BeachGrit friends (pictured) sexually confused.
BeachGrit friends (pictured) sexually confused.

Director of Cannes darling ‘The Surfer’ accuses grumpy locals of being “confused about their masculinity”

"They listen to Joe Rogan and Jordan Peterson, explore neo-shamanism and long for a tribe..."

There is nothing more exciting on our surf-adjacent horizon than the new Nicolas Cage vehicle “The Surfer” which brought Cannes’ discerning audience to its feet and kept them there for six minutes. Its Irish director, Lorcan Finnegan, has crafted a rich, lush, sun burnt ode to Australia New Wave cinema of old and recently sat down with Variety in order to provide further insight into his vision.

He shared about how the film is not a “sexy” exploration of our favorite pastime but rather a tense and raw descent into madness. The interviewer, picking up on surfing’s gorgeous image versus what appears on screen, wondered about why everyone was so “aggressive and territorial.” Finnegan, wise, answered, “We talk about pain in this film, so they had to be mean to him. It’s a weird therapy he undergoes in order to find himself, but surf localism really does exist. And not just in Australia! A lot of surfing beaches tend to be in wealthy areas. You have bankers, CEOs, all these ‘strong’ guys who are confused about their masculinity and fall into a weird trap. They listen to Joe Rogan and Jordan Peterson, explore neo-shamanism and long for a tribe, which makes them vulnerable to ‘father figures’ like Scally, played by Julian McMahon. We had fun exploring it in the film.”



Are you a “strong” guy confused about your masculinity and stuck in a weird trap?

An explorer of neo-shamanism and Joe Rogan listener?

Vulnerable to a father figure named Negatron?

Fairly damning, I guess.

Kelly Slater and John John Florence.
Who gonna retire first, Kelly Slater, 57, or John John Florence, 33? | Photo: @tsherms/Steve Sherman

John John Florence to retire at end of year after one final swing at winning third world title

“Last year on tour for John John Florence. Will do all stops then say ‘see ya!’” according to the source.

Yesterday, the lovely revelation that two-time world champ John John Florence had just welcomed a baby boy with his wife Lauryn Florence neé Cribb and had named him Darwin after the noted English biologist.

Exhilarating, audacious and in-step with his own mama Alex naming him after the brave little boy, not even three years old and trussed up in a powder blue peacoat, saluting his dead daddy’s casket in 1963. 

A lesser known fact, of course, is John F Kennedy junior got the John-John tag from a White House reporter who misheard JFK senior calling him John twice in a row. No one in the Kennedy fam used it. 

John John Florence turns thirty-three in 2025 and, if the rumour is to believed and it comes from if not ringside, the next row behind, he’ll quit professional surfing to chase waves with his surfer of the year brother Nathan Florence, pursue his business interest with the high-quality surf brand FLORENCE, which now employs Nathan, and enjoy the profound thrill of being a daddy to little Darwin. 

“Last year on tour for John John Florence. Will do all stops then say ‘see ya!’” according to the source.

It makes more than a little sense. 

With small-wave wizard Filipe Toledo, who is virtually unbeatable at the world title decider which is held every September in weak two-foot waves off the tour, John John could conceivably win the third title that has eluded him since his two-pack in 2016 and 2017. 

The retirement will continue the WSL’s leakage of big-name world champs from the tour, including Carissa Moore and Stephanie Gilmore, who may take another swing in 2025 although after watching a year of Molly P and Caity Simmers and with Erin Brooks coming online maybe not, and, possibly, the madcap queen of drama himself Kelly Slater.

Anthony Kiedis (pictured) little.
Anthony Kiedis (pictured) little.

Red Hot Chili Pepper Anthony Kiedis takes much younger Brazilian model-girlfriend on sizzling warm surf date

"Taut torso and tattooed arms."

Oh to be handsome, a former dead President, bank robber and, to top it all off, mega famous rock n roller. Oh to be Anthony Kiedis. The Red Hot Chili Pepper frontman, 52 years old (or 62 maybe) but still entirely striking, pixie-ish even, has been a known surf aficionado for many years, enjoying Malibu’s little political wet energy mounds on full volumed craft. And for those past two summer seasons he has enjoyed them with 20-year-old Australian model Helena Vestergaard.

Well, out with the old, in with the new as Leonardo DiCaprio says and, just yesterday, Kiedis was snapped with the 22-year-old Brazilian model Wanessa Milhomem. Daily Mail breathlessly described his “taut torso and tattooed arms as he walked with his wetsuit pulled down to his waist while making his way back to dry land” and Milhomem, who “towered over him as she strolled in a patterned string bikini.”

Kiedis is listed as 5’9 though seems the exact same height as the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s bassist Flea who swings in at 5’6.

Which leads to the important question. Is it better to be plain and tall or minuscule and ab fab?

Back to the loved up surf date, though, there’s not many more details I am able to share other than Kiedis carrying his longer board wax side in.

Wet Sand.

Surf champ John John Florence and wife Lauryn Cribb welcome newborn son, Darwin Florence!

US Olympian pays homage to game-changing biologist at birth of son!

A few days before Christmas in 2022, John John Florence, the little canary-haired boy raised on peanut butter and Wonder bread, who enchanted the world as the first tweenie to ride Pipeline and who was later credited with saving the surf industry, married his long-time girlfriend, the Australian Lauryn Cribb.

John John Florence proposed to his long-time girlfriend, a model turned horticulture student, in 2019 using a diamond ring his mama Alex had found on the beach and right before a one-month yacht voyage.

The pair were married in the nearby Waimea Valley despite torrential rains, the same storms that created an epic river wave that nearly slaughtered sad-eyed degenerate Jamie O’Brien.

When Lauren announced she was pregnant in December 2023, pregnancy of course being a natural consequence of a CIS marriage, she wrote: “Swallowed a watermelon seed and now it’s growing. We’re excited for our little baby boy to join us in May…”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Lauryn Florence (@lauryncribb)

At the time, we wondered if, like his mama Alex, John John would gift his boy a similarly unique handle.

Well, yeah.

Even better than John John is…Darwin Florence, named, you’d suppose, after the towering British biologist who gave the world the theory of evolution via his knockout bestseller Origin of the Species.

In a nutshell, Darwin theorised, and with plenty of evidence, how species change over time, driven by natural selection and the wild ol’ game of survival.

Traits that help organisms thrive in their environment get passed on, while less helpful traits fade away.

Undaunted by the trauma of childbirth, John John posted this clip, today, of him testing fins shortly after the birth.

Congrats to John John Florence and mama Florence and welcome baby Darwin.

Nicolas Cage (pictured) crushing.
Nicolas Cage (pictured) crushing.

Nicolas Cage film ‘The Surfer’ induces knee-buckling six minute standing ovation at Cannes

“Mangez le rat!”

Now, let us all be honest. There has only been one surf film, ever, worth the time of an auteur and that is Bruce Brown’s seminal masterpiece The Endless Summer. Others, including Point Break, North Shore, Blue Crush are cute. Others still, including Chasing Mavericks and In God’s Hands, are so offensive as to count as crimes against humanity.

None, though, has received a knee-buckling six minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival. None except Nicolas Cage’s new offering The Surfer, that is.

Variety shared, “Cage appeared to be having a ball, beaming from ear to ear and waving across the room as cheers erupted around the Palais for the film, a wild, mind-bending adventure that sees the fan favorite hit the sort of deranged peaks not witnessed on screen since ‘Mandy.’ At one point he took the mic to ask how to say “eat the rat” in French — a line from the film (and likely to become a meme) — roaring “mangez le rat!” to the delight of the crowd.”

The picture, directed by Lorcan Finnegan, is said to be an homage to vintage Australian New Wave films and is receiving rave reviews.

The Hollywood Reporter declares, “There’s no point in hiring Nicolas Cage if you’re not going to let him rip with a wackadoodle, OTT performance, and he duly delivers in the sly psychological thriller The Surfer.”

The action is described thusly:

Unfolding largely on a beach and its adjacent parking lot in Western Australia, but about a man who is trapped by his own compulsions, The Surfer must be one of the most claustrophobic films that takes place almost entirely outdoors. Hold on, there are a couple of interiors: a grotty public toilet, the inside of a few cars, and a shack on the beach where local antagonists of the eponymous unnamed hero, the surfer (Cage), hang out. But the frequent zooms into the surfer’s twitchy eyes, sudden flashes back and forward, and shimmering shots that look like they’ve been filmed underwater even when on dry land all suggest the story might be unfolding in the surfer’s head as his sanity unravels.

But of course you will see and I will see and we will discuss our various feelings. Until then, let’s enjoy the trailer together.

Need more entertainment? Don’t worry. David Lee Scales and I got together for our weekly chat and discussed surf adjacency. Enjoy, rats.