Jimmy Kinnaird glows like some strange little angel. Or maybe “alien” is the word I’m looking for. Vaguely radioactive through his own soft-focus lens. The young Australian artist is sipping cappuccinos with his lovely girlfriend on the Canggu beachfront looking very much like he just woke up. Scruffy. Rumpled. Carefree. It’s just past noon. He always looks this way.
Jimmy is a filmmaker. At just 20 years old, he knows that’s his calling. He is equal parts talented and strange, which is why he’s hit it off so well with surfing’s artier outsiders. Currently, he’s creating a full-length joint with art-rock vampirate Ozzie Wrong. Last year he filmed Ozzie’s Innersection part, with the unicorns and such…that’s how they met. But even his earlier work, like “One Month on the Moon,” was already realizing his aptitude for oddity. Now he mumble-mentions an upcoming short called “Poor Man,” a surf trip on, literally, no money.
“We were washing windows for gas money,” he says. “So fun.”
Poor as he is, the future of surf filmmaking is rich. Guys like Kinnaird, Vic Pakpour, and Riley Blakeway, they’re bursting with youthful talent and angelic artist ideals. It’s exciting to watch them come up. I just hope they don’t leave us too soon for actual jobs. You know, for money and stuff.
Today we talk about rats. Jimmy just moved to Bali. His house has rats. My house has rats. Everyone’s house has rats. It’s the result of the government wholesale-culling legions of Bali dogs in a 2010 rabies scare. Bali dogs kill rats. People kill Bali dogs. Rats win.
“I can’t do it,” says little angel/alien Jimmy. “I can’t kill any more rats.”
“Those damn glue traps so humane that you don’t get to be,” I say.
“I once killed one with boiling water,” says GF. “Accidentally. It screamed and screamed.”
Jimmy and his GF have two dogs they’ve rescued, but they’re not Bali dogs. They don’t kill rats.
I ask Jimmy if he’ll help with a little project I’m working on.
“What’s that?” he asks.
“I’m searching for the meaning of life,” I tell him.
“Oh yeah?” He’s genuinely interested. “Sure. I’ll help.”
Now I’m not sure if I’m being serious or not…so I just ask my questions:
WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED?
“Don’t burn any bridges. Shorty [Andrew Buckley] taught me that.”
WHAT’S YOUR MOST VALUABLE POSSESSION?
“My girlfriend. No wait, my hard-drives.”
[Jimmy’s girlfriend doesn’t even flinch at his double take. She injects: “For me it’s my dogs. No wait, my clothes.”]
WHAT’S THE ONE THING YOU’D LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR WHEN YOU’RE GONE?
“I’d like to make one really good film in my life.”
[GF injects again: “Just one? What about all of them?” Jimmy turns to her like a child who dropped a cookie. Pleading. “But it’s so hard,” he says. GF just shakes her head.]
Jimmy’s leaving tomorrow for Australia. I tell him I’ll see him there. Right now, pretty much everyone’s headed to Australia. We’ll all see each other there.
When I get home there’s a big cobra in my yard. Hunting rats. —Nathan Myers
[Check out some of Jimmy’s recent art-trash vid-skeeze: DUSTY PAYNE and MOVING PICTURE (w/ Jimmy’s GF).]