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March 31, 2023

Old surfing films never die

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Sons of Beaches 72 will present Steve Core’s ground-breaking movie of the seventies, In Natural Flow, at the Komune Beach Club, Greenmount, and Gold Coast as part of the Bleach Festival this Friday 17Feb.

Alby Falzon’s movie, Morning of the Earth, was the benchmark movie of the time covering Nat Young’s retreat to the Byron farm life and ripping perfect Broken Head while his heir apparent, a young Michael Peterson, was carving up Kirra Point. Of course MOTE is famous for opening up the way to Bali with the first-ever surfing vision of Uluwatu courtesy of Rusty Miller and Steve Cooney. Falzon, together with John Witzig and David Elfick, created the first Tracks magazine and a totally new approach to documenting surfing and its colourful alternative lifestyle.

Those early front pages of Tracks, deemed the surfers’ bible, are brought to life at the Gold Coast City Gallery in a fantastic art display thanks to SOB72 movie producer Glen Blight and his equally talented wife, graphic designer Leigh Fabian. They have worked with Steve Core to relaunch his movie In Natural Flow, not seen since 1972.

Cronulla’s Steve Core worked in the surfboard building industry and then decided to invest in a super-8 camera, hit the road and surrounded himself with the new seventies generation of Australian surfing. Core travelled and filmed the likes of Michael Peterson, Peter Townend, Rabbit Bartholomew, Paul Neilsen and a host of Sydney talent including the North Narrabeen guys Mark Warren, Col Smith, Dappa, Terry Fitz and Simon Anderson plus Ian ‘Kanga’ Cairns from the West.

These guys represented the changing of the guard in the wake of the Midget Farrelly, Nat Young, Peter Drouyn, Wayne Lynch domination era of the sixties. Steve Core singlehandedly nailed the new young hot rats ripping and tearing from Bells to Burleigh and there is some insane surfing on perfect waves for that time. Many years later most of the above would become household surfing names with PT and Rabbit achieving World Champion titles.

Writer Phil Jarrat, who would later on take the editorial reins of Tracks magazine from Alby and co, had this to say about Core’s In Natural Flow.

‘There was nothing subtle or tricky about the approach of underrated Sydney surf filmmaker Steve Core. He just gave surfing what they wanted to see, wave after perfect wave in sharp focus. As a surfer himself, he also knew where to point the camera at precisely what moment in order to catch the full glory of an MP cutback and PT soul arch bottom turn. While he was eclipsed as a celluloid storyteller at the time by Falzon and Paul Witzig, only now through the prism of history are we truly beginning to appreciate the legacy of Steve Core. Put simply, no-one captured cutting-edge 70s surfing better than cutting-edge Core!’

In Natural Flow will be accompanied by hip hop kings 3LLA. Admission is by donation (proceeds to Surf World Surf Museum at Currumbin) and the Komune doors swing open from 7.30pm this Friday.


Image: Forty years ago… Michael Peterson and Andrew McKinnon in the 1972 movie In Natural Flow. Photo Mick Eyre

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