Off the Beaten Path

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Our screening for September celebrates getting off the beaten path.  For many of us from the first moment we enjoy the freedom that comes with riding a bike another thought occurs – where can I explore ? where will this bike take me ?  As riders have ventured further bikes have evolved to carry them on their journeys.

“Off the Beaten Path” is an adventure cycling film celebrating the journeys we can take on bikes; and specifically focusing on how fatter tire bikes are allowing riders to venture to places cyclists have never been able to ride before. From desert dunes in Nevada to ice tunnels under Icelandic glaciers, “Off the Beaten Path” showcases that we’re not limited to pavement or traditional dirt trails when it comes to cycling adventures.

The fat bike has opened up new places to ride and changed the perceptions, and perspectives, of trials riders, snowboarders and even those just looking for the next big adventure. It seems that as riders, and as people, we’ll never stop exploring the possibilities on two wheels.

Leeds Bicycle Film Club is showing this film as part of Scalarama Leeds (1-30 September 2018) which is a celebration of cinema, for everyone, by everyone, everywhere each year across September.  A month of cinema in which cinemas across the country join together to celebrate watching films together and where cinemas pop up in unexpected places and where classic, rare or locally made films get an annual showing.  For a full rundown of events and screenings showing in Leeds check out the website http://www.scalarama.com/leeds/

Date: Monday 17 September at 7pm

Venue: The Reliance, 76-78 North Street, Leeds, LS2 7PN

Cost £5 in advance (tickets can be bought via the Eventbrite link and ticket price includes Eventbrite fee).

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Premium Rush

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Dodging speeding cars, crazed cabbies and eight million cranky pedestrians is all in a day’s work for Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the best of New York’s agile and aggressive bicycle messengers. It takes a special breed to ride the fixie – super lightweight, single-gear bikes with no brakes and riders who are equal part skilled cyclists and nutcases who risk becoming a smear on the pavement every time they head into traffic. But a guy who’s used to putting his life on the line is about to get more than even he is used to when his last envelope of the day – a routine “premium rush” run – turns into a life or death chase through the streets of Manhattan.

PREMIUM RUSH won’t be mistaken for a complex masterpiece. It’s a popcorn movie through and through, made for maximum momentum and white-knuckle thrills. Make peace with this reality, and you’re in for a ride (pardon the pun), with bike sequences that will place you square at the handlebars of Wilee’s bike, hoping you’ll make it out alive. He’s a lean, mean delivery machine.

Join us for a summer feel good rush around the streets of New York

Date: Monday 18 June at 7pm

Venue: The Reliance, 76-78 North Street, Leeds, LS2 7PN

Cost £6 in advance (tickets can be bought via the Eventbrite link and ticket price includes Eventbrite fee).

The Program

 

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I’ve shied away from showing anything to do with the doped up Texan but this film based on David Walsh’s dogged pursuit of the truth is worth a screening I reckon.

From Academy Award nominated director Stephen Frears (The Queen, Philomena) and producers Working Title Films (The Theory Of Everything, Everest, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), comes the true story of the meteoric rise and fall of one of the most celebrated and controversial men in recent history; Lance Armstrong,. The world needs heroes and Lance Armstrong was the ultimate sporting hero. Following a gruelling battle with cancer, Lance returned to his cycling career in 1999 more determined than ever and with his sights set firmly on winning the Tour de France. With the help of the infamous Italian physician Michele Ferrari and team director Johan Bruyneel, he developed the most sophisticated doping program in the history of the sport. This program allowed Lance and his American teammates to dominate the world of cycling, winning the Tour an unprecedented seven times. However not everyone believed the fairytale…Sunday Times journalist, David Walsh, at first charmed by Lance’s charisma and talent, soon began to question whether the ‘world’s greatest athlete’ was ‘clean’. Walsh sought to unveil the truth, his ensuing battle with Armstrong risked his own career, ostracised him from the cycling community and cost his paper, The Sunday Times, hundreds of thousands in legal costs. But the indefatigable Walsh eventually uncovered the truth when a select few prepared to talk came forward, exposing one of the greatest deceptions of our time. Inspired by the award winning book ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ by David Walsh, and featuring a stellar cast including Ben Foster (Lone Survivor), Chris O’Dowd (Calvary), Guillaume Canet (Tell No One) and Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad), THE PROGRAM is a tense and suspenseful thriller.

Date: Monday 21 May at 7pm

Venue: The Reliance, 76-78 North Street, Leeds, LS2 7PN

Cost £6 in advance (tickets can be bought via the Eventbrite link and ticket price includes Eventbrite fee).

The Bicycle

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Our screening for April sees us delving into German art house cinema with a road movie love story from Hamburg director Arne Korner :

Mark and Antonia live a long distance relationship. They are meeting in Paris for a vacation. Antonia is from Canada and speaks no German as much as Mark no English. Communication problems are a natural consequence, the last time together was a long time ago. Vacation in Paris is the final attempt to salvage the deadlocked relationship. Mark living in Hamburg is an amateur filmmaker and takes his Bolex film camera along. He doesn’t want to miss out the summer in Paris. It is warm, the city is vibrating and the vacation starts very relaxed. Life happen outdoors. Everything seems to be fine until Antonia presents a bicycle to Mark. Mark hates riding a bike while Antonia loves it. The atmosphere immediately reaches rock bottom and the old behaviour patterns come back. The vacation starts turning into an emotional wrestling match. There is constant quarrelling between them. The last basis for living together is destroyed. Back in Hamburg Mark decides to return to Paris with the bicycle, the place he received it. Mark rides to the ”City of Love“ with the symbol of a disturbed relationship, the final act and the beginning of a trip.

Date: Monday 16 April at 7pm

Venue: The Reliance, 76-78 North Street, Leeds, LS2 7PN

Cost: £5 in advance (tickets can be bought via the Eventbrite link opposite and ticket price includes Eventbrite fee).

A Winter of Cyclists

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I’m sitting writing this as snow lays on the ground in March after the ‘Beast from the East’ has blanketed Britain and made transport somewhat tricky.  I’m not a fair weather cyclist as such but I certainly have ridden less this winter than normal.  Sometimes I find it easy to summon my Flandrian spirit and head out but often I find other methods of getting to work.  I don’t generally mind the weather if heading out on the mountain bike but commuting is a different beast altogether.

I therefore thought, as we hopefully head for a thaw, that it was a good time to show A Winter of Cyclists, a film that will help me (and hopefully you) reflect on your cycling and gain some inspiration from people who ride where it’s seriously cold.  The documentary film chronicles a group of Colorado participants as they attempt to complete a 52-day winter cycling commuting challenge created by Scot Stucky.

The challenge, known as “The Icy Bike Winter Commuting Challenge”, was created to encourage people to cycle to work from October to March, during the darker, colder and the snowier months of the year.

The film captures the wide diversity in which riders adapt to new commuting logistics, adverse weather conditions and riding in the dark. The Colorado riders encounter  unexpected solidarity across the American continent and into Europe via Facebook,  providing a glimpse into a broader global winter cycling community by the end of the challenge more than 150 participants from around the world had joined the Icy Bike Winter Commuting Challenge.

Join us (hopefully thermals not required) and be inspired and as we head for spring reflect back on the your winter riding and what it might hold for you next year.

Date: Monday 19 March at 7pm

Venue: The Reliance, 76-78 North Street, Leeds, LS2 7PN

Cost: £5 in advance (tickets can be bought via the Eventbrite link opposite and ticket price includes Eventbrite fee).

Ovarian Psycos

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Film Fringe & The Leeds Bicycle Film Club join forces for International Women’s Day to bring you the documentary Ovarian Psycos :

Riding at night through streets deemed dangerous in Eastside Los Angeles, the Ovarian Psycos use their bicycles to confront the violence in their lives. At the helm of the crew is founder Xela de la X, a single mother and poet M.C. dedicated to recruiting an unapologetic, misfit crew of women of colour. The film intimately chronicles Xela as she struggles to strike a balance between her activism and nine year old daughter Yoli; street artist Andi who is estranged from her family and journeys to become a leader within the crew; and bright eyed recruit Evie, who despite poverty, and the concerns of her protective Salvadoran mother, discovers a newfound confidence.

Directors Joanna Sokolowski & Kate Trumbull-LaValle commented:

“The story of Ovarian Psycos landed in our laps. We had wanted to make a film together for some time, a film about women, but there was no one story that was jumping out at us. Then we heard about the Ovas.

Like a lot of their fans, we were drawn in by the boldness of their politics, their brazen approach to feminism, and unapologetic aesthetic: a hybrid mix of Chicana, Riot Grrrl, Zapatista and militant-punk cultural markers. With bandanas tied across their faces, throwing up their Ova “hand sign,” and a slogan that can make you both laugh and cry out loud – Ovaries so big we don’t need fucking balls – we were enamored. It took us no time to realize that this was an important moment in time, one that was a clear extension of the legacy of civil rights activism in East Los Angeles, the birthplace of the Chicano Movement, and one that needed to be documented and shared. And a moment in time that echoed the memory of women in history who have fought boldly for racial and gender equality, yet continue to be rendered invisible. The Ovas pay homage to women of the past, and are also clearly reinventing their own hybrid-identity as urban, women of colour feminists.

Our hope is that this film will speak to the same misfit women and girls the Ovas are looking to attract, the ones who don’t feel like they fit in, the ones “at-risk” and under-represented. But we also hope that all folks, both mothers and daughters, and fathers and sons, will catch a glimpse of something authentic and relatable in the stories of Xela, Evie and Andi that will help to expand our collective understanding about gendered politics and race, and conversations about what feminism is and should look like.”

Join us on International Women’s Day for a cracking documentary and a slice of female cycle sub culture from East LA.

This is an additional film that I am involved in screening especially for International Women’s Day.  There will also be a standard Feb and March screening.

Date: Thursday 8 March at 7pm

Venue: The Reliance, 76-78 North Street, Leeds, LS2 7PN

Cost: £5 in advance (tickets can be bought via the Eventbrite link opposite and ticket price includes Eventbrite fee).

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Quicksilver

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Kevin Bacon on a bike ! Surely that’s all the info you need to know for our next screening ?

This film should have been shown in November but we had a slight technical hitch (ahem !) which meant it couldn’t be shown.  So what better way to kick off 2018  than with a cheesy 80’s story of redemption, a great soundtrack, and iconic actors  Kevin Bacon followed his breakout role in Footloose with this story of a washed up stock broker who finds his calling as bicycle messenger.

Jack Casey (Kevin Bacon) used to be a hot-shot stock market whiz kid. After a disastrous professional decision, his life in the fast lane is over. He loses his nerve and joins a speed delivery firm which relies on bicycles to avoid traffic jams of San Francisco.  Although frustrated, Casey enjoys the freedom that comes with his lower responsibility. He also uses his education and business acumen to help his co-workers. When some of them are involved in dangerous or difficult matters, Casey must decide whether he should become involved. Those matters lead to a sinister web of murder and intrigue. Can Jack regain his nerve and his self-respect, and rebuild his life on a more sound basis?

Date: Monday 22 January at 7pm

Venue: The Reliance, 76-78 North Street, Leeds, LS2 7PN

Cost: £6 in advance (tickets can be bought via the Eventbrite link opposite and ticket price includes Eventbrite fee).  Please note that existing November ticket holders are valid for this screening so there are limited tickets available for sale.