Bali high / Stephen Spaulding

21:40 - 22:50 / Kriterion K1

Bali high, the 1981 cult classic

"There was a magic to the place."

Surfing in the mid to late ‘70s was a radical and fertile time in the counterculture’s history. Board design and fin set-ups were becoming smaller and more maneuverable as the so-called Shortboard Revolution busted into the forefront of surfing performance. Surfing also began to take itself more seriously in the mid ‘70s, and as a result, surf filmmaking flourished. The formula was similar across the spectrum: search for waves, find them, surf them, and record them. However, it was the who, how and why that separated the memorable from the mediocre.

Bali High was made by Stephen Spaulding in his early twenties. Although now a popular destination for many types of surfers, Bali in 1977 was still an untapped resource of waves. Spaulding was struck by its uncrowded tubes, towering volcanoes and rich Hindu culture. Spaulding would spend the next three years chasing waves from Indonesia to Kauai, filming now legendary surfers — Rick Rasmussen, Peter McCabe, Tommy Carroll and Larry Blair. The end result was Bali High, a preservation of this era of travel and adventure.

Directed by Stephen Spaulding

Running time: 65 minutes.