The Devil’s Toy by Claude Jutra, National Film Board of Canada
Fourteen directors… eleven remixes… eight countries on four continents… one counter-culture and interactive experience.
Claude Jutra’s pioneering National Film Board of Canada (NFB) skateboarding film, “The Devil’s Toy”, has inspired a new interactive production: The Devil’s Toy Redux, a global online skate culture experience from the NFB, a world leader in interactive media.
In 1966, a young Jutra made one of the world’s first skateboarding films with just a shoulder-mounted camera and a bunch of kids on boards. It helped to define the early history of skate cinema. What’s more, it was 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.
In The Devil’s Toy Redux, the original film is joined by eleven new short films by directors from around the world. The site allows 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.
The Devil’s Toy Redux lets users explore the cities, its skaters, the boards they ride and their favourite places. The site’s theme-based navigation highlights the issues that define the skaters’ experiences: confrontation, social resistance, resignation and resolve. Skate pictures and videos on Instagram hashtagged “#devilstoy” also automatically appear in The Devil’s Toy Redux, geo-localized for each featured city, as users share their skate experiences and cultures.
New films for The Devil’s Toy Redux were shot in New York City (dir. Steve Durand); Los Angeles (dir. Greg Hunt); Vancouver (dir. Corey Adams); Montreal (dir. Myriam Verreault); Victoriaville (dir. Matt Charland); Lyon, France (dir. Fred Mortagne); Bad Durkheim, Germany (dir. Peter Schüttemeyer and Marten Persiel); Athens (dir. Argyris Papadimitropoulos); Bor, Serbia (dir. Nikola Ležaić); Johannesburg (dir. Luke Jackson and Jess James Harris) and Singapore (dir. Qi An Yuan).
The creative director of The Devil’s Toy Redux is Alex Leduc. The producers are Dana Dansereau and Dominique Willieme, with Loc Dao and Hugues Sweeney as executive producers. Website design and development is by studio Deux Huit Huit.
For the NFB’s 75th anniversary year, The Devil’s Toy Redux has also been re-imagined as an interactive installation, running May 8th to June 19th at Place des Arts in Montreal, followed by dates in other cities.