Two fitting documentaries will screen in Los Angeles as the X Games makes its final stop of the 2013 season. "Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau" shows on July 30, and "Fading West" airs for the first time on July 31. The two films use surfing as the vehicle to tell stories that ultimately transcend their sports.
Screenings are invitation only, but both films will be available to the public in the coming months on DVD and in theaters.
"Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau"
Eddie Aikau was one of the most legendary surfers of all time. He was known as one of the most fearless big-wave surfers and the first-ever North Shore lifeguard. His bravado in the face of danger inspired one of surfing's most famous catchphrases: "Eddie would go." Aikau attempted more than 500 rescues on Hawaii's famed North Shore. None were unsuccessful.
In 1978, Aikau volunteered for a journey with the Polynesian Voyaging Society on a double-hulled voyaging canoe called the "Hokule'a." He joined as crew on the historical craft for a 30-day trip that followed the migration route of ancient Polynesians between the Hawaiian and Tahitian islands. The boat sprang a leak at sea and capsized. In an attempt to swim for help on his surfboard, Aikau was lost at sea.
Through interviews, reenactments and dynamic historical footage, professional-surfer-turned-filmmaker Sam George uncovers Aikau's little-known personal and family history and finds a compelling allegory for the reclaiming of Hawaiian culture in "Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau."
Director Matt Katsolis' latest film is part travelogue, part surf documentary and part behind-the-scenes look at the making of Grammy-winning alternative band Switchfoot's latest album, "Fading West." Katsolis drew inspiration from films like "Rattle and Hum" and "Endless Summer" as he followed the San Diego-based fivesome on a 2012 world tour that doubled as a quest for new musical inspiration and perfect waves.
The band visited legendary surf breaks in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Bali, meeting up with surfing icons like Tom Curren and Rob Machado along the way. Through heart-on-sleeve interviews and candid conversations among the band members, "Fading West" reveals Switchfoot's relentless determination to balance the pull of the road with a deepening need to be home.
Soundtracked by songs from Switchfoot's upcoming album, "Fading West" is ultimately a soul-stirring look at a long-beloved band faced with the daunting question of what's next -- then finding the answer both out on the road and in their own backyard.