Andrew Kidman’s Litmus opened a revelatory window on a parallel universe – a past that hasn’t passed, an obscured but not suspended surfing reality involving core aesthetics conceived in the 60s, fused in the 70s, and still finding expression in the soul surfing of artistic surfers everywhere.
Now Litmus has been re-released with a magic spellbinder, The Ghosts are Calling, a film that co-creators Eduardo Madera and Kidman call a “Collage”. The beautiful cinematic creation blends the classic retro vibe of Litmus with working and insightful interviews with Wayne Lynch, Dave Parmenter, Derek Hynd, Neal Purchase Jr, and Mark Sutherland. I say working because of the uncompromising lifestyle realities of each of these blokes.
The ghosts that are calling in this film seem to be the spirits of that first Australian renaissance of the mid 60s that ultimately yielded the shortboard and an alternative philosophy of sustainable surf culture which is still, apparently, alive and well on Australia’s central coast. Ghosts features another classic animation by Sutherland, and a splendid soundtrack by the Brown Birds From Windy Hill (Kidman, Purchase, Sutherland, Paul Brewer, Jay Kruegner and Mick Wordley). It is so eminently listenable, you’ll want to make this puppy a travelling companion on your next 101 surf trips.
Great Stuff, all the way round…but definitely kicked back, the way some of us like it. By Drew Kampion for Surfers Path Jan/Feb 2008