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Live music will accompany surf film screening

June 08, 2006|By Amanda Pennington

Newport Beach-based company the Movie Experience is bringing a new kind of musical movie experience to Huntington Beach tonight at the Pierside SurfCity 6 (formerly Mann's Pierside Pavilion).

The Movie Experience's owner, Bruce Sanborn of Laguna Beach, is always trying to come up with new and innovative programs for the theater production company.

The company, started in 1918 by Bruce Sanborn's grandfather, Arthur L. Sanborn, in Los Angeles, has evolved into a multi-theater operation with six facilities in Southern California and has managed to keep it all in the family.

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"The long-standing tradition among the exhibition industry has been people who love movies showing movies for other people who love movies," said director of marketing and film buyer Lisa Kanno.

The tradition continues, but Sanborn has changed the model of simply putting new releases on the screen. Some of the Movie Experience's more avant-garde programs include a classic movie series. Some of the films they'll be showing every other Wednesday at the Huntington Beach theater this summer include "Big Wednesday," "Riding Giants" and "North Shore."

In Huntington, the company has continued a partnership with Big Red Productions, which will keep showing its monthly Surf Theater.

Tonight at the Pierside theaters, moviegoers can explore 7,000 miles of coastline with five Austrians exploring the surf phenomenon.

"Zen and Zero," a surf film made by Philipp Manderla of landlocked Austria, follows in the footsteps of Allan Weisbecker's cult surf novel "In Search of Captain Zero," promising to be a surf film like no other.

"It's the most intelligent surf film I've ever seen," said Leslie Carlos of Big Red.

Guests who come to one of tonight's two screenings will hear the entire soundtrack played live by a band led by the film's composer Herwig Maurer, who has worked on "The Passion of the Christ" and "Ghost Ship."

The clincher ? they'll be playing the music in sync with the movie.

Initially Maurer, 32, was hesitant because of the difficulty such an feat would require.

"I said, 'Nah, it's too difficult,' " he said. "There's a reason why no one else is doing it. It gets pretty complicated."

Complicated or not, Maurer accepted the challenge and will play the music he composed and recorded for the movie.

"[The music] is sort of like desert rock, or mellow rock, with a rock-type guitar theme," he said. "There's almost a little bit of a Western quality ? like Neil Young and Ry Cooder and all that type of music."

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