The title of director Jeremy Goschs engaging, elegantly made surf documentary describes the oftentimes brash methods employed by a pack of scrappy foreignersAustralians Ian Cairns, Mark Richards, Peter Townend, and Wayne Rabbit Bartholomew, plus South Africans Shaun and Michael Tomsonto make names for themselves at a time (the 1970s) when surfing was still more of a local (i.e., Hawaiian) pastime than a global professional sport. And get noticed they did, shredding every wave they could, from perfectly formed Pipeline barrels to gnarlier-than-thou Waimea Bay closeouts, effectively creating the look and ethos of modern pro surfing in their wake. Occasionally, the sextets daredevil brio got the better of themand earned the ire of more than a few North Shore localsbut its humility and gratitude that characterize these wave-riding éminences grises today as they look back on their youthful selves (via some spectacular Super-8 and 16mm archival footage) and marvel at the evolution of the surf lifestyle into a multibillion-dollar industry. Although it cant help hitting some familiar beatschiefly the tension between surfings pure roots and its nascent commercializationBustin Down the Door always favors the personal anecdote over the historical generalization, and, more than any movie of its kind since Dana Browns 2003 Step Into Liquid, will leave surf junkies and novices alike longing to get their feet wet.
Aug. 1-7, 2008