words and photos: T. Bird
The last twenty-four hours in Québec City, Canada have been hectic for the “Déjà Vu” crew. Will Lavigne’s phone has been ringing off the hook, and so has Phil Jacques’, Alex Cantin’s, Louif Paradis’, and Nic Sauve’s. Hayden Rensch and Greg Desjardins are holed up in Greg’s house, frantically editing the final product of a film widely hailed as the most anticipated movie to hit the silver screen since “The Art of Flight.” But you’d never know by the looks of it. These guys are calm, collected, and enjoying every minute of their time in the spotlight.
Nearly seven years ago, “Bandwagon” hit the snowboard scene like a derailed freight train, and not only did it resonate with the North American fans who bore witness to the best jibbing of our generation, it kick-started the careers of eight upstarts from Québec that have upheld more relevance than any other street savvy snowboarders in recent memory. Their names are Louif Paradis, Laurent-Nicolas Paquin, Phil Jacques, Frank April, Nic Sauve, Ben Bilocq, Will Lavigne, and Alex Cantin, and they have single-handedly re-written the history books in regard to how handrails, wallrides, gap-outs, and any other urban feature can–and should–be ridden.
The world premiere of “Déjà Vu” is the must-attend event of the summer up here, and in turn, it’s the must-view movie of this fall. There’s something special about this film in that it’s the culmination of eight friends–read: actual friends–who have not only stuck together through thick and thin in their long careers in snowboarding, but who have also come together to progress street shredding and push it to new levels for generations to come. What makes this project so exceptional partly lies in the fact that this isn’t an assemblage of strangers who were chosen solely on sponsor dollars. “Déjà Vu” is a passion project put together by these eight friends who have happened to make it to the big show, and hours ago, at the Theatre La Bordee on St. Joseph Street, hundreds of kids were treated to the final product brought to you after a year-and-a-half of hard work and unimaginable drive.
This movie is so good that I’ve vowed to not give anything away. I refuse to tell you who has first part or last part, and I won’t even go into detail regarding what tricks were done by whom. Chances are, you’ve heard of “Déjà Vu” and I personally see it as my responsibility, my obligation, to leave much to the imagination and insist that you simply go out and purchase this film. Reason being is that, much like “Decade” and the Robot Food films that followed, this movie defines a generational era in snowboarding. There’s no doubt that out of all the movies that you have the opportunity to buy the fall, “Déjà Vu” is the one full-length film that you absolutely have to own.
I will tell you this, though. The riding is incredible, and the film is pieced together beautifully. It’s a cinematic snowboard masterpiece, really. Hayden and Greg blend 8mm and digi footage together as perfectly as I’ve ever seen for thirty-nine minutes. That’s right, I said thirty-nine minutes. The riders in “Déjà Vu” wanted to keep it short and sweet, and indeed they did. Between parts, there are quick interludes before the action starts but the majority of the movie is void of an overabundance of lifestyles, opting to present to the viewer the best jibbing in snowboarding today. Oh yeah, and I’ll also inform you that there are a handful of NBDs, if you were wondering.
To put it plainly, Greg and Hayden have created a chef-d’oeuvre of modern-day snowboarding comprised of the efforts of all eight of the riders, with additional filming support from Tanner Pendleton and Harry Hagan. When “Bandwagon” hit shop shelves over half-a-decade ago, the movie re-defined what is proper, accentuating the ideology of perfection above all else. Well, “Déjà Vu” follows up exponentially. There’s no filler in this film. There’s nothing that can be doubted in terms of its excellence. This is hands-down the best snowboard movie that I’ve seen in years. Simple as that.
Go buy “Déjà Vu” and be sure to make it to any premiere that’s within a hundred miles of your house. I promise that you won’t be disappointed. Tabernac!