We all love films about cycling, almost as much as radio programmes about cycling. The fabulous and unsurpassed Bicycle Film Festival comes to London but once a year and it’s a long summer before Brendt Barbur arrives from New York with his battered leather suitcase bursting with the latest in bicycle celluloid action. In the meantime, why not come down to the Southwark Cyclists Film Festival on Monday 15th June at the Shortwave, the new ’boutique’ cinema at Bermondsey Square. It promises to be a great evening, not least because I’ve helped to choose the films.
The main feature is that timeless classic of the genre, Breaking Away. Before that is a programme of mostly London-made short films including the UK premier of Good Friday, about track racing at the Herne Hill Velodrome. Director Maz Lewis will be there for a bit of Q&A afterwards. Also to be screened is Written in the Streets, Philip Diprose’s thoughtful study of the lives of London bicycle messengers. If you thought films about bike messenger are all about fixies, machismo and drinking beer, you’d be mostly correct. This is one of the few that isn’t. Besides those two corkers will be some of my own personal favourites including Bicycle Samba (2004) by London-based visual artist Sophie Clements.
When I say that the cinema is ’boutique’, I mean it. Only 50 seats. But they are plush red velvet (they used to grace the Electric in Notting Hill before its most recent renovation) and there is a lovely wide screen. It’s a proper cinema, somewhat like how I imagine Michael Jackson’s personal cinema at his Neverland Ranch. But with better films and rather less soiled. If all that isn’t enough, arrive before the 7pm start and you’ll be able to stash your bike in what is possibly London’s most expensive bike shed. It’s a destination in itself.
Its £7.50 or £5 (unwaged) and all the proceeds go to Southwark Cyclists who, among their bursting calendar of social rides, do a lot of excellent advocacy work for London cyclists, particularly on the issue of lorries killing cyclists.
To reserve seats, email at once to Barry Mason of Southwark Cyclists. Tell him you’re with The Bike Show. firstname.lastname@example.org He’ll tell you how to pay – involves paypal I think.