"The film is twisted but it's my best surf film," says Slater.
In a moment of the rawest candour, Kelly Slater has listed Brice de Nice as the greatest surf movie of all time, elevating the absurdist French comedy above Big Wednesday, Endless Summer, Morning of the Earth, Free Ride, Gidget, Blue Crush and so on.
Slater, who is a few months short of his fifty-second birthday, made the claim about Brice de Nice on the Steve-O podcast, telling his host,
“It’s an incredible film. This guy lives in the Mediterranean and he wants to be a surfer. In the opening scene, you see him sitting on his board waiting for a wave and there’s like an old woman with a swimming cap coming ashore. We see that there isn’t even a ripple of a wave in the sea. The guy is just there, sitting on his board, dreaming of a wave that never arrives.”
Brice de Nice holds significant cultural importance in French popular culture, particularly in the comedy genre. Released in 2005, the film, directed by James Huth, features the character Brice Agostini, portrayed by Jean Dujardin whom you might’ve adored, like me, as the sparkling George Valentin in The Artist.
Brice is a surfer with an exaggerated sense of self-confidence and catchphrases like “Casse-toi, then!” (“Get lost, then!”). After the film’s release, Brice quickly became an iconic and often imitated figure in French youth culture.
If you ever go to a party full of French surfers, yeah, you’ll hear it.
The film’s success can be attributed to its blend of slapstick humor, absurdity, and a memorable protagonist. Brice embodies a carefree and nonchalant attitude, resonating with a generation that embraced the pursuit of laid-back lifestyles. The character’s distinctive phrases and antics have permeated everyday language, becoming part of colloquial speech.
Brice de Nice symbolises a departure from traditional French cinema, incorporating elements of American-style humor and showcasing a character that deviates from the typical French hero. This departure contributed to the film’s appeal and cultural impact, marking a shift in the comedic landscape of French cinema.
Very much a cult film.
As Slater tells the story,
“One day he discovers that at the other end of France there are waves and he goes there… He’s rich but witty. He’s really very weird. (Brice de Nice) is twisted but it’s my best surf film.”
View this post on Instagram