Glenn Raucher, Film Society employee and cycle warrior. Photo by Godlis.
Bike Month is near and dear to more than a few staffers’ hearts–the Film Society boasts a strong contingent of cycle commuters from 3 of the 5 five boroughs (including yours truly!). In honor of the kick-off of the Film Society’s celebration of Bike Month on May 5th, we asked the Film Society’s resident cyclists to weigh in on their favorite bicycling moments on film.
Glenn Raucher: “Breaking Away”: Amazing cast (Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern, Dennis Christopher, Jackie Earle Haley, Paul Dooley, John Ashton, P.J. Soles…) one of the most inspirational stories in movie history, and a thrilling bike vs. 18-wheeler scene…what could be better!!
And the dialogue:
Dad: He’s never tired. He’s never miserable.
Mom: He’s young.
Dad: When I was young I was tired and miserable.
Joe Hsu: “The Reader,” when young Michael Berg and Hanna Schmitz went on a bike trip to the countryside, it’s like stealing time for a little bit of happiness and to get away from real life.
Marcela Goglio: My choice of film would be “Bicycle Thief” but also Ozu’s “Late Spring.” The image of waves at the end –drenched in nostalgia for a happy life that no longer exists– is made all the more powerful and sad by the memory of past happy bicycle rides it evokes. Similarly, in Ozu’s “Tokyo Chorus” the absence of a bike helps infuse the story with both longing and sadness (the main character promises to buy his son a bike with the bonus he is expecting, but when he gets the bonus he also gets laid off and isn’t able to buy the bike). In these films bicycles can be a source of hope, comfort, companionship, pleasure, communion with nature and also a bitter and sad symbol of a life lost.
My own favorite bicycle moments on film have to be the “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” scene from “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” and of course, Pee-Wee’s grand excursion to find his bike in the basement of the Alamo.
We hope cyclists will gear up to be here for our May 5th Green Screens presentation of Veer, with panel discussion and reception. We’ve even got a special discount for you: $2 off general admission, if you bring a cycle helmet.