There’s something to be said for clinging dearly to a little bit of Peter Pan syndrome. Getting older means acknowledging the unfortunate realities around us, and making our dreams work within the constraints of modern society. For most adult surfers, this means wrangling our sessions around work and commuting, around family responsibilities, constraining the purchases of boards and gear and travel to the budget that our jobs might afford us, if we’re lucky.
Deus & Raen’s new film, “I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night,” solves that problem by momentarily allowing us to escape our realty of short, crowded sessions in mediocre waves, and transport ourselves to an idyllic version of Indonesia, populated only by barreling reef breaks and motorcycles traveling between them. It’s a solid half hour of waves that most surfers would be lucky to collect over a long lifetime of surfing, jammed into an almost indigestible short time frame. As if believing that many good waves could be experienced fully in such a small window, the viewer is bombarded with consistent, glassy almond barrels, one after another in a cinematic reef break.
It should be unsurprising that in a movie made by Deus Ex Machina and Raen, two brands perched in a distinct portion of surf culture’s landscape which is loved and hated with equal vehemence, there are far fewer standard, high performance thrusters than boards sporting less common fin configurations and channels and strangely shaped tails careening through Indonesian tubes. But the nostalgia fits with the feeling that you’re escaping to a place in time and space that never really existed but you miss nonetheless.
I was lucky enough to get to see the film last week at San Diego’s Belly Up theater, where it played to a packed house followed with a performance by the Allah-Las. The film and the band oozed the same retro surf-y vibe, and I would almost say that the film was more enjoyable playing on a side screen with the Allah-Las reverb-laden rock jangling through the air than with the soundtrack it was originally set to.
Keep an eye out for the film to pop up near you and go check it out if you get a chance. Escape off to a place you might have never realized you missed, even without having gone there. Check out pictures from the show and film on Raen’s site, and watch the film's trailer below.