"It's the stroke flick of the year!"
The last time I’d interviewed Nick Pollet, famous for his his comedic collaborations with Swellian Lord Adam “Vaughan” Blakey, he was a few hours from a trip to Australia’s Great White-infested southern flank with Mick Fanning, Gabriel Medina and Mason Ho.
“I’ll swim and shoot but, fuck, real close to the other photographers,” the Byron Bay auteur had told me.
That movie, called The Kangs, a cutesy way of saying Kings and also ‘cause Medina wanted to see some kangaroos, has now been released. And, from the moment Medina first puts on his rubber gloves, submerges his hand in a jar of lube and rims…oh but don’t let me give too much away… it’s the stroke flick of the year.
Pollet says the highlight was triple world champ Medina, a rare bird whom you’ll rarely see on free surfing trips. He says his true character only emerges when the camera isn’t on him and, so, he employed his sound engineer musician pal Alain De Carne, who scored The Greatest Surf Movie in the Universe, to capture each forbidden utterance. It’s the shell we can’t pry our ear away from.
“He recorded the whole trip and me and Vaughan had to sift through the audio,” says Pollet although the price of art is to sometimes lick the stank fingers. “It was a bit punishing to be honest,” he says.
The trio, along with Pollet, De Carne, Mason’s filmer Rory Pringle, Mikey Corker and Stu Gibson, spent one week on the unnamed hunk of sand, driving mostly, but surfing here and there, giving Medina the opportunity to dazzle in righthand slabs.
“He blew me away. I was shooting footage in the water and it doesn’t do him justice,” says Pollet, “he so’s good out there it’s crazy.”
The movie exits your screen with a soon-to-be-classic tune Wide Open Land.
I define this as the sound of love.