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Remastered classic surf film ‘Five Summer Stories’ premiers at O.C. event

Quiksilver co-founder Bob McKnight, Sam George, and director Greg MacGillivray talk during a Q&A.
Quiksilver co-founder Bob McKnight, Sam George, and director Greg MacGillivray talk during a Q&A before a premiere of the digitally remastered classic surf documentary, “Five Summer Stories,” at the New Port Theater in Corona del Mar on Wednesday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Daily Pilot)

Good morning. It’s Friday, Aug. 12. I’m Carol Cormaci, bringing you today’s TimesOC newsletter with the latest roundup of news and events.

To start off your day with lighter news than usual, let’s consider this week’s debut at the New Port Theater in Corona del Mar of the remastered “Five Summer Stories,” the classic 1972 surf documentary.

My colleague Matt Szabo drew the lucky straw to cover the film’s 2022 premiere and hear Greg MacGillivray share his memories of creating the landmark production 50 years ago with the late Jim Freeman.

Szabo reports that MacGillivray, now 77, participated in a question-and-answer session with Quiksilver co-founder and former chief executive Bob McKnight of Huntington Beach. Former Surfer and Surfing magazine editor Sam George moderated.

MacGillivray, a 1963 graduate of Newport Harbor High, admitted to feeling the jitters when the documentary was first shown all those decades ago, Szabo writes. The filmmaker felt strongly the work should reflect what was going on in the world. The first Earth Day had been marked shortly before its original opening and the Environmental Protection Agency had been established just two years before.

“We were at the point where we were trying to make all of our films conservation-based,” MacGillivray told Wednesday night’s audience. “Surfers live in the water. They have probably the most intimate connection with nature that you could possibly have, and we wanted to reflect that in the film.”

The Beach Boys, just coming off their 1971 album “Surf’s Up,” let MacGillivray use their music for the film at no charge.

“The film cast a wide net,” said MacGillivray, adding that the late Bud Browne provided much of the photography. “It wasn’t just for surfers. It was for any young person interested in activity and nature. Everyone considered it the best surfing film that they had seen, which was a complete surprise to us. We were making something that we believed in, but fortunately the audience believed in it too.”

George, the night’s Q&A moderator, said he thought “The Endless Summer” and “Five Summer Stories” are the two best surfing films ever made. He remembers being stunned the first time he saw the latter.

“It was like nothing we’d ever seen before, and I mean that literally,” he said. “The quality of the cinematography, the story themes that it presented, the music, with an actual score that was written for the film … It really made us look at what we did and who we were differently. We’d never seen our collective tribe presented this way. It changed the perspective of the surfers that watched it, let alone the ones that participated in it.”

Quicksilver’s McKnight recalled he first saw the original version of the film in Laguna Beach and found it an unforgettable experience.

“My takeaway from this movie, this film is that all of us have been subject to surf culture. We don’t realize the influence we have over fashion and print and music and language. I mean, who says ‘Hey dude’ and just throws a Shaka? There’s so many things that have come from our world that form a huge industry, globally, generationally, and that makes me really proud.”

The remastered “Five Summer Stories” is being presented by Quiksilver in more than 100 independent theaters nationwide, Szabo reports. Orange County residents can catch it on Tuesday, Aug. 23 at the Regency South Coast Village on Aug. 23.

MORE NEWS

The intersection in Huntington Beach where a man riding an e-bike was struck and fatally injured Tuesday night.
A man riding his e-bike near this intersection Tuesday night was fatally injured when he was struck by a vehicle driven by a woman suspected of driving under the influence of drugs.
(Kevin Chang / Daily Pilot)

— A man struck and killed by a suspected DUI driver while riding an electric bike on Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach Tuesday evening was identified as Timothy John Briley, 42, of Huntington Beach. The driver of the vehicle, 70-year-old H.B. resident Barbara Front, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs, police reported.

— Chris “Coach Frogg” Flores, a well-known youth coach in the Southern California prep football community, was arrested Thursday by Bakersfield police after he was accused of sexual assault of a minor, Santa Ana Police Department Sgt. Maria Lopez said. Flores coached at the Orange County-based Stars Prep Academy.

— A water main break occurred between two water tanks located at Top of the World and West Ridge Trail in Laguna Beach shortly before 4 a.m. Monday. The water traveled down a natural ravine into an empty dirt lot, carrying mud and debris onto Laguna Canyon Road, which had to be closed in both directions for clean-up efforts. As a precautionary measure, the fire department issued voluntary evacuation notices to about a dozen residential and commercial properties.

— Nain Issac Nieto Hernandez, 36, was convicted Wednesday afternoon of the second-degree murder of a 23-year-old escort, Sarai Alcaraz, in a Newport Beach office complex in 2015 — bringing to a close
a two-week long trial. Hernandez, who faces 15 years to life in prison, is expected to be sentenced on Oct. 7.

— Upscale hotelier Ritz-Carlton was ordered to pay more than half a million dollars in penalties Wednesday for the unlawful disposal of hazardous waste at eight of its California locations in six counties, including Orange County.

— Capt. Jessica O’Brien recently took the helm of Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, becoming the first female commanding officer in the base’s 78-year history, according to this news feature by journalist Daniel Langhorne. O’Brien most recently served at the Pentagon.

—The Anaheim City Council voted this week to hire an outside firm this week to investigate any questionable campaign contributions made to former Mayor Harry Sidhu or current council members in the wake of a federal
corruption probe tied to the proposed sale of Angel Stadium.

LIFE & LEISURE

The entryway to Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel's "House of the Retro Future" suite.
The entryway to Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel’s recently unveiled “House of the Retro Future” suite.
(Andy Castro)

— Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground recently unveiled its new “House of the Retro Future” suite. The renovated set of rooms that took three years to achieve is a step back in time styled after the Monsanto House of the Future, a Disneyland attraction open from 1957 until 1967. “We created this kind of time machine as you walk in and see the original George Nelson table and Modernica chairs,” said the hotel’s general manager, Johnathan Whitehead. “You put the music on, you sit down here, you feel like you are in the 1960s.”

—This is not O.C.-specific, but surely some of our readers today would like to know about the state’s new free cash for college program, CalKIDS, a taxpayer-funded scholarship program aimed at helping children start saving for college as infants. The program grants up to $100 automatically to every child born in California on or after July 1 and up to $1,500 automatically to every eligible low-income student. Here’s a link to the program guide, where you can find the details.

SPORTS

Amy LeClair on the balance beam
Amy LeClair, the latest of more than two dozen women to settle with San Jose State over sexual abuse claims against former trainer Scott Shaw, has brought to light allegations of bullying and emotional abuse by former gymnastics coach Wayne Wright.
(Stephen Bellingham)

— Irvine’s Woodbridge High School grad and former San Jose State gymnast Amy LeClair, now 28, has come forward to provide her account of being one of many Spartan gymnasts sexually assaulted by the college’s former director of sports medicine Scott Shaw, and to report bullying and emotional abuse at the hands of former head coach Wayne Wright. Last fall, the school reached agreements to pay $3.3 million to 15 former student-athletes and $1.6 million to 13 athletes who said they were abused by Shaw.

— In a win against the Oakland Athletics Tuesday, Angels double threat Shohei Ohtani joined Babe Ruth (1918) as the only players in major league history to have at least 10 home runs and 10 wins in the same season. According to the Angels, two players from the Negro Leagues also did it: Bullet Rogan of the 1922 Kansas City Monarchs and Ed Rile of the 1927 Detroit Stars, the Associated Press reports.

CALENDAR THIS

“Sing 2”
From left, Miss Crawly (Garth Jennings, second from left, with frog), Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey, center) and Gunter (Nick Kroll, right), in Illumination’s “Sing 2,” written and directed by Garth Jennings.
(Illumination Entertainment / Universal Pictures)

— The 2021 film “Sing 2" will be shown at the city of Irvine’s Movies on the Lawn in Great Park this Saturday evening. Food trucks arrive at 6:30 p.m. and the film will begin at dusk. Admission is free, but do pack a low-back chair, blankets and, if you’d like, a picnic. For more information call (949) 724-6247.

KEEP IN TOUCH

If you have a memory or story about Orange County, I would love to read and share it in this space (please keep your submission to 100 words or less).

I’d appreciate your help in making this the best newsletter it can be. Please send news tips, your memory of life in O.C., or comments to carol.cormaci@latimes.com.