Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Flicks

Any self respecting bike snob/bike nerd has seen movies such as Breaking Away, Pee Wee's Big Adventure, American Flyers, and most recently, The Flying Scotsman.

But, how many of you have seen the lesser known but just as entertaining movies 2 Seconds or Red Light Go? If you have, you get two "cool factor" points, which you may whip out anytime someone accuses you of being square.

Here is a summary of 2 Seconds (1998) from Yahoo Movies:

A woman named Laurie is fired from her team because she is now considered too old for the reckless job of downhill mountain bike racing. She comes back to Montreal and moves in with her brother, a physicist who devotes his time between girlfriend hunting and relativity theories. Obsessed with time and speed herself, Laurie tries to make a living as a bike messenger in the city jungle. By chance, she comes across the shop of a grumpy old Italian man named Lorenzo, a former road cycling champion now holed up in the back of his shop building wheels. Lorenzo instantly detests Laurie, but the young woman is stubborn and keeps coming back. One night, they decide to face each other in a peculiar duel. Lorenzo shows Laurie how every victory is relative and that-speaking of relativity-speed is not the only way to bring time to a halt.

Downhill racing, bike messengers, and a cantankerous elderly Italian ex-roadie who talks about his old road racing days...does it get any better? The movie was filmed in Montreal, is not rated, and, if I recall, has some "adult oriented" scenes. Here is a link to its IMDB entry:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0158446/


Red Light Go was released in 2002 and is a documentary about messengers and alley cat racing in NYC. Here is a review from IMDB:

Author: gleng1 from New York
This is a terrific documentary about life as a bike messenger in New York City. We meet several messengers by day, when they wrassle with NYC taxis, bad weather, crowds, traffic, and indifferent customers while delivering packages and documents all over town at high speed.By night and on the weekends the messengers participate in alleycat racing -- illegal races through the city. The racers must each stop at several checkpoints, but they can hit them in any order. The racing section of the film focuses on the scariest race of the year -- at night, on Halloween, in Manhattan, during rush hour. Fun to watch, but not for the faint of heart to ride.


I saw this movie in 2004 at the Cleveland Film Fest, then took part in an alley cat race immediately following the film. It was about 40 degrees and raining. Hard. The beer afterwards made up for the discomfort, as did the free Once cycling cap (that I still wear) courtesy of Spin Bike Shop.

The movie itself is pretty entertaining. I had a lot of respect for the "lifer" messengers (10+ years on the job). The others were ok, but some were clearly living their counterculture lifestyle on their parents' dime and were trying way too hard to look like financially struggling hipsters. Last time I checked, a 23-ish year old messenger living in NYC probably can't afford a $200 wool retro jersey without some help.

Here's a link to the movie's official site:

http://www.redlightgo.ws/

So now you have some movies to watch this holiday season. Enjoy

3 comments:

Julie Lewis-Sroka said...

Hey Dave, Rudy and I did rent "2 Seconds" sometime last year. It was definitely a foreign film, and a tad odd, but very cool from a cycling point of view. We enjoyed it overall.

Another GREAT cycling movie is really a cartoon - I believe it is the "Sisters of Belleville". It is about the life of a boy who falls in love with cycling and ends up a Tour de France racer. And then mayhem follows after the "sweep" wagon comes a calling...

Give it a try! Happy new year!

Julie

Julie Lewis-Sroka said...

Ooops. It's the Triplets of Belleville (they are sisters though)...

Rick said...

I agree with Julie...that movie is pretty cool...I think i have the DVD somewhere......