The Scuttlefish

Love the Ocean. Wish you were here.

Category: movies

The Unassuming Greatness of Jaws: The New Yorker Reflects on Spielberg’s Classic, Which Turned 40 This Year

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 11.10.03 AM

“… a glistening example of an American filmmaker turning pulp fiction into pop art.” Image: Universal Pictures.

This year, as Jaws turns 40, the film is being restored and rereleased with a series of behind-the-scenes documentaries in which Steven Spielberg reflects on what he calls the “youthful courage and stupidity” that made the 27-year-old director’s film adaptation of Peter Benchley’s book possible.

In the behind-the-scenes footage, you’ll see Spielberg kvetching in the same theatrical manner Coppola groused over his film adaptations of Mario Puzo’s and Joseph Conrad’s classic novels. However, the production’s greatest source of internal conflict, Spielberg recounts, might well have been the film’s cantankerous lead actor,”Bruce,” the 25-foot robotic shark.

Read more»

PBS’ “Big Blue Live” Tonight: A Multi-day and Live Affair in Celebration of the Monterey Bay

Big Breach Darker_Munsch copy

Humpback whale in the Monterey Bay, California. Photo courtesy of Cathy Munsch.

Editor’s Note: A few years ago, Scuttlefish writer Carolyn Sotka and Dr. Stephen R. Palumbi authored a terrific book, The Death and Life of the Monterey Bay: A Story of Revival. The book was inspired by the deep human and natural history of the Monterey Bay and its rich, ecological tapestry. But it wasn’t always like it is today. Over hundreds of years, there was serial exploitation of marine animals that weakened and disrupted the health and resilience of the Bay – beginning with whaling and otter hunts and through the intense boom and bust of the sardine fishery. Tonight PBS will launch Big Blue Live, a unique 3-day TV event. Watch the broadcast and read the book about one of the most amazing places on earth, the Monterey Bay. 

PBS and BBC joined forces to bring you an event inspired by the ocean and unlike anything you have seen before. Big Blue Live debuts tonight, August 31 – September 2, 2015 on PBS. This live television and online broadcast program will celebrate one of the most beautiful places in the world, the Monterey Bay, California.

While Monterey Bay is full of life year-round, this program focuses on a once-a-year phenomenon where humpback whales, blue whales, sea lions, dolphins, elephant seals, sea otters, great white sharks, and shearwaters all converge in the Bay during August and September.

1 InsertotterkelpCapwell copy

Sea otter wrapped in kelp in the Monterey Bay. Photo by Jim Capwell.

Watch the Big Blue Live trailer below:

Read more»

This Time-Lapse Video Captures the Spirit and Solitude of ‘Down East’, Maine

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 11.54.53 AM

Screenshot from Tate Yoder’s YouTube film.

‘Down East’ Maine might be considered ‘Up North’ for most of the United States but it is a beloved coastal corner of the world that extends from Penobscot Bay to the Canadian border, in its narrowest sense.

According to Down East, The Magazine of Maine the origin of the term in New England began in Boston. “When ships sailed from Boston to ports in Maine (which were to the east of Boston), the wind was at their backs, so they were sailing downwind, hence the term ‘Down East.’ And it follows that when they returned to Boston they were sailing upwind; many Mainers still speak of going ‘up to Boston,’ despite the fact that the city lies approximately 50 miles to the south of Maine’s southern border.

Down East reader Tate Yoder shot footage over a range of areas, times, days, and parts of the year to put together this time-lapse video of the Down East region.

Film by Tate Yoder.

Read more»

Life in Salt: Professional Surfer and Filmmaker Cyrus Sutton on Living in a Van Down by the Sea, and Giving up His Iconic Surfmobile

Editor’s Note: 

About a week ago, I learned that #vanlife icon Cyrus Sutton was seriously considering selling his iconic wood-roofed, high-top Ford Econoline van. I suggested to my nomadic maritime scribe Owen Burke, who has been strongly considering a #vanlife shift since moving to New Zealand, that he reach out to Sutton and write up a piece on the possible sale of VanHalen. The conversation between the two nomads (Sutton’s wandering somewhere near San Diego), took a decidedly more interesting turn, when Owen began hitting up Sutton for wisdom on vans, while Sutton began to seriously query Owen on life in New Zealand. In the end, it seems Owen will indeed end up in a van, while Sutton will also end up a Kiwi. To top it off, Sutton’s good buddy, Scuttlefish friend and #vanlife founder Foster Huntington, just ended up on the homepage of the New York Times. Strange days indeed. — Chris Dixon


“It’s scary, giving up a traditional roof over your head. You’re giving up a lot of security, but what you’re getting is reality. Cut down your expenses and you can live the new American Dream.” Photo courtesy: Cyrus Sutton.

10 years ago, professional surfer and filmmaker Cyrus Sutton was sick of paying rent and being confined to his Southern Californian residence because of it. Free, single, and disengaged, he bought a used Ford Econoline–an electrician’s van.

He stripped it, extended the roof, installed a bunk, storage, a workspace and a kitchen area, and called it home. Since then, he and his surf-chariot/film-studio have roamed north as far as the Washington Straits, and south to Oaxaca, Mexico where he spent months surfing and making films.


“VanHalen” in Baja, Mexico, before the makeover. Photo courtesy: Cyrus Sutton.

Now, because he’s been given an offer he couldn’t refuse, his dream home on wheels “VanHalen” is soon to be looking for a new pilot. There’s only one condition: if you decide to buy her, you’ll have to allow Cyrus to come by once a year so he can drive around the block to reminisce.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 1.43.11 PM

VanHalen somewhere in Mexico, blending right in. Photo courtesy: Cyrus Sutton.

Read more»

Point Break, The Remake. Oh No.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 4.32.19 PM

Screenshot from Point Break Movie Trailer.

Well, Swayze’s gone, and Keanu Reeves isn’t in on it. What can we expect but feeble dialogue and outrageously cheeky stunts?

Surfers, sorry to say, are likely to be left wanting. The robber-barons are now on dirt bikes and snowboards and in wingsuits, but they still leave room for the gratuitous big wave scene or two.

Read more»

“San Andreas”: Pure Hollywood Cheese Coming in May


Los Angeles tumbles into the sea in “San Andreas”. Image from LA Times

 Starring “the Rock” (Dwayne Johnson), this is sure to be a doozy among Hollywood’s doozy-est, but for the special effects, and at least one massive tsunami breaking through the Golden Gate, “San Andreas” is probably worth the ticket.

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 10.42.55 AM

Screenshot taken from San Andreas official trailer  (Trailer below)

Read more»

Coming to a (European) Theatre Near You: The International Ocean Film Tour – Volume 2



The INTERNATIONAL OCEAN FILM TOUR returns with VOLUME 2 this spring and captures stunning underwater and abovewater moments on the big screen. The tour showcases the love of ocean action with shorts on rowing, surfing, wakeboarding, cave diving, and windsurfing. If you happen to live in Europe, or are lucky enough to be traveling there – check it out from March – May 2015 coming to 10 countries, and over 70 cities.

Read more»

Saturday Night Live at 40. A Scuttlefish History of SNL and the Sea.


Phil Hartman and Wayne Gretzky from “The Anal Retentive Fisherman.” 

Last night Saturday Night Live celebrated 40 years on the air with a three-hour-long marathon gala. I’ve been a faithful fan of the show since staying up late without my parents’ permission in elementary school – and being way too young for some of what aired. Like every SNL ever produced – the anniversary show had moments of sheer awkwardness (Eddie Murphy stumbling into a commercial break), and tear-inducing brilliance – Will Ferrell leading the funniest Celebrity Jeopardy ever.


Dan Aykroyd from “Bass-O-Matic 76.”

Early on, Dan Aykroyd revived his famed “Bass-O-Matic” sketch from the show’s 1976 season. It was still pretty damn funny in revised form, and it got me thinking about some of my own favorite sketches through the years. I realized that several of them, at least ostensibly, revolved around what I’d call “SNL and the Sea.” So I went digging through the Interwebs. Normally I’m not very big on Internet lists – and for that reason, what follows is not every SNL skit that featured fishing, boats, surfing, or the coast. No, these are truly Scuttlefish-worthy shorts guaranteed to make you laugh, cry, or hurl. — CD

Read more»