Date DVD #14: Riding Giants, Harold & Kumar
Go to White Castle
Sometimes, it’s best to meet your lover halfway. You might
like foreign epics, and he might like fight flicks — so you
take him to see House of Flying Daggers, and
everyone’s happy. But sometimes — say, after you’ve dragged
your crunchy, stoner-surfer lover to an Ingmar Bergman festival,
and your date is swearing off depressive Swedish cinema altogether — halfway
might not be enough. You may have to take drastic measures.
So this week, for the stoner you love, humble yourself and cue up a spliffy doubleheader.
Start off with Stacy Peralta’s Riding Giants, the opening film of last year’s Sundance festival. It’s a gnarly, sun-bleached tribute to longboard surfing and the self-styled rebels who invented the art. Like his debut Dogtown & Z-Boys, Peralta’s film is not your standard ESPN2 reel. It’s more interested in mythologizing the subculture than the technique. The footage of huge waves is stunning, but Peralta concentrates more on tanned icons like Laird Hamilton and Greg Noll, who apparently changed the world forever. (There’s Beat-poet talk of revolution-through-wave-riding). The mythology, in fact, is more than a bit heavy-handed, but then again, this isn’t meant to be watched sober.
To further prove your love, wrap up the evening with Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, the latest pot odyssey starring a couple of guys stoned out of their gourds (in this case, the funny John Cho and Kal Penn). It’s not so hysterical that you’d want to watch it early in the evening, but it’s just antic enough that you might catch the giggles later in the night, in the right wrong state of mind. But even if you don’t, well, at least your lover will be happy. Or, asleep. In which case you can pop in one of those Bergman DVDs and he will never notice. — Logan Hill