Flashback. Montreal,1966. A young National Film Board of Canada (NFB) director named Claude Jutra has just made one of the world’s first skateboarding films. It is called The Devil’s Toy. “Très bien, Claude,” says Claude, turning off the projector and lighting a French cigarette, “vous avez fait le Citizen Kane du cinéma à roulettes, vous beau salaud. Google Translate est complètement inutile, non? Pourquoi je vous parle de moi?”
The Devil’s Toy not only helped to define the early history of skate cinema― it also introduced the world to pushing mongo, or ‘poopa foot’ as it’s known in some circles, namely my own. The Devil’s Toy was also an outstanding example of how NFB filmmakers were pioneers of Direct Cinema, a movement of the late fifties and early sixties that helped change the face of filmmaking.
Today, as it transforms the non-fiction genre once again with new forms of immersive interactive documentaries, the NFB has used Jutra’s groundbreaking film as the inspiration for a new global online experience, The Devil’s Toy Redux, launching April 30, 2014.
In The Devil’s Toy Redux, the original film takes its place alongside 11 new short films by directors from around the world, all inspired by the Jutra classic. The site will allow users to navigate from one film to the next and witness the evolution of skate culture across the globe through a multiplicity of lenses, as skateboarders, filmmakers, web developers and designers all share their unique points of view.