Guy Lafleur: from the web to the cinema, the muse of a people

The legend of Guy Lafleur has left an indelible mark on Quebec culture, from Throw and count, of which he was one of the many inspirations, to Serge Lemoyne, who painted a canvas in his likeness. And how can we forget this disco album on which the blond Demon lends his voice, a disc so kitsch that it is today the object of all the desires of collectors.

So many things that forget the cult of a man to whom a plethora of biographies have already been devoted, and whose life will soon be brought to the big screen. The actor and director Luc Picard has indeed been working for a few months on a film given to the incredible life of the man who was nicknamed “ Flower “.

The project is still embryonic, but producer Christian Larouche is already dreaming of a theatrical release for Christmas 2024. “The pressure has just gone up a notch. Guy was part of our lives. I think his death is even bigger than that of Maurice Richard, because even if young people never saw him play, he was part of the collective imagination. The last time I went to eat with him, there was a nine-year-old who had come to ask him for an autograph! says the president of Films Opale, deeply touched by the death of his childhood idol.

After having produced biographical films on Gerry Boulet and Louis Cyr, Christian Larouche ensures that the life of Guy Lafleur will not be like the others. Not only does he want the feature film to look back on the rise of the Blond Demon — from his humble childhood in Thurso, Outaouais, to the heights of the National League — but he wants to shed light on the man’s faults — the partier inveterate, the fickle husband, the penitent absent father. With the blessing of the principal concerned, moreover.

“When I had dinner with him a year ago, he was very clear. He didn’t want censorship; he didn’t want his life to be fixed with rose water. Guy assumed his faults and did not want to look perfect, ”says Mr. Larouche, who will have been marked by the outspokenness of the hockey icon.

In the end, his faults will have nourished his legend by humanizing him in the eyes of ordinary mortals. A very special relationship with the public that has fascinated many creators and authors, as evidenced by the title of the biography written by Georges-Hébert Germain, Guy Lafleur. Shadow and light, appeared in the early 1990s, at the end of his career.

Inspiration

The illustrious painter Serge Lemoyne will be inspired by the exploits of Guy Lafleur on the ice. As part of his series Blue White Red, he pays tribute to number 10 for scoring 50 goals in a single season, a feat he would repeat six times in his career. Completed in 1977, the canvas Lafleur’s fiftieth goal is exhibited today at the National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec.

A larger-than-life character, Guy Lafleur obviously also occupied a prominent place in popular culture. In a column published Friday on the website of the Montreal Journal,Réjean Tremblay says that there is a bit of Guy Lafleur in the character of Marc Gagnon, an aging player determined to stay at the top in the first seasons of Throw and count. Later in the series, the rivalry between the Blond Demon and trainer Jacques Lemaire also made the author and sports journalist.

Even Luc Plamondon awarded a song to the star player of Sainte-Flanelle, Champion, interpreted by Robert Charlebois. A few years earlier, in 1979, Guy Lafleur had released his own album — a real oddity in the history of Quebec music. On this LP, we hear a Guy Lafleur, then at the height of his glory, delivers his hockey advice on a disco soundtrack.

“It was a children’s project. We sold a few. There are even nightclubs in town that have played the disc, ”jokes producer Peter Alves, the man who launched Boule noire and the Toulouse group, in particular. ” It was very weird as a project. But Guy was completely invested in it, as in everything he did. He said yes to everything”, continues the one who is surprised to still receive royalties for this album.

Basically, as in The businessman’s blues, Guy Lafleur would have liked to be an artist. After all, he doodled poems in his spare time and was already named a classical music lover.

“Guy had a very artistic approach. He was very creative on the ice; he improvised a lot, he was not a position player. His teammates had difficulty keeping up,” underlines Luc Picard, who promises to deliver a scenario that will illustrate the privileged privilege that Guy Lafleur enjoyed with the Quebec public.

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