The Devil’s Toy Redux

Montreal, 1966. A shoulder-mounted camera. A skateboard. Claude Jutra makes one of the first skateboarding films, The Devil’s Toy. One of the originators of cinéma direct, Jutra didn’t just create a film about the “victims of intolerance” as the opening credits state, his film unintentionally defined the early history of skate cinema:

The Devil’s Toy Redux rails against the standard model of how stories are told and consumed. The original film is reimagined by fourteen directors from around the world. Easily navigate from one film to the next and witness the evolution of skateboarding culture as told through these filmmakers.

In early 2012, Jess James Harris and Luke Jackson were approached by the National Film Board of Canada to make a short modern day reinterpretation of this classic on the streets of Johannesburg, the city in which they grew up skateboarding. Rob Hannah, Nicholas Turvey and Givan Lötz joined the project at short notice and helped to make it a reality within an extremely limited time frame. The skateboarders of Johannesburg cruised the inner city streets with the crew and plenty are featured in the project.

Two years later, here is the trailer:

The Devil’s Toy Redux is a tribute to the original film. At the same time, it is also an invitation to see skateboarding culture through a multiplicity of lenses. The skateboarders, filmmakers, web developers and designers all bring their unique point of view to this collective work. The Devil’s Toy Redux is a kickflip in New York City that lands in South Africa. It’s a nose grind through skate culture that goes around the world. It’s a railslide that starts with Claude Jutra’s 1966 original film and ends in your browser window. Audiences can jump from country to country, theme to theme and era to era within the experience. You can also contribute to the project by sharing your skate pictures and videos on Instagram with the hashtag #devilstoy.

The project will finally be available to view online on April 30th at –