'The September Sessions' (Jack Johnson, Chris Malloy, 2000)
Jack Johnson was a surfer first, a filmmaker second, and a barefoot chart-busting acoustic-rock troubadour third. 'The September Sessions' catches him at their crossroads. On one hand, this wasn't a hard film to make: Johnson cast the world's best surfers (Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, and Shane Dorian), in the world's finest waves (the Mentawai Islands, off Sumatra), with perfect conditions holding for the better part of two weeks. But Johnson made a few strong directional decisions: He shot film instead of video. He took his sweet time in the editing room. And, of course, he scored the film himself. 'Brushfire Fairytales,' Johnson's debut album, came out a only few months after 'The September Sessions.' Music gained a soft-rocking wonder. Surfing lost a promising young filmmaker.