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'Just the lemon next to the pie': Apocalypse, History and the Limits of Myth in Big Wednesday (1978)

Ormrod, JM (2005) 'Just the lemon next to the pie': Apocalypse, History and the Limits of Myth in Big Wednesday (1978). Scope: an on-line journal of film studies, 2005 (1). ISSN 1465-9166

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Abstract

This article examines the seminal surf film, Big Wednesday. This film tells the story of American involvement in Vietnam through the lens of surf culture. The film illustrates the conflicting values of three surfing friends and how they drift apart through their disparate attitudes towards the Vietnam conflict. The end of the film demonstrates the power of the waves to bring them together in one last bond of friendship. The analysis dwells upon director, John Milius's use of space and time in the mythmaking process of surfer identities. I develop Fiske's ideas of the beach as a liminal site of transgression and the implications this has for space and the surfer body.

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