Filmed/ Directed by Boris Proust
Cliché has come a long way and travelled a lot of miles since its first video Europa was released some 10 or so years ago. Bon Voyage is the latest leg of their fantastic journey and there are noticeable changes in the team line-up and general aesthetic. The premier international team boasts Daniel Espinoza, Kevin Bradley, Paul Hart, Joey Brezinski, and Pete Eldridge from America; Sam Winter and Andrew Brophy from Australia; Lem Villemin from Germany; Javier Mendizabal from Spain; Adrien Coillard, Max Geronzi, Charles Collet, Lucas Puig, JB Gillet, Flo Mirtain and Jeremie Daclin from France.
Mark McKee, Eric Frenay and Boris Proust take care of the production side of Bon Voyage and the end product is a very clean and fluent film. Boris has done well to differentiate himself from his predecessor, Fred Mortagne who single-handedly changed the way people see skateboarding. It’s good to note that Cliché also include their army of flow riders who are each given a few seconds to shine during the closing credits. This sort of recognition is a positive stance that too many skate brands bother to take.
So, the 50 minutes flight time of Bon Voyage begins with their newest pro Daniel Espinoza. Shots of Daniel in his supped up sports car, smoking cigarettes and staring into the distance conjure up a sort of 2 Fast 2 Furious vibe, but to be honest my impression of Daniel and his skating was anything but fast and furious; more of an asleep-at-the-wheel approach. He’s talented on a board, he can spin backside 360 bigger spins just as easily as he can grind long S-shaped rails fitting the cookie cutter mold of today’s über-ams. You don’t see many skaters go pro these days from one major video part, some may feel as though this was premature, but make your own mind up from his section. I’m sure he will be a firm fixture for the future of skateboarding.
As Daniel slides and flips his way off the screen, two OG street masters, JB Gillet and Pete Eldridge step up to bat. You really can’t go wrong with either of these guys. They have both cut their teeth at legendary spots during skateboarding’s golden era of the nineties, so why-oh-why did the accredited music coordinator think a limp electro love song would work well with their swagger and clout? Seriously, the music is so ill-suited to Pete’s powerful switch pop and JB’s smooth operations that I just can’t sit down and enjoy this otherwise gem of a section. Paging Quartersnacks for an urgent remix please!
Max Geronzi, Paul Hart and Adrien Coillard represent the next generation of rippers. You probably don’t recognize their names but you will remember them once you’ve seen their part. All three of them have been fixtures in their respective minor leagues and now their sitting nicely at the top of their class ready to graduate to the majors.
Lucas Puig – Nollie inward heel skill. Ph: Dave Chami.
Joey Brezinski rides in on two wheels and rides out on two wheels. The combos get crazier, the balancing gets better and the quirky sense of humour is kept at a minimum. Honestly, Joey is a white crane martial artist performed the most insane balancing acts on his board and deserves to be mentioned in the same breathe as Daewon Song or Rodney Mullen. I just wish we could get to see a few more regular tricks from the guy.
Charles Collet, Andrew Brophy, Lem Villemin and Javier Mendizabal cruise through the film at their respective speeds and heights. If it’s smaller than 3 feet tall, Brophy won’t skate it. Charles is a still a gnarly bohemian and I think Lem was injured during the making of Bon Voyage, but that didn’t stop him from pulling out some suave tech treats.
Javier really doesn’t have enough footage and it would have been great to see him cruising around that crazy glow-in-the-dark bowl structure at night. Oh well. There is a brief interval where the team takes us on their Trucker tour of Europe unearthing even more insane terrain set to the sounds of Cassius’ ‘I Love You So’. Those funky Euros love their electro and this video is full of it. Thankfully, most of it sounds alright.
Lucas Puig (assisted by a brief Jeremie Daclin cameo) brings us back to Cliché’s French roots with some solid street annihilation set to the score of Oxmo Puccino. Lucas gets a free pass riding up to ledges in Adidas tracksuit bottoms because he’s so skilled on a skateboard. I can see street purists are going to pick up on this loose fitted fashion statement.
Sammy Winter is a visual treat and some might say he’s more deserving of that pro spot than his cohorts. Plenty of pop and finesse describes Sammy’s skating. There’s even a brief clip of recently passed Lewis Marnell sharing some good vibes with his Australian brethren. Lost but not forgotten!
Charles Collett – Lien Disaster. Ph: Dave Chami.
American teen Kevin Bradley delivers by the bucket load. Kevin’s skating is very reminiscent of a young Bastien Salabanzi mixed with a splash of Lavar McBride. He attacks gaps, rails and plazas with speed and style. Even the snippets of bravado and hand gesturing seem fairly fun and positive so I hope to see more from Kevin in the future.
Finally we finish with Flo Mirtain. Relatively unknown for some, Flo just joined the pro ranks and this part is a pretty good stamp of approval for that position. Please note the recognition from Marc Johnson as Flo manuals his way around one of the master’s spots in LA. Flo is a tech powerhouse who seems quite mute, but in return his skating does the talking and it screams pretty loud that you need to keep an eye on this guy and his approach to this great pastime we call skateboarding.
There you go. That’s it. Bon Voyage, an epic journey around the world with a truly international team of thoroughbreds and future prospects. It’s recommended. Go get it from your local skate shop this weekend or from iTunes in two clicks.
Ralph Lloyd Davis