Beacon World Premiere
October 20th, 2017
Words and photos by T. Bird
Our generation hasn't seen a rider like Louis-Felix Paradis-Lemiuex in a very long time. That is, Louif is a throwback to times before us in which a rider can seem larger-than-life. However, how Louif accomplishes that—unintentionally, mind you—is through humility and innately allowing his on-hill abilities to speak for itself. In other words, Lou is relatively soft-spoken, but when he does say something, chances are it is of significance, so you should listen if you're within earshot. Lou will ultimately go down as one of the all-time greats. A first-ballot Hall of Famer.
But up until this year, although he had amassed some of the most revered video parts of all time in films like TransWorld Snowboarding's These Days and Déjà Vu's Encore, he had yet to headline his own signature project, and is snowboarding's elite standard. Since the days of Subjekt Haakonsen and 9191, having your movie has been the pinnacle of one's snowboard career, and last year, adidas, Salomon, Dakine and Smith partnered with SNOWBOARDER Magazine to produce a movie in which Louif was the star and one that he had total creative control over. This was different from other white label projects that we had worked on in the past in the sense that once it was signed off on, it was Lou's show, and he took it by the reins and concepted the entire film from start to finish. He owned it. He poured everything he had into it. And it shows in Beacon.
He started by signing one of snowboarding's most famed filmers, Hayden Rensch, as this was something that they had talked about for years and it was finally coming to life. Together, Hayden and Lou aimed to make a snowboard film that focused on street riding but was devoid of artificial speed provided by winches, bungees and the like. Louif wanted a natural-speed street film from start to finish in order to show the viewer that snowboarding is more about the obstacle or feature that you find, build and session. In other words, it's as much about the approach and the ride-out as it is the trick.
On Friday, October 20th, this whole concept came to life at the McMenamins Mission Theater and Pub in Portland, Oregon, where hundreds of shred-savvy fans piled in to watch Louif and his hand-selected crew of riders—Tommy Gesme, Mark Wilson, Alek Oestreng, Ben Bilocq, Harrison Gordon, Artem Smolin, Phil Jacques, Frank Bourgeois, Mammouth Durette, Blake Paul and Remy Fournier—travel the globe in search of deep snow, empty streets and a desire to adventure and tell that story. From Russia and Quebec to Japan and British Columbia, the Beacon crew does just that, compiling hours of 16mm footage and edited down to near perfection by Hayden. I don't want to divulge too much about the film, but I can tell you this: In my humble opinion, it is one of the best snowboard films that I have ever seen and I can guarantee you that you haven't seen anything remotely like this movie in your lifetime. The entire project flows consecutively and coherently from opening credits to close and it never strays from the ideology of the concept. There's no narration. There's no filler. It's straight to the point, clear, and concise, much like Louif himself, and without a doubt it is his signature project. The editing is amazing. The music is incredible. The riding is beautiful. That's basically the best way that I can describe it. It's as much a work of art as it is a snowboard film, and for that, I want to thank Louif and Hayden. You guys did an incredible job.
Do yourself a favor and watch Beacon when it comes out. You won't regret it if you're a fan of Louif, a fan of good snowboarding and a fan of this culture that we all reside in. Beacon is one of the best snowboard films that I've seen in a very, very long time. Thanks to all that came out in Portland. See you in Quebec City, Canada on Thursday, October 26th at the Musée de la Civilization. If you're in the area, you're not gonna wanna miss it.