Elizabeth and I went to the Clinton street theater last night to view the newest film by Brian Vernor. It's called "Where Are You Go" part of the Bicycle Film Festival, and it was amazing. Brian joined a couple friends to ride and document a group of racers/ riders riding bikes from Cairo to Cape Town. Over 3 months of dirt roads, sun, and encounters fill the movie. We had a chance to see a preview of the movie last year at the Halloween cross race in Astoria when Brian showed us what he had so far.
It was really cool to see the completed film after seeing the first version. Some of the shots border on sublime. It seems that the continent is so large that the ideas and vision of the story have ragged edges that aren't necessary to make clear. The conversations with riders are what you might expect "This is the biggest thing I've ever done" type stuff, but the moments that spoke to me were when I got a sense of the time and distance that these people were traveling, and the realization that what we must have to survive can come in a very small package.
The roller coaster interview has to be the best interview I've ever seen. That alone is worth the price of admission.
I've shied away from the filmed by bike festival, I suppose it's because I think Portland has enough people wanting to throw a party to celebrate bikes. I'm getting tired of the spectacle for the sake of spectacle. And maybe that's what I liked about the movie too. When you see Benny ride a tall bike or wooden scooter, or the anonymous African kids riding their bikes decorated with peacock feathers, you can see the joy the bikes bring to them. It's not about color matched rims or the latest bauble. It's about a true love of bikes.
Lucky for me, this film didn't get too much press and the theater was not too crowded. If you get a chance to see this film, make sure you don't miss it!