Castles in the Sky by Taylor Steele

In this 16mm Taylor Steele release we are immersed in a world of surf travel, where the journey is as important as the destination. Each chapter of the film begins with the narration, “There once was a man who became unstuck in the world…” before melting into a delicately woven tale of a purest’s quest for surfing adventure and freedom.

“There once was a man who became unstuck in the world”

There once was a man who became unstuck in the world – he took the wind for a map, he took the sky for a clock, and he set off with no destination. He was never lost.

The film drifts seamlessly from Iceland to Vietnam, Africa to India and Peru. In every destination as much screen time is dedicated to the country’s unique panoramas and people as it is to the wave-riding, with crisp editing and chilled soundtracks effortlessly completing each tale.

The surf action is pretty good but this is a film about adventure, not surfing perfect Indonesian lefts or landing alley oops – so it’s probably not the choice to amp yourself up before a big session. That is unless you plan to travel to Peru first (and after watching this you just might!).

Rob Machado magic moments

Notable segments include Dane Reynolds surfing a mechanical right amidst snow-capped mountains in Iceland, Rasta absolutely blowing up in India and Rob Machado nailing endless Peruvian lefts. Rob’s section is worth the price of the film alone: the guy has some serious flow, gliding above, beneath and into the lip with silky smooth precision.

The best moments for me were seeing Kalani Robb flaring up under a giant Vishnu statue”s all-knowing gaze and Rasta slotting through a pier in absolutely flawless Indian perfection.

Rasta dropping in

If you are an errant dreamer who hears the sirens of adventure whispering as you lay in bed at night this film may provide the inspiration you need to get out there, on the road.


 

Note from the writer, FOUR years later

This film inspired my own journey which began, without coincidence, in India. I ended up surfing from Bangladesh to the Baltic Sea and beyond. I explored places I’ll never forget, places that still echo in my mind before I go to sleep at night. Dusty strands of thought that lead you back to the moments when you didn’t find yourself, but rather, when you became yourself.

I hope you become unstuck sometime too.


 

Castles in the Sky Monologue

There was once a man who became unstuck in the world – he realised that he was not his car, he realised that he was not his job, he was not his phone, his desk or his shoes. Like a boat cut from its anchor, he’d begin to drift.

There was once a man who became unstuck in the world – he took the wind for a map, he took the sky for a clock, and he set off with no destination. He was never lost.

There once was a man who became unstuck in the world – instead of hooks or a net, he threw himself into the sea. He was never thirsty.

There was once a man who became unstuck in the world – with a Polaroid camera he made pictures of all the people he met, and then he gave all the pictures away. He would never forget their faces.

There was once a man who became unstuck in the world – and each person he met became a little less stuck themselves. He traveled only with himself and he was never alone.

There was once a man who’d become unstuck in the world – and he traveled around like a leaf in the wind until he reached the place where he started out. His car, his job, his phone, his shoes – everything was right where he’d left it. Nothing had changed, and yet he felt excited to have arrived here – as if this were the place he’d been going all along.

2 Comments

  1. Love Castles in the Sky. That and the Drifter are my favorites.

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