As a sorta postscript to the last couple rambles, formerly Cliched professional JJ Rousseau offers one spin on a post-honeymoon occupation, setting in as lensman for a day at the foundation with recent summertime ambassador Lucas Puig. He seems to be vying with Mark Suciu for lines of the year, will anybody in the Crailtap production get in their way? Section bears ties with another former pro, Alphonso Rawls, who reveals that the three-stripe idea has been done not once but twice before. That frontside 180 to fakie manual, I can’t stand it..
Posts Tagged ‘Cliche’
As the Mediterranean breezes, expansive vineyards and reported peccadilloes of Dominique Strauss-Kahn suggest, France can be an easygoing place, illustrated herein by the major-production video debut of the nation’s favorite four-wheeled son in Cliche’s “Bon Appetit,” set to a freewheeling Zappa jangler. Back when this came out–not that long ago really, but seems like a while ago–people began drawing comparisons between young Puig and Mouse-era Mariano, and while these comparisons haven’t borne out over time given both dudes’ eventual embrace of tricky ledge combos, they did wind up endorsing the same kind of shoes, so the possibility remains that some of those original comparison-drawers were psychic. I was and remain ‘psyched’ regarding a lot of the relatively simple but well-chosen moves in this part, namely the kickflip backside shifty, the fakie frontside flip off the wedge, those backside noseblunt variations on the little banked ledge, the spin on the switch 360 flip over the channel and the smattering of dork tricks in the middle. Lucas Puig tapdances across sculpture gardens and sunny public spaces, plus there’s a JB Gillett feature, without which no summer can really be complete. In closing, we hope you have enjoyed this rare run of several posts across consecutive days, or at least the video clips.
A general disclaimer about the list to follow ought to start with noting that most lists of this sort are pretty much bullshit anyway, designed to ignite pointless debate and sell women’s health magazines or ad spots on VH1, and this one may not be much different really. However, given that this is an internet blog site, and the end of a decade is approaching, fate holds that a list must be made. I thought about whether it should be billed as the 40 “best” videos of the past decade, or the 40 “most significant,” or the 40 “most favoritest of BTO” but in the end we’re opting to call it something altogether different and stupid and just get on with things. Special shout to Skim the Fat, where from I got most of these images, is that site still going? Anyhow, numbers 40 through 30:
40. “It’s Official,” 2005
An overall pretty awesome video marred by a Kanye-heavy soundtrack and a few too many Lenny Rivas quotables, Kayo Corp’s stab at a “Trilogy” featured the national debut of gap-gliding Kenny Hoyle and SF sweatpants fan Robbie Holmes, alongside solid turns from all-stars Jackson Curtain, Karl Watson and a damn Marcus McBride part. I don’t know if Marcus McBride is the Z-Ro of skateboarding, exactly, but he’s something. “Official” probably could’ve done with more Richard Angelides and some editing where Quim Cardona was concerned but this video is one that probably doesn’t get rewatched as often as it should. Chany Jeanguenin skates vert in it.
39. “Skate More,” 2005
Daewon Song’s self-reinvention for a post-picnic table world helped vault him to SOTY status off the back of DVS’s debut full-length, but the Python-flavored “Skate More” also boasted the feel-good part of the year straight from the happy feet of Jeron Wilson who floats the slickest heelflip that Jason Dill had ever seen. 2005 was a banner year for Keith Hufnagel as well, putting out two ollie-riffic sections, and this DVS video also offers a glimpse of the ever-shifting Dill in his New York denizen phase and the mixed bag that is Jereme Rogers’ best part to date; also Busenitz/Zered Basset and a more-interesting-than-usual Mikey Taylor contribution.
38. “Get Familiar,” 2006
Chris Hall’s sneakerhead-financed East-by-West coast document should’ve maybe leaned a bit heavier on the retro elements, like I always thought the electro songs used for the intro clips would’ve made an interesting soundtrack for the whole thing. “Get Familiar” though was a worthy addition to a long line of self-produced East Coast videos with a pretty stacked lineup in a still-skinny Bobby Worrest, a skinnier yet Zach Lyons, EE vets Barley and Forbes and the resurgent duo of Joey Pepper and James Craig (the backside bigspin flip is a career highlight). Curveball parts come from Daewon and Mark Gonzales before gun-slinging Darren Harper controversially closes the video with some baggy denim stylings, crazy pop and that silly floater of a switch frontside shove-it.
37. “Waiting For the World,” 2000
It’s kind of fucked up how John Rattray’s section in this video was this devil’s bargain that earned him the glitz and glamour associated with Zero, Elwood and Osiris sponsorships, while at the same time siphoning away Blueprint’s heaviest dude, but these things happen. Nowadays WFTW looks kind of dated, especially Paul Carter’s Osiris pants and the Souls of Mischief song, but in 2000 the video itself was a serious stylistic push forward (the intro in particular) and generally served as a statement of purpose for the British skateboard scene, especially for those of us outside it, putting everybody onto the likes of Paul Shier, Colin Kennedy, a pint-sized Nick Jensen and the loopy genius of Mark Baines, leading up to John Rattray’s Britpop-powered star turn.
36. “Cash Money Vagrant,” 2003
There was really no reasonable or feasible way for Anti Hero to try and follow up “Fucktards” but their stab at a semi-conventional video in the midst of restocking the team for the concrete park decade is laudable enough and a fun one to throw in now and again. Young(er) and dirty Frank Gerwer does half his frontside k-grinds on Firm boards and Tony Trujillo rejects the Transworld gloss that helped mold his SOTY bid, alongside contributions from Cardiel, Hewitt and most of the other Anti-Heros that matter. It’s short, there is a little lo-fi themed skit that ties the whole thing together and they make it safely to Benecia at the end (spoiler alert). Interestingly, this site is selling a copy for $1300.
35. “Dying To Live,” 2002
In some ways it’s easy to bag on this vid, what with Jamie Thomas’s very dramatic intro, the beginning of Adrian Lopez’s career slide and Jon Allie’s sort of boring opener part. But as with most Zero productions the editing is sharp, the music fantastic and there is enough good here that “Dying to Live” probably can be considered fairly underrated at this point – Ryan Smith in his young and hungry days, paired with Nirvana, Matt Mumford to Queen, bespectacled Lindsay Robertson’s crushing slow-mo intro, and Chris Cole kickflip backside noseblunting a damn handrail amid a characteristically ridiculous part that capped his fresh-to-hesh migration. And, it had a sweet friends section, something that’s kind of fallen by the way-side in recent years.
34. “7 Year Glitch,” 2002
It seems like forever ago that New Deal even was a company and most of these dudes have been scattered to the four winds at this point, and where Fabrizio Santos is concerned, this all may be for the best. But this video, which preceded New Deal’s folding pretty quickly, contains one of the better Ricky Oyola lines captured on video, a lot of good Europe footage before all the spots were played, and the type of diverse lineup that’s generally been tossed in favor of appealing to this or that sub-sub-demographic. There is vert skating and Rob G has a nice run that’s filmed via a stationary long-lens, also, Chad Tim Tim at the early stages of being underappreciated for more or less ten years. Probably you could trace Kenny Reed’s nearly decade-long wandering in the international wilderness to the filming of this project, and maybe the marathon backside 5-0 to backside tail in particular. The one with the kid on the bike.
33. “Baker 3,” 2005
The Baker Bootleg video formula refined and distilled, taking the sometimes-interminable 90-minute slogs through the chopped-n-screwed Baker world and squishing it into something resembling a more straightforward format. Baker 3 also introduced the world to polar opposite ams Antwuan Dixon and Theotis Beasley, and helped Bryan Herman transition from a browless Reynolds fan to a grown up hardflipper with a world-class 360 flip. Somewhere in there Spanky skates to Morrissey (I know!) and Reynolds stretches his editing legs with some weird effects. Thinking back on this vid now I remember being vaguely shocked that Erik Ellington was capable of backside noseblunting a handrail, and after reading the recent Greco interview, I’m reminded that it was a bummer he didn’t end up using the Queen song for his comeback section.
32. “Bon Appetit,” 2003
This video rightfully put Cliche on the global map, even though it retreaded that tiresome Yeah Yeah Yeahs song for the nth time and wasted so much top-drawer footage on endless region-specific montages – where is the rationale, I ask you, in sprinkling JJ Rousseu nosegrinds here and there in some Japan part when he could’ve had a full-length section to himself. French Fred’s editing choices aside, “Bon Appetit” dodges classic status but still boasts Lucas Puig’s best part to date (the nollie backside noseblunt), Jan Kleiwer getting his Hufnagel on, Rousseau in top form and a part from when Cale Nuske’s knees still worked that contains exactly one line, which is sick. Also, you should know that Ricardo Fonseca’s ponytail is meant to symbolize the virility of the European skate scene as a whole.
31. “Cheese & Crackers,” 2007
Chris Haslam and Daewon Song conspire to build a better mini-ramp mousetrap. Kind of like if the Tilt Moders got locked in a garage for a weekend with a miniramp and a sheet of high-powered blotter acid. When street skateboarding moves beyond its current love for manageable transitions this video could possibly become the current era’s “1281″ but there’s a general retardedness that helps smooth out the troublesome physics problems associated with doing blunts behind a curtain, and all manner of other nonsense these dudes get into. Friends section features Carroll and Alex Olson and the human dynamo that is Giovanni Reda, remember, and Lewis Marnell’s bonus part is nice also.
An evening with Cliche
There is a clip in this new Cliche video “Cle,” where bespectacled company honcho Jeremie Daclin ambles into a cafe, sets aside his novelty cruising skateboard and orders a beer, all of which seems so terribly European to me. Like the way he snuggles up to the counter, oddly shakes hands with the sideburned bartender and bustles off to toast the lounge act in the next room. None of this has much to do with the skating or anything else really, aside from the overall mellow cabaret vibe and clean/no frills editing job, which is kind of a nice change of pace after three solid weeks of Mind Fielding.
JB Gillet catches the sensation too in a lengthy opening street ramble punctuated by a smith grind, all of which is overseen by Jesus and Daniel’s Lakai All-Star Shoe Band, strumming out the softly Spanish soundtrack to some switch noseblunt sliding and lazy-foot fakie bigspin flips. Still skatin’ those French benches, JB exchanges a lot of the ledge-combo fireworks for more classical Pier 7 fare (switch 180 nosegrind pop-out) before the handoff to Lucas Puig, who seconds Kalis’ nomination for the fakie 360 flip/switch 360 flip as the go-to two-trick line* for stair spots in early 2009. Amidst a bunch of hard tricks Puig resuscitates that ledge-to-bank spot from the Flip video with a particularly hot move, but as the part went on the more I began to think his style/execution probably peaked back in “Bon Apetit,” which I guess I kind of started seeing in the Lakai video. Something to do with his knees maybe. There is however a switch frontside heelflip over a road gap here that’s super good.
The badass Basque Javier Mendizabal looks the same as he ever did though, which is, a rare treat to watch on transition stuff or springing out of wallies or whatever it may be. There really is not enough footage of this dude, ever, and the street shit in this video is some of the best he’s done (see: switch backside noseblunts). Elsewhere Ricardo Fonseca has severed his ties with the ponytail and I’m wondering if it’s too late for Cale Nuske to avoid being one of the great coulda-been stories in skating at this point, despite being back on his flip-to-rail bullshit in a serious manner, hardflipping and nollie heelflipping into backside lipslides and whatnot. And human jack-in-the-box Joey Brezinski has another part full of gleefully flippant Joey Brezinski tricks, melding switch kickflips, manuals, backwards baseball caps and Barack ears. My personal favorite is the frontside noseslide 270 heelflip out, which would have been the most Joey Brezinski trick of all if it incorporated a nose manual down the bank.
The thing that bogs this mostly breezy video down isn’t the ams, although newcomer Flo Mirtan brings some of the most inconsequential tricks this side of “Forecast” (backside smith grind off the drop = good though); Charles Collette has improved on the “Kids in E-France-ica” thing and does real gnarly jumps into banks set to passion drumming, also, crazy gap to backside lipslides. What bugs me is all the interminable tour video footage that pads probably like 15 minutes onto this flick, allowing me to once again climb aboard my “too long” high-horse. But why Cliche insists on watering down their videos this way (see also “Bon Apetit”) is totally beyond me, maybe it’s their style. (Or French Fred’s, or “Junior’s”.) I can see a park section, you know. But they’ll throw in all kinds of street footage in there too – JJ Rousseau could have had a full section in BA with all the stuff from Japan. It’s fine that the Clicheiers are unbound to the standard skate video format, and the Wheel of Fortune was fun and whimsical, but by the third song…
Anyway, these transgressions are mostly washed away by the bonecrushingness of Australian headbanger Andrew Brophy and his strength ollies. Watching this part I found myself mentally warp-whistled away to Super Mario 3, World 4, where everything’s larger and one’s sense of scale is contorted. He does big shit on big shit, which sort of negates the size of the ledge or gap or green pipe, or whatever he happens to be skating – the forever blunt at three-up-three-down is a case in point. At the end of his part he gets his serious P-wing on with a serious ollie-after-ollie series that apparently got him over to pro status, but remember, when faced with the hammer-throwing Bowser you must, as all Australians know, go under.
*If you can call two tricks a line. Which I guess you probably can
Joey Brezinski’s Transworld interview a couple months ago was entertaining for a variety of reasons, among them his challenges with the French language, designing video game characters based on SAD, and how he uses EA Skate to brainstorm his Rube Goldberg-esque trick combinations:
A lot of my tricks really do come out of that game. A lot of tricks take like five days after I do it for 30 minutes on the couch. In a way that game is mental training for physical training.
They also poke fun at him for basically not being able to come up with any single-frame photo material, which goes some way toward explaining the lame Colin McKay cover. But squinting and furrowing my brow at the sequence captions got me thinking about how Joey Brezinski on a trick-by-trick basis regularly executes some of the longest-named maneuvers currently running. Spoiler alert, here’s some of the more convoluted items from his excellent section in the new Cliche video “Cle” which we may discuss in further detail some day soon.*
-Fakie lipslide to nose manual to nollie backside bigspin (nine words, 57 characters)
-Switch nose manual to fakie nosegrind shove-it out (eight words, 51 characters)
-Kickflip nose manual nollie backside tailslide (seven words, 50 characters)
-Frontside 180 switch manual body varial manual 180 out (nine words, 54 characters)
-Frontside boardslide pop-up to fakie manual revert backside 180 out (10 words, 67 characters)
-Half-cab kickflip manual backside tailslide backside kickflip out (eight words, 65 characters)
-Half-cab frontside noseslide backside 270 manual revert (seven words, 55 characters)
-Nose manual nollie backside bigspin fakie manual fakie pop out (ten words, 62 characters)
Obviously this is the one and true benchmark by which we must measure his part in the upcoming Transworld video this summer. I think he’s got at least a 15-word trick in him, provided he is able to evade the MongoCorp assassins in San Vanelona or whatever it’s called.
*Note, I counted the spaces as characters because I’m not a crazy word monster who likes his words all mushed together in a big mush.
Big-bounding Ozzian Andrew Brophy may be Cliche’s Reese Forbes in the making, mostly because of how everybody focuses on his gargantuan ollies (going up the stairs at South Bank probably relegated the set to lines only forevermore) while less attention is paid to his clean semi-tech skating, at least before he goes on to lose most of his non-ollie tricks and wear pajama-bottom shorts as he skates to 50 Cent around Europe. Including the Dan Magee-helmed “Déjà Vu” remix part here might be cheating, constructed as it is of rehashed footage and a ringer Prince beat, if it weren’t my list, page, life, Bon Jovi CD, et cetera. I like the 360 flip over the bench.
I found this little anecdote from the Joey Brezinski pro spotlight very endearing:
TWS: Does anything ever get lost in translation between you and the rest of the team?
JB: Dude, I don’t know any French. I got this game called French Tutor, but it doesn’t really help. Last tour it taught me how to say Wednesday and I was super hyped. JB [Gillet] was sitting in front of me and I hit him on the shoulder and say, “JB, Mercredi [Wednesday in French].” And he’s like, “Ehhh, is good, good. You tell everybody in France today.” It was Wednesday that day too. But then he was like, “Now you go and say ‘Wednesday’ to everybody. That’s pointless. You learn nothing. How do you bring up Wednesday in conversation?” I’m like the little brother on the team.
Now for some reason I got it into my head that the new Cliche video “Cle” was supposed to premiere online, and got bummed when I went to the site and saw that it’s not coming out until next month. Whatever, I’m banking on Brezinski’s double heelflip bumping Carroll out of the Berrics Battle after Jeron flared out today. Go Jojo…
Make it reign
I’m kind of 50-50 on the videographer-as-skate celebrity thing that really got going around the “Chomp on This” era. I mean I’m all for mission-specific wheels and 20-stair switch firecrackers, but filmer shoe colors and grown men throwing junior high-grade tantrums at security guards gets a little “ehh…”
Howevers, I do think it’s cool and a long time coming that skate filmer/editor types be recognized as legitimate auteurs of a sort, which Cliche is doing with their new Deja Vu project, having a bunch of well-known dudes edit together old footage of the French company’s team. (I really like Cliche’s skaters and their art, but between packaging “Freedom Fries” as part of a box set and now getting a whole new video out of recycled footage, Daclin & co. definitely know how to milk the skate video.)
RB Umali/JB Gillette: amis in initials, Umali provides a serviceable East Coast take on a JB career retrospecticus, including a heavy helping of tricks from JB’s sadly overlooked late-period 411 profile. Gothamist he is, Umali subs in some New York rap for the tongue-twister French linguistics we know and love from JB Gillette video parts. Nice sampler plate from a dude who came up with a mid-90s World pedigree and now matches his XL sweatpants with the mantle of a Euro legend.
Greg Hunt/Ricardo Fonseca: Hunt cobbles together a solid part’s worth of Fonseca footage, and I appreciate the all-around burliness and the fact that he has love for nollie hardflips in the 1990s tradition. But I always got the impression that Fonseca’s skills translated better in person than on video, kinked hubba k-grinds notwithstanding.
Roger Bagely/Joey Brezinski: I’m not sure what Boston/Adio alum Bagely has against young Jojo but between the Nelly Furtado and the fast-motion I found this part hard to watch. It seriously seemed like half the tricks were sped up, and not just like a few seconds of pushing in a line. I dig this sort of thing when done tastefully but this part really puzzled me.
Scuba Steve/Cale Nuske: It was nice to see Cale Nuske’s Bon Appetit part again, it’s been a while.
Mike Manzoori/Javier Mendizabal: Mike Manzoori is for my money (generally not more than $8 American) one of the best working skate videographers out, with his pal Jon Miner, and Mendizabal can be counted on for some of the best shit in any video he graces, so this part is definitely one of the best remixes here. It’s cool to see a younger Mendizabal gliding backside noseblunts on street along with his current assortment of alley-oop lip tricks.
Ewan Bowman/Charles Collette: Kids in E-France-ica. The radio wave music mix is interesting I guess.
Dan Wolfe/Jeremie Daclin: Dan Wolfe does his best to punch up a few minutes’ worth of Jeremie Daclin footage, who in recent years looks like he belongs more behind an actuary’s desk than on a handrail. The part gets more interesting toward the end when it gets back to Daclin’s old days charging beefy hubbas, though the clip of him carving the tanker thing still trips me out.
Dan Magee/Andrew Brophy: Brophy Getts Off with his inhuman pop and pavement-cracking landings, massive 360 flips and Prince guitar squeals. Probably the best section, song-wise if nothing else. Where was the humongous switch heelflip at Southbank though?
Ty Evans/Lucas Puig: I’m interpreting this part as a big slow-motion high-def middle finger to Ty detractors globally, which I guess would include me at times. Entirely in slow-mo, techno-tinged piano twinking as the only sound, it really works in an arty way for a while. But even with a kid as gifted as Lucas Puig, eight full minutes of slow-mo one-off tricks gets boring. The rumor is that Ty sent over the section all in HD or something and the Cliche guys couldn’t properly rip the footage, and ended up having to film the thing off a TV, and while I have no idea if that’s true or not the grainy video does add to the whole effect. But if artsyness was the goal, they missed out on a prime opportunity for a Gonzesque touch by filming the TV footage with a Canon Elph or something.
The video’s up now on the Cliche website along with Puig’s new ad, which is ridiculous as usual. JJ Rousseau and Jan Kliewer were much missed.