After posting my Q&A with Everett DeRoche a few weeks ago I realised that Windrider was the only film of his I hadn't seen and so I went out and got a copy. Wow, what a time capsule this movie is! This is classic 80s from the fluro clothes, permed mullets and electric typewriters. You could say that it's dated over the years but I'll argue that it's become an endearing period piece. I watched it with my partner and found myself reminiscing over so many things I'd forgotten about... it took me right back. The movie tells the story of a young, arrogant rich kid who's a windsurfing hotshot. He falls for a local popstar and when he gets attacked by a shark he loses total confidence in himself and becomes introverted. Tom Burlinson had already found fame in The Man From Snowy River, Phar Lap and Flesh & Blood and so he came to the project with an established confidence, which obviously paid off. Nicole Kidman used the film as a coming of age vehicle as she breaks free of her childish image from BMX Bandits and Bush Christmas. In this she curses, drinks and nuds-up and announces herself as a credible actress (controversy ensued). When you strip away some of the film's hokeyness there's an earnestness to these characters. Burlinson has some great moments of sincerity and it's these qualities that hold the film up all these years later. I could be stretching it but Windsurfer felt like a cross between Puberty Blues and Heaven Tonight. No masterpiece but a great flashback to simpler times.
The DVD also has a great commentary track featuring director Vince Monton, Everett and Mark Hartley (director of Not Quite Hollywood). Their insight into the production is lots of fun.