Guy Lafleur, icon of popular culture

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 also forget this album in which the Blonde Demon lends his voice, an album so kitsch that it is today the object of all the wishes of collectors.

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

The project is still in its infancy, but producer Christian Larouche is already dreaming of a theatrical release for Christmas 2024. “The pressure has just gone up a bit. Guy was part of our lives. I think his death is even greater than that of Maurice Richard, because although 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 boy who had come to ask for his autograph! says the president of Films Opale, deeply moved by the death of his childhood idol.

Having produced biographical films on Gerry Boulet and Louis Cyr, Christian Larouche says that the one about the life of Guy Lafleur will not be like the others. Not only does he want the film to recall the rise of the Blonde Devil, from his humble childhood in Thurso, Outaouais, to the heights of the National League, but he wants to shed light on the man’s failings: the inveterate party animal, the fickle husband, the penitent absent father. With the blessing of the director in question, too.

“When I had dinner with him a year ago, it was very clear to me. He didn’t want censorship; she didn’t want his life to be settled with rose water. Guy took on his flaws and didn’t want to look perfect, ”recalls Mr. Larouche, who was characterized by the frankness of the hockey icon.

In the end, his flaws will have fueled his legend, 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 the series of him. blue White Red, pays tribute to the 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 it is exhibited today in the National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec.

A larger than life character, Guy Lafleur obviously figures prominently in popular culture as well. In a column published Friday on the website of the montreal daily, Réjean Tremblay says there is a bit of Guy Lafleur in the character of Marc Gagnon, an aging player determined to stay on top in the early seasons of throw and count. Later in the series, the rivalry between the Blonde Demon and coach Jacques Lemaire also influenced the author and sportswriter.

Even Luc Plamondon dedicated a song to Sainte-Flanelle’s star player, Champion, played by Robert Charlebois. A few years earlier, in 1979, Guy Lafleur had released his own album, a true rarity in the history of Quebec music. On this LP, we hear Guy Lafleur, then at the height of his glory, deliver his hockey advice over a disco soundtrack.

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

Basically like the businessman blues, Guy Lafleur would have liked to be an artist. After all, he scribbled poems in his spare time and once confessed to being a lover of classical music.

“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 a hard time keeping up with him ”, underlines Luc Picard, who promises to offer a scenario that will illustrate the special bond that Guy Lafleur had with the Quebec public.

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