If Tim Burton surfed and grew up in the Fletcher household, I imagine he'd make a film bearing some likeness to Nathan Fletcher's Lavese Las Manos.
"It's definitely Nathan," says Herbie Fletcher while standing among a wily bunch at Newport Beach's Lido Theatre. "He's a really talented individual, and I think it comes through in the film. He was really hands-on in the editing process, and he directed the movie, so I think it really showcases his talents, but I'm his dad so obviously I'm a bit biased."
All true. And while the climate of surf cinematography has seen a shift toward the artistic and innovative, Fletcher's film makes a beeline toward the roots of punk rock surf porn clocking in just shy of a half hour. That said, Lavese does inject some artistry with a recurring skeleton-puppet character who transitions one segment to the next with his own morbid creepiness - hence the shades of Tim Burton.
The film certainly showcases Fletcher’s affinity for heavy things. With double kick drums and distorted guitars driving memorable footage from sessions at Desert Point, the bulk of the film takes place at Pipeline, Teahupoo, and heavier waves of the world. Archy, Christian Fletcher, and even Herbie make guest appearances to round out the generational evolution, and provide a brief change of pace from the glut of barrels of consequence and reckless airs.
While Fletcher is still in the process of recovering from a broken femur incurred at Pipeline in January, he holds his injury responsible for this film's creation, calling it a blessing in disguise.
"He told me, 'If I hadn't gotten hurt, I never would have finished this thing.’ So he said in the end it was a good thing," said his mother Dibi Fletcher.
Hopefully with this film, he'll wash his hands of an injury and continue to make headlines.
"He'll be back," said Herbie. "Stronger than ever."
You may want to leave before the closing credits roll, as it was extremely awkward watching footage of a random middle-aged man doing cocaine in his kitchen. Especially considering I was seated next to a father-toddler duo – the dad trying desperately to distract his son from the screen.
Meet the Fletcher’s: Dibi and Herbie outside of Newport’s Lido Theatre.