San Diego in the summer of 2005, The Pacific and Eddy premiered last weekend at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Writer and director Matthew Nourse -- a SD native, 1998 alum of Torrey Pines High, and graduate of UC Santa Barbara's film school -- made the movie after working on the screenplay for a year.
"I was a skateboarder/musician type growing up, so I would take the bus every-where, always searching for new spots to skate.... That's how I discovered all of the great locations that I would later use as backdrops for my film (i.e., hidden parts of Balboa Park, Sunset Cliffs, Del Mar Fair at night -- the nontypical San Diego; no palm trees)." Some filming, including live music performance, was done in and around the Casbah.
Perhaps the film has been most anticipated by fans of late English lo-fi glam-rock icon Nikki Sudden. In a surprise to Nourse, Sudden agreed to be flown out to SD to play the role of Silhouette.
While in San Diego, Sudden stayed at La Pensione in Little Italy, where, according to his journal, the singer-guitarist wrote a song for the film and noted that the hotel was "just across the street from the Princess 'British Pub'...a place as far removed from a pub as you could ever find. I tried explaining this to one of the waitresses the other night but she couldn't understand!"
Sudden observed his July 19 birthday at the Casbah, rocking out with a pickup band of local musicians he dubbed "the Deportees." He thanked all for "my first American birthday! It was a gas...." And, it was his last; on March 26, 2006, at age 49, Sudden died of unknown causes in New York, hours after a show and before flying back to his Berlin home.
"Sadly, we finished the film about a week after Nikki's passing," says Nourse. "His music incorporated everything that I loved in rock and pop music, from Marc Bolan to Phil Spector to Bob Dylan to noise. On set, Nikki was like this magical presence.... Nikki's role in the film is incredible and somewhat haunting. His music is featured heavily."
Nourse has been exploring a film project on the musical life of Sudden, his late brother Epic Soundtracks, and their earlier influential post-punk band Swell Maps.