Let me be the first to point out that this movie is not new. “My Life as a Movie” actually came out rather quietly in 2008, but we’ve only just discovered it online in its entirety, and judging by the pageviews, you’ve probably never seen it.
Benji Weatherly has been a fixture in the world of surf since his childhood on Oahu’s North Shore, where his parents’ Pipeline house, which is now the infamous first Volcom house, was the winter crash pad for Kelly Slater and the rest of the “Momentum” generation during the ’90s. His parents eventually sold the house and moved to Las Vegas, prompting Benji’s move to San Diego, where he lived with a little-known rock band called Blink-182 just before they became mega stars. In fact, Blink-182’s song “Mutt” is about Benji, and surf filmmaker Taylor Steele used the song as the backdrop for Benji’s part in the iconic video “The Show” in 1998.
Some of the song’s lyrics are: “He pauses shaving and he tells himself/That he is the bomb … /They go out every night/His pants are super tight, oh yeah.”
Benji was the original Sterling Spencer, the original Paul Fisher, and like these characters, his best asset wasn’t always his surfing. He was the cornerstone of Greg Browning’s “Drive Thru” video series, documenting some of the behind-the-scenes shenanigans that go on in a camper van full of men.
For this autobiographical film (below), Benji enlisted some boardriders from the Big 3 sports–surf, skate, and snow–and took them out of their elements. From wave pool surfing in Japan, to powder runs in British Columbia, to an Indonesian surf odyssey on Kandui Island, with skate sessions sprinkled in between, this movie’s got a little something for every kind of boarder. And with a cast including Tony Hawk, JP Walker, Kelly Slater, Shane Dorian, Todd Richards, Jake Burton, Chad Bartie, Tosh Townend, and Kalani Robb, all thrust out of their elements, it’s quite entertaining all around.
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