Michael Peterson cutback in Morning of the Earth

Morning of the Earth – Remastered in Stunning 4K

Albert Falzon’s Morning of the Earth

The epic surf film Morning of the Earth has been lovingly restored and remastered in stunning 4k. The release includes an amazing bonus, read on for more details.

Albert Falzon released Morning of the Earth in 1972. As part of the team who founded Tracks magazine, Alby would jump in his car between issues and head north from Sydney to shoot footage. The stunning North New South Wales and South Queensland coastlines were rich with world-class right-hand point breaks and surfers of renown. 

Morning of the Earth (1972) Remastered from Origins Archival on Vimeo.

Falzon’s road trips rarely included a shooting schedule or storyboard. He preferred to let his camera capture the fantastic surfing and landscape in a purely organic way. 

We didn’t have a plan, so we’d drive out to whatever headland we were at and pull up, make a fire, camp out, smoke a chillum, and wake up in the morning to go surfing.

This laid-back approach resulted in some of the most mesmerising images ever seen in a surf film. With Broken Head, Angourie, and Kirra, ripped to pieces by Nat Young, Baddy Treloar, Michael Peterson, and Terry Fitzgerald. 

The First Documented Surf Trip to Bali

One of Alby’s co-workers at Tracks hinted that a trip to Bali could be a worthwhile addition to the film during filming. Rusty Miller and Steve Cooney (who was fourteen years old) made the trip with Falzon. The trio came across the flawless walls of Uluwatu on a perfect day.

Miller and Cooney Uluwatu Morning of the Earth
Miller and Cooney carefully picking their way over the reef at Uluwatu

The resultant section in the film would signal the start of the Australasian surfer’s relationship with the Indonesian archipelago. 

Getting from Kuta to Ulu was a trek. You had to get a bemo out there and then walk in, which was a mission. There were no shops, no tarred roads, women walking around bare-breasted, lots of chickens and pigs on the road. Heading out there was an adventure for us.

Morning of the Earth is One of the Greatest Surf Films of All Time

Morning of the Earth is one of the best surf films of all time. Full of psychedelic imagery and captivating sound, the film represents the spirit of a generation. 

Check out the Surfd.com article “45 of the Best Surf Movies” to see where Morning of the Earth ranks.

Alby managed to tell the story of surfers living a simple life and eating from the land. With minimal possessions or wealth, yet rich beyond belief. They were shaping their surfboards, building their own homes, and living in harmony with nature. 

Morning of the Earth transcended genres, with non-surfing fans of avant-garde cinema heralding the film a classic.

Soundtrack by G. Wayne Thomas

G. Wayne Thomas produced the film’s soundtrack. Including music and songs by Tamam Shud, John J. Francis, Brian Cadd, Mike Rudd, and G. Wayne Thomas. 

Morning of the Earth Album Cover
Morning of the Earth Soundtrack Album

The record became Australia’s first Gold-selling soundtrack album. It also appeared in the 2010 book, Australia’s 100 Greatest Soundtracks. 

Stunning 4k Restoration

Morning of the Earth’s fiftieth anniversary is celebrated with a museum-grade restoration of the original 16mm film roll. The result is a stunning 4K remaster, which, according to Alby Falzon, “looks and sounds better than it ever has.”

You can watch the incredible new version of the film here

RE-MOTE: The Lost Reels

While the team at Origins Archival were remastering Morning of the Earth, they discovered ninety minutes of never-before-seen outtakes. The footage was so mind-blowing a forty-minute outtakes film was produced.

RE-MOTE: The Lost Reels paints a more complete picture of Morning of the Earth. The film reveals cultural, environmental and social details that were imperative to the original production. The film features footage from Australia, Bali and Hawaii, and is accompanied by an all-new original soundtrack.