but is showing us a space and time and approach to life that connects with him. And I say this to recognise that Oldfield's films fit into a certain space in the odd world of 'surfing culture', where there are a number of films that are trying to sell us something, to convince us of something, to convince us of who they want to be. And I don't really get into films like that. They might be pretty, or clever, or fun, or have great surfing and show interesting landscapes, and that's fine, that's great. But with films like that, I never quite feel the weight of their message, nor that they even really have one. And while not every film or artwork needs to be profound or tell a story or carry a message, I just prefer it when they do. For me, the message of a film doesn't have to be big or earth-shattering. Mostly these tales are simple, like, 'don't be an arsehole', or 'be kind to your family', or 'try and think about how you treat the world around you', but simple often connects with us on a personal and everyday level. And this kind of connection - personal, everyday - makes them strong and effective. And sincere.
Look, obviously, I haven't seen this film, but I will. And I'm looking forward to it.