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Crystal Voyager (1973)

A loose biography of surfer and documentarist George Greenough, one of the most famous and unique members of the surfing subculture.






Credited cast:
George Greenough ...
Ritchie West ...
Nat Young ...


A loose biography of surfer and documentarist George Greenough, one of the most famous and unique members of the surfing subculture.

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No man has ever been able or dared to film here before [Theatrical] See more »


Documentary | Sport






Release Date:

December 1975 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This picture was one of fifty Australian films selected for preservation as part of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia's Kodak / Atlab Cinema Collection Restoration Project. See more »


George Greenough: You might be in there for only a few seconds---in real time---but in your head it goes on for hours. It is an experience that's hard to describe, riding inside of a big, grinding wave. Often you're riding so deep inside the tube, you don't make it out. You take a terrible wipe out. What matters is when you're in there, it's the time interval when you're inside the wave. Time enters space, a zone of its own. The only reality is what's happening right then.
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Featured in Gliding with George (2002) See more »


Written by Pink Floyd
Performed by Pink Floyd
Courtesy of Harvest Records
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User Reviews

the surfing smurf.....
8 February 2006 | by See all my reviews

CRYSTAL VOYAGER is a strange documentary about an eccentric surfer living in Australia. An American by birth George Greenough has surfed and photographed himself, friends and recently, dolphins, in Australia for 35 years, all using various re invented cameras which he either straps on his back, board or boat. In the mid 70s he teamed up with Surf Mag editor and budding film maker David Elfick to create this visually interesting tale about this life and photography. The 75 minute feature CRYSTAL VOYAGER is the result. Even in the 70s audiences were a bit puzzled by this film, neither surf-ing movie nor surf movie, because George swims about on a children's zippy board, not a real surfboard.... it offset the tedious droning of George (occasionally so dry or droll that it was actually funny.. like almost setting himself on fire or falling over something) with a spectacular 'you are there' power glide through a wave that ran for 23 minutes all set to Pink Floyd music. In 1974 when the Sydney Opera house opened, it also contained a cinema. Crystal Voyager was booked in there as an arty-sporty OZ pic and by default became a hit: as the 'opera house tickets' cost far more than a movie ticket, audiences flocked to see this film as an excuse to 'have been to the Sydney Opera House'...so the film did record business as a low budget attraction to locals and tourists who wanted to tell neighbors that they had seen a show 'there'. This created this myth that the film was a huge crowd puller and the reputation spread. As a result it was teamed with the fantasy cartoon FANTASTIC PLANET and had a trippy run through the UK and Europe as a double feature. I ran it at a coastal cinema in the 70s and the crowd was rather nonplussed about it all. Recently George has re emerged Lord Of The Flies style with another well photographed sea adventure called DOLPHIN GLIDE that offers viewers a dive and swim with the wild dolphins of Byron Bay. It is an eccentric 20 min short with an even more eccentric 20 min 'how George did it' short. Each were met with a collective yawn by both the media and the pubic in January 2005.... all of which makes CRYSTAL VOYAGER a 'you had to have been there' fluke all those years ago. However at a special Oz Surf night at an outdoor cinema last year 2000 people turned up....but then 2000 turn up every night to see anything there during this summer season of films.....so the damned thing fluked another box office binge. How many actually enjoyed it is very much open to debate. Again they were more than likely just plain puzzled by this mad film with an astonishing reputation. Elfick however, since 1975, has gone onto a stellar career as a major producer and director of many lauded Australian and international films. Look up NO WORRIES or STARSTRUCK or UNDERCOVER or RABBIT PROOF FENCE or LOVE IN LIMBO for clear and present applause at his achievements. George, however, is still floating around out there somewhere droning away and looking for something else to film, or drop a camera on.

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