One of Sydney’s great joys is the Eastern suburbs coastline that stretches from Clovelly to Bondi. A winding pathway of visual delight, this district offers panoramic ocean views and an open window into the heart of the beach culture that defines Australia’s best-known city. Steven Salgo grew up locally and found that everything he ever needed was already on his doorstep. And so, welcome to Salgo’s backyard and his film “I Love This Place”.
Though hypnotic shots of pounding waves are plentiful, this is more than just a surf movie. Salgo draws an epic, commentary-free, portrait of how the ocean energises the people fortunate enough to live within its aura. Whether its the supercharged early morning exercisers who box the hell out of the pads held out by their stoic personal trainers, or the overloaded late night revellers looking for liquor or love as they play under the stars and fluoro lights, these shore-dwellers draw inspiration, strength and sometimes solace, from the sea.
While the sea dominates everything Salgo’s camera observes, his playful kaleidoscope of rich images also salutes the region’s architecture: the funky art deco structures that bask in the sunlight and the sleek luxury apartments that aloofly gaze on those who enjoy multi-million dollar seascapes for free.
While the film is called “I Love This Place”, it’s clear Salgo loves the people who live there too. Bikini babes and bronzed Adonis are abundant, but the film embraces everyone. Salgo remembers that the overweight and the elderly have equal right to be alongside the bodies beautiful. By highlighting Bondi’s Orthodox Jewish population and many other groups like the informal salsa dancers that practice their fluid moves in Bronte’s beachside park, Salgo also opens up other, often overlooked, perspectives.
Swimming die-hards like the Bondi Icebergs have made a ritual of their winter dives, but all the locals know the district is just as attractive in the so-called off-season. When the weather is at its most untamed, the area is devastatingly beautiful. The power of the wind, rain and, of course, the sea, is integral to savouring the area’s innate glories.
Documenting the man’s romance with nature – including human nature – Salgo’s images are lovingly blanketed in an exquisite score by David Roberts that ranges from jazzy lightness to symphonic might. At the end of 72 delightful minutes, it’s easy to see why Steven Salgo loves this place. How could you not?Sydney Unleashed is one of Australia’s premier entertainment publications exploring the latest in lifestyle trends. From Sydney’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars to the hottest in gadgets, products, and home entertainment, Sydney Unleashed is your one-stop lifestyle platform.