The plot, if you could call it that, concerns Claude Codgen, Mary Lou McGinnis and Bob Purvey (playing themselves, I guess, or characters with identical names), three young surfers looking for new and exciting places to hit the waves. The film starts in Portugal and ends in Hawaii, with five other stops in-between. At each one, the characters stop and absorb some of the local culture before heading down to the beach and showing off some of their moves.
Despite having psuedo "characters" and a clothesline "story", most of the things people expect out of a movie are not present. For instance, there is no dialogue; instead, Codgen provides voice-over narration describing what they were doing during each chunk of footage. It's kind of like an updated version of a silent film, which would probably have used on-screen captions similar to the way Codgen narrates. Most of the material is lightly jokey and playful in a truly innocent, "Brady Bunch" kind of way, and the film moves along at a fairly fast clip.
Given that there is no real acting and a limited amount of writing to cover, the only thing that really matters is the direction and cinematography, which is generally pretty great. It's surprising how easily Follow Me retains the viewer's attention despite long passages of surf footage set to music, but thanks to McCabe and the wonderful cinematography of Jim Freeman, Greg MacGillivray, and Michael D. Margulies, the film really feels like a log of history, a snapshot of all the places the production visited and the time period it was taken in.
I admit that I don't have much to say about Follow Me, but I feel it's more of an experience than a film that can be dissected and analyzed. I can tell you what it's like, but to know whether or not you'd enjoy it, you have to get a taste of it for yourself. I see the film was produced for Cinerama theaters, and I can only imagine that it'd be an enjoyable film to spend a little time with on one of their gigantic screens. It's a weird combination of interests at play here, but if you're into travel, history, surfing, or cinema, you might want to give Follow Me a look, especially if you'd like something that cruises outside the norm.
The Video and Audio