Matt Archbold was on the sidewalk outside of the box office at the Lido Theater in Newport last night, greeting fans, guests and old friends. It was clearly his night—zoot suits, tattoos, and dropped hotrods were the backdrop of the evening. The occasion and the centerpiece of the night: the premiere of The Archy Movie, Bill Ballard’s latest flick, which chronicles the rise and fall of Archbold, one of surfing’s most iconic and progressive rebels.
With a cast of San Clemente’s most colorful characters on hand, and Archbold’s family there as well to pay witness, the sold out theater settled in. “It’s going to be cool and interesting,” said Ford Archbold. “I know all about [my dad], but some people might not, and this should show them what he’s all about.”
A tapestry of archival footage, in-depth interviews, and photography did exactly that, charting Archy’s rise to stardom and the substance issues he struggled with once he got there. This might not necessarily be standard surf flick fodder, but Archy wasn’t exactly a standard surfer. This point was clearly illustrated by the film, which, on one hand, portrays a forward thinking progressionist who possessed the talent to back up his ambition. On the other, it shows a surfer who suffered immensely because of the heights to which his talents took him.