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June 25, 2014

Mike D’s Surf Safari

Breaking Waves in Baja with Spike Jonze, Rob Machado and the Beastie Boy Turned Monster Children Guest Editor

“Alex Kopps was a genius for having this digital voice recorder with him all the time,” says Mike D of the filmmaker who shot his all-star trip to surf haven Baja California. “Just recording random conversations. There are some hidden treats there. Spike Jonze got a sense of this, captained the recorder and would kind of steer the dialogue.” Full-name Michael Diamond, the Beastie Boy and Brooklynite has been surfing for nearly a decade, since his son Davis became surf-obsessed at the age of two. When asked to guest edit the art, surf and skateboarding quarterly Monster Children, he set about commissioning the trip: in addition to director Jonze he was joined by professional wave-breakers Kassia Meador, Ford Archbold, Alex Knost, Tanner Rozunko and Rob Machado. The plan was to ride Mexico’s Baja Peninsula—but the weather had different ideas, and strong seasonal winds all but killed the swell. Determined, the clan hit the beach well before sunrise each morning, and passed a blissful week fueled by new friendships, sweet rides, cool beers and a whole lot of peanut butter and jelly.—Timothée Verrecchia

Monster Children #43 is on shelves now.

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Ping Pong, Senior Style

Meet the Elder Enthusiasts Going for Gold in a New Table Tennis Documentary

Sibling filmmakers Hugh and Anson Hartford expose the little-known world of octogenarian table tennis with a clip from their charming documentary, Ping Pong. The brothers focused their attention on the exceptional lives of the participants at the 2010 Over-80s Table Tennis Championships in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia. The band of athletes includes a fiercely competitive former French Resistance member, a 101-year-old wheelchair-bound Australian, and Les D’Arcy, a flamboyant ex-P.E. teacher with a penchant for rhymes. The brothers had an unorthodox approach when it came to choosing which subjects would tie the documentary together. “We covered the walls of my hotel room with profiles of different players,” explains Hugh. “Both their sport and home life story had to unfold in a way that fitted together but was also going to bring something different to the film.” Spanning three years and five countries, the documentary saw the directors travel through Stuttgart, Houston and Stockholm before finally arriving in Inner Mongolia for the competition climax.

Ping Pong is due in festivals across the US towards the end of the year and will be part of the East End Film Festival, which runs from July 3-8.

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Spotlight

Mille Miglia: Auto Italia

Stunning Classic Cars from the Starting Line of the Iconic Vintage Road Race

Photographer Simone Cavadini traveled to Brescia, Italy, to capture the rare wheels and impassioned teams competing in this year’s historical Mille Miglia road race. Around 400 enthusiasts flaunted their prized vintage cars—including Bugattis, Ferraris, Mercedes, and even a rare 1938 Lancia Astura from Verona’s Nicolis museum—for the crowd before heading south to Ferrara. An estimated four million spectators lined the race route, which begins and ends in Brescia, taking in picturesque piazzas through six regions on the way to Rome before doubling back. “It was like a classic postcard of Italy,” says Cavadini of the event. “During the day it was like being back in the 30s with the noise of the old cars, sun and music.” The course has barely changed since the race’s 1927 debut, when a group of Italy’s most famous racing drivers formed the Brescia Automobile Club and organized what would become the “world’s greatest road race,” as declared by Enzo Ferrari. “The most beautiful thing about the competition is discovering the little pieces of Italy. Rome, Firenze, Bologna, Verona,” says Cavadini. Behind the wheel of a 1930s Alfa Romeo, Argentinean duo Claudio Scalise and Daniel Claramunt beat the likes of former F1 driver Jochen Mass and Fiat’s President, John Elkann, to take this year’s coveted prize.

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