Archive for the 'tv / film' Category

We are what we watch: YOUTUBE!

In Canada, all stock images of watching TV feature hockey. It's the law.

As avid cyclists, the one thing we like almost as much as riding bikes is watching other people ride bikes.  Ever since Mark Zuckerburg invented the internet, we’ve had an unending supply of videos to watch.  Thought I’m tempting to suggest that the kind of videos we watch reflect our personalities, I don’t think that’s always the case.  Based on my own experience, I might favour old-timey races and “classic” moments in cycling history, but I’m also likely to watch Vimeo trailers for track bike tours and bar spinzzzz.

Some videos appeal to almost all cyclists for one reason or another.  Usually it’s because the video represents something we can’t attain, either because we can’t go that fast, or because we can’t afford to take time off, purchase expensive clothes, and hire a camera crew.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Other videos are harder to watch.  For example, deep down we are troubled by fighting in cycling.  Though fodder for the “is cycling gay” debate, these altercations provide no real answers.  It is only when professional cyclists fight that we can truly witness ambition tempered by ability.  These men seem to want to hurt each other.  They just can’t.  I’m guessing they both had cyclist fathers who, tragically, taught their sons to fight in the same way: “Now son, remember to keep your arms straight, aim for the ears or the back of the head, complete at least one full spin, and for the love of God only close your fists when you get tired!”

Cycling fans, however, are another story.  Put simply, don’t fuck with them.

But what about taking inspiration from cycling?  What if we want to know why people race bikes professionally, but aren’t satisfied with the answer “because we get paid to. Why do you go to work every day?” Most importantly, what if we’re totally disappointed in the amount of cycling featured in Love Actually?

And then, of course, their are the videos that simply seem as if they were made for you alone.  In all likelihood, cycling is tangential to the video and it strikes at something deeper.  In this case, a dark, dark sense of humour.

Maybe we are what we watch, we just hate to admit it.

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Tickets for Classes: Cycling Safety

This is classic cycling safety video.  Everybody loves creepy monkey-children on bikes. I’m not sure what made me think of it.  I did see a story about Southwark (UK) police officers who issued tickets to cyclists riding dangerously/illegally, but allowed them to have the ticket forgiven if they attended a safety class.  Really, that seems like a fair trade.

Education trumps punishment.

Le Cyc: Graphic Novel Bicycle Opera

Oppressed much?

I’m bummed that I didn’t catch this earlier.  Le Cyc sounds like a really cool show.  It’s a multi-media graphic novel opera, staged by a group of musicians who got the idea during a cross-Canada bicycle trip. More specifically,

Le Cyc is the story of a surreal bike-powered world where themes of power imbalance and popular revolution collide with carnivalesque images of dictators whose smart-talking parrots perch on impossibly long mustaches. The hour long multimedia program combines dark humour and political satire in a compelling story that raises questions about how power is peddled in society.The project is a collaborative multimedia spectacle combining graphic novel style illustrations that are projected with a live musical narrative by an ecclectic and original 6-piece orchestra. Nearly 400 hand-painted images by visual artist David Willekes depict the gruesome and whimsical tale of Le Cyc. These images, in the somber tones of Willekes’ chosen media, weak coffee and day-old wine, artistically portray the emotive struggles of individuals who stand up against totalitarianism.

The show just got a great review in The Ontarion, but it looks like future shows will be few and far between. However, a limited run DVD release is planned for the Spring, 2010.

Brandon Walsh rides a bicycle, smuggles marijuana.

What Would Andrea Zuckermann Do?

If you thought that Zack Morris was the most famous former-teen-heart-throb turned cycling enthusiast, you were wrong.  It turns out that Jason Priestley is going to make a movie about Sam Brown, the 22-year-old Canadian mountain biker who smuggled marijuana into the states, got caught, and then committed suicide in jail.   This comes on the heels of another bicycle movie announcement: David Koepp is directing an action movie about a bicycle messenger.

In related news, I’m going to watch Rad over and over and pretend that nothing is happening.

From Vancouver to Everywhere: The Revival

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The Revival is a film about fixed gear bicycles and those who ride them. There are millions of these kinds of videos, but this one is Canadian and the trailer consists of various F41Ls, which is pretty funny. Check it out when they come through your town.

The Cross Canada Project

Long Haul Trucking

Long Haul Trucking

There are millions of fixed gear videos out there.  Tonnes.  Some are good and some seem kind of ridiculous.  Well, this isn’t one of those videos.  Mike Beauchamp rode his bicycle across Canada, filmed it, and has released a 62 minute dvd.  Apparently he fights a bear with his bare hands.  Or sees a bear. Or something.  The trailer looks pretty cool.  Not a track-stand or long skid in sight.  Congrats on an awesome trip.

CBC Pedal Power: Watch Online

Igors shop on Queen St (Toronto)

Igor's shop on Queen St (Toronto)

The CBC documentary “Pedal Power” is now available online.  Ostensibly about alleged Toronto bicycle thief Igor Kenk, it’s mostly a cursory overview of bicycle culture.