Riding Giants | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Riding Giants

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Stacy Peralta follows up his California skateboard documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001) with this layered ethnography of the west-coast surfing subculture, interviewing three generations of gutsy wave riders who recoil from Hollywood's treatment of the sport. ("It positively surpasses every living emotion I've ever had!" gushes Sandra Dee in a clip from Gidget.) The subjects articulate the transcendental aspect of their macho, hedonistic calling, illustrated by home movies from 1950s Hawaii and helicopter shots of majestic breakers in Tahiti. This is vicarious cinema at its best. PG-13, 105 min. Century 12 and CineArts 6, Pipers Alley.

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