Pacific Vibrations

  • Featured_exhib_film_surfff2015_pacificvibrations_photoseverson

    Photo: John Severson


Pacific Vibrations


Saturday Jul 18 04:00 PM


Doris Duke Theatre


Museum members: $8.00
General Admission: $10.00


About the Film:


Directed by John Severson. USA. 1970. 92 mins.

Pacific Vibrations is easily one of the all-time classic surf films. Directed by John Severson, Hall-of-Fame surfer, filmmaker, artist and founder of Surfer Magazine, this joyride is often referred to as “Woodstock on a wave.” The film take us from California to Hawai‘i with surfing legends Bill Hamilton and Corky Carroll—along with Severson—as they continue their endless search for the perfect wave. Also starring: Jock Sutherland, Rolf Aurness, David Nuuhiwa, Merv Larson, Jeff Hakman, Mike Tabeling, Rick Griffin, Angie Reno, Brad McCaul, Spyder Wills, Mickey Dora, Chuck Dent and Steve Bigler. Rarely seen on the big or small screen, Pacific Vibrations is a visual feast with a killer ’70s soundtrack featuring Cream; Crosby, Stills and Nash; Steve Miller and more.

See the trailer.

Special guest: John Severson will introduce the film and will sign copies of his book John Severson’s Surf following the screening.

Get the book: John Severson's Surf is available in the Museum Shop ($45).
Read the New York Times article about the book.

John Severson revolutionized pop culture’s vision of surfing and surf culture through his prolific artistic output that transverses decades and disciplines. He began his career as a painter, selling his canvases at Long Beach State College. These first works consisted of oil paintings, photographs, drawings and prints relating to Hawaiian and Californian surf culture. In 1958, Severson expanded his repertoire and created a series of popular surf movies, such as Surf Safari, Surf Fever, Big Wednesday and Pacific Vibrations. The posters associated with these films were hugely popular when issued in the 1950s and 1960s and remain collector favorites today. Showcased in these early posters, his graphic skills translated easily to Surfer magazine, which he founded in 1960. The magazine was the first to celebrate and revolutionize the art and sport of surfing, establishing it as a powerful pop culture phenomenon. The first issue was a 36-page collection of black-and-white photos, cartoon sketches and short articles—every aspect of which was created by Severson himself. His photographs appeared in Life, Sports Illustrated, Paris Match and other print venues. The recent acclaimed book John Severson's Surf (Puka Puka/Damiani) explores Severson's surf odyssey through painting, photography, film and publishing.

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