I had the privilege of previewing the Clive Neeson film Last Paradise recently, and I must admit that I genuinely loved it. I put emphasis on the word genuinely. I’m not a kiss arse, if I didn’t enjoy something, I’d say so. But the simple reality is that I haven’t enjoyed a surf film this much since George Greenough’s Crystal Voyager back in the 70’s.
Right: Last paradise
This is not just some run of the mill surf flick either, it’s much more than that. Last Paradise is a joyous story of ingenuity, adventurous spirits and a loving respect for the realm in which we play.
Left: Ton carving Centre: Biggie heading out on a big day Right: Clive on the job
I have the utmost respect for the message this film is putting out there. I get where Clive Neeson is coming from with this work, and I strongly suspect you guys will too. But rather than spoil it for you with a verbatim rendition of what you can expect, I’ll attempt to share with you what I experienced during the screening.
Left: Hangliding down a now extinct glacier Right: Ton ,not slowing down with age
Last Paradise captivated and affected me on many levels. The film quickly had me remembering the adrenalin filled shenanigans most of us got into through our grommet years. It overwhelmed me with smiles and raucous laughter at times. Then it tore my bloody heart to pieces with its gut wrenching depictions of what we once had, and what we have now. I mean seriously this film actually managed to get a lump in my throat, no mean feat for a surf adventure movie.
Left: then and now
What Neeson has created here is so much more powerful than the standard hero worship theme of most surf movies. This is a principles before personality’s piece, and it reminds us all on a deep and intimate level why we do what we do, and that we really do owe our lives to the realm in which we do it.
abobe: it’s our home, we need to care for it.
The only negative I could find was not actually in the film itself. Before seeing Last Paradise, I read the press release and watched the trailer as well. Maybe it’s just me, but the press and trailer just didn’t quite grab me. I found myself thinking, oh yeah, ok, another surf movie, and that was about it. If Clive hadn’t actually contacted me, I might have missed seeing this one. I reckon a few others may possibly miss it too for the same reason, and that would be a real tragedy.
Left: Clive, surfer, film maker, inventor, adventurer and physicist
Put simply, Last Paradise is the one that shouldn’t be missed. Not just by Slideaholics like us, but by anyone who loves the outdoors. This film is free of legendary egos and self-indulgent affectations of being cool. Instead it’s just seriously good fun and delivers a highly appropriate message for our times.
Last Paradise is narrated by the late great Al Byrne, the footage spans four decades. It’s a beautifully filmed story of our love of adventure and nature, mixed in with the heart breaking realisation of what’s being done to it. This is a film for everyone. The older footage is joyously remastered by Peter Jackson’s studio in NZ. The story is humble, fun, and intelligent. It’ll make you laugh and possibly choke up with tears too. Get on over to the Last Paradise website for session times, you won’t regret it.
Left: Al Byrne
- slideaholics journal # 6
- last paradise
- publisher | longboard clinic pty ltd
- photography | clive neeson
- editor | bear bennink
- digital production | yoko bennink
- copy writing | bear bennink
- image copyright©lastparadisefilm.com 2014
- copyright©longboardclinic pty ltd 2014