Roll into springtime with The Devil’s Toy Redux

Roll into springtime with The Devil’s Toy Redux

Roll into springtime with The Devil’s Toy Redux

Can’t wait for spring? It’s almost here, although temperatures have certainly been unforgiving of late. While you wait to see a glimpse of the grass, tide yourself over with the first taste of the NFB’s brand new interactive documentary project The Devil’s Toy Redux. This cinematic journey through skate and youth culture in urban landscapes across the globe will no doubt get you pumped for the coming days of breezy sunshine and outdoor hijinks.

Check out the trailer to see what it’s all about:

If that piqued your interest, be sure to follow @thedevilstoy on Instagram and join up with The Devil’s Toy Redux on Facebook for updates on the project and conversations on skate culture.

#devilstoy needs your input

The Devil’s Toy Redux will be launching this spring. It’s an interactive experience featuring 11 films from 14 filmmakers in 11 countries paying tribute to one of the earliest and greatest skateboarding films of all time, Claude Jutra‘s The Devil’s Toy. From Singapore to Lyon, Montreal to Johannesburg, the urban landscape and its inhabitants may differ widely, but one thing remains constant: the world is one big skatepark.

The Devils Toy Redux - Athens

Before the official launch of The Devil’s Toy Redux, tentatively slated for April 30th, we need your help: what does skate culture mean to you? What leisurely, sporty, or rebellious pursuits do your urban landscapes host? Where do you find inspiration in contemporary cities and the skateboarders who whiz through them?

Contribute to this project by uploading your photos and videos to Instagram using the hashtag #devilstoy and showing us what your ‘hood is all about.

50 years later, Jutra’s film still rings true

In the mid-1960s, municipalities everywhere began enacting anti-skateboarding laws as the nascent fad grew quickly among youth who wanted a city-friendly alternative to surfing. Jutra’s short doc begins by dedicating the film to “all victims of intolerance”; we proceed to follow groups of young skateboarders as they encounter police harassment while practicing their new-found sport.

The film’s sombre, compelling soundtrack is the creation of the great Canadian composer Pierre F. Brault, who died this past January at the age of 74, and the film even features a song performed by Oscar-nominated Canadian actress Geneviève Bujold. The photography for The Devil’s Toy was done by none other than the great Michel Brault, director of iconic Canadian films such as Pour la suite du monde.

Myriam Verreault and Michel Brault
Myriam Verreault, director of the Montreal film in The Devil’s Toy Redux (2014), with Michel Brault, legendary Quebecois filmmaker and cinematographer of The Devil’s Toy (1966)

You can watch Jutra’s original film here (the dead serious yet sarcastic narration is quite a hoot):

Rouli-roulant by Claude Jutra, National Film Board of Canada

Comments are closed.
  1. Fun. Light. Entertaining. Eye Opening…
    Guess our eyes see life different as we acquire age, knowledge, understanding and wisdom…and none of the above drop on your doorstep…hard knocks are often the tuition….having said that…the converstation and question I have is:

    Yes its fun…and not one out of shape skater can be found…that bodes well for health…BUT…why have we taken this sport and so many others in the last generation to such extremes….riding between, over and under automobiles…off 12′ drops…risking life and limb and a wheel chair future for bragging rights…and good footage?

    The total disregard fFun. Light. Entertaining. Eye Opening…YUP!

    Guess our eyes see life different as we acquire age, knowledge, understanding and wisdom…and none of the above drop on your doorstep…hard knocks are often the tuition….having said that…the conversation and question I have is:

    Yes its fun…and not one out of shape skater can be found…that bodes well for health…BUT…why have we taken this sport and so many others in the last generation to such extremes….riding between, over and under automobiles…off 12′ drops…risking life and limb and a wheel chair future for bragging rights…and good footage?

    The total disregard for consequences astounds me, confounds me and disturbs me….WHY—does the future look that bleak?…does life have to happen all at once?…take it or leave it?…all or nothing?

    Assessed and considered risks YES…but risks for the glory of the good shot and wow factor of either making it or being carted away…somehow just doesn’t seem worth it…it comes off pretty nihilist. There is life after advanced youth…there is hope…there is no requirement for being a dope….or worse a dead dope.or consequences astounds me, confounds me and disturbs me….WHY…does the future look that bleak?…does life have to happen all at once?…take it or leave it?…all or nothing?
    Assessed and considered risks YES…but risks for the glory of the good shot and wow factor of either making it or being carted away…somehow just doesn’t seem worth it…it comes off pretty nihilist. There is life after advanced youth…there is hope…quit being a dope.

    — Natch Well,
    1. Your ideas about skateboarding and why people do it are way off the mark. Skateboarding isn’t about being a nihilist. It’s about living, it’s about expression, it’s about seeing the world through a different set of eyes. Skateboarding isn’t about getting the photo or capturing the craziest tricks on film. It’s about the pure joy and freedom that it brings to those who truly understand and participate in what many such as yourself fail to understand. Your view of skateboarding is a very narrow and quite frankly very judgmental. To be so arrogant to suggest that because you have become older that you have risen above such childish activities. You have completely missed the very essence of this film’s message. You are the intolerant, the oppressor, you are one of the ones who thinks they have it figured out when in reality….you live your life inside of a box. Confined by your rules and what “adults” in society deem to be necessary and worthy endeavors. Skateboarding is passion, creativity, freedom of expression, it’s therapy for many. It’s ok though, we don’t want you or need you. You won’t ever understand the way a true skateboarder feels when he’s riding that plank of wood and four wheels. In a way I feel sorry for you. You will never ever understand the joy that skateboarding is.

      — Josiah,
    2. Hi Josiah,

      Thanks for your input. This blog post was written as an introduction well before the release of the actual Devil’s Toy Redux project. The project is now live, and you can explore all of the films here: http://thedevilstoy.com/en/

      As with many NFB projects, all 12 movies in The Devil’s Toy Redux represent the point of view of their creators (the filmmakers), and each film forwards its own take on skateboarding culture. The films differ, and opinions on each film differ too. But I think we can all agree that each person’s philosophy is true to their own worldview, and we aim to celebrate this diversity of opinion at the NFB with this project and many others.

      — Jovana Jankovic,
  2. Such a beautiful ‘little’ film. I remember seeing it 35 (?) yrs ago and wondering at it. Never having seen anyone skateboard it was astounding. Can’t wait for ‘redux’!

    — Janis. Thompson,
  3. I really enjoyed this short film. It is a trip down memory lane for me. I am 66 year old granddad who was a skateboarder back in the day.

    I luv the innocence of the film. The kids drinking chocolate milk while harassing a car that was driving by was priceless.

    Thanks for the posting.

    — Mervin Ferguson,
  4. Magnificent, what a pleasure to watch. 55 years ago I was saving up for a new set of ceramic wheels….this brought all those memories back. Merci
    Robin