Sunday, July 8, 2018

Shorebreak: The Clark Little Story (King, 2016): Mini-Film Review

Peter King's one hour documentary on Clark Little's shorebreak photography on the North Shore of Oahu is inspiring. Little allows everyone who sees his images to experience the beauty and power of the ocean's energy by witnessing the moment between a wave breaking and crashing on the shore--and he's in the middle/underneath/within it all, in the impact zone getting absolutely smashed, with a handheld camera in a watertight housing. It would be a sheer risk for most, for Little it's a joy.

Multiple interviewees in the film, from Jack Johnson to Kelly Slater to the late Brock Little, confirm that Clark Little captures a time and space that is extremely uncomfortable for most of us to be in. This is true. But it's the way that this time and place is presented in Little's photography, with a keen eye for balance and a deep appreciation of nature, that makes the film experience effective.

While brief, the documentary may still feel repetitive if being in the ocean is not in your wheelhouse. But it's clear that Little's artwork is driven by passion, and I love that. My favorite segment is when Little is away from the shore swimming peacefully and in his element with sharks.

The film is currently (July, 2018) streaming on Amazon. Clark Little's website is at this link:, and his Instagram here:

Shorebreak: The Clark Little Story trailer on YouTube

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