Sunday, July 27, 2008

alicia returns and god-awful sf film festival review

alicia is back! she has returned from her month long bike tour in italy! highlights included riding on the interstate and nearly getting stuck in croatia with border control.

as i haven't seem my homegirl in a long time, we had plans to have dinner and then go to the sf bike film festival on saturday night.

i hadn't been on my around town bike in a long time. i mean really long time. i probably should have checked it out before riding on it. upon getting to the bart station to meet alicia, i had discovered three interesting things about my bike: 1) my tires definitely hadn't been inflated in probably five months. (i just pumped them up today, realizing i was rockin' out at 30psi). 2) my seat was about 2 inches too low, which made pedaling kind of interesting. 3) my rear brake definitely didn't work. my front brake essentially didn't work. i could kinda slow and skid to a stop with my feet.

other things that i knew previously included: i can't shift into my big ring, cause i removed a link or two on the chain awhile back...and have neglected to get a new chain. and definitely my derailleur needs adjusting cause there is a pleasant scraping sound when i shift into my big cog. and, that bike just makes a lot of noise. it really amazes me that two short years ago i could ride that bike 40 miles in the hills. i was totally a tough chick back then!

anyway, alicia has a friend who works at a restaurant in the marina, so we bike along the embarcadero over there. we got a huge feast with lots of free dessert and beer. then we realize time is getting pressed, so we need to leave for the mission.... except, neither of us really know san franicsco bike routes too well... and there is the question of how to get from the marina to the mission.

clearly the most direct path is straight up steiner. however, there are some crazy pac heights looming hills in front of us. but if we can get over them, we can head into the haight and then to the mission easy peasy. sure, perhaps a more bike friendly route would be to go ALL THE WAY back downtown--- but jeez, it is only a few steep hills. i was of the opinion that i'd rather walk a couple blocks, than have to go 3 miles out of our way. so that is what we did.

we biked up steiner. me and my 30psi, shit-ass bike did really good up steiner for quite awhile. i was quite impressed with her. then i about had a heart attack as i was approaching broadway-- but i made it to broadway. but there was one more crazy-steep block, and it just wasn't worth it. so we walked a block-- then hopped back on our bikes to cruise down the scary hills. i don't know what was worse, the up or the down. as i said, my brakes didn't exactly work. but, praise jesus, we made it to the film festival. only for me to realize i neglected to pre-buy my ticket like alicia. so, long story short, i barely squeezed my way in.

now, this is where the night got funny. thank god for alicia. cause if she wasn't there, i would have picked up a dirty razor blade from the street gutter, and begun slicing away. the shorts really were that painful. thank god for alicia's ongoing commentary. here is the recap:

  • MC- this was not a film. but there was an obnoxious MC who made up chant like we were in a junior high pep rally. this guy was such an obnoxious dude on stage i wanted to drop kick him.
  • king of skitch- hardcore nyc messenger does tricks and holds onto cars. wow. i am totally impressed. but then he tries to jump off stairs and he totals his hot yellow aerospokes and crowd cheers.
  • standing start- shitty video about uk olympic team sprint team, that shows them more on warming up on their rollers than anything else. also some pretty cheesy scenes of the main character doing the deadlift. they could have buttered him up with oil a little more. for the culmination of the "standing start" - they had it all with freeze frames in the moments leading up, so you couldn't really see anything. this video totally sucked. alicia was at her best during this one, and kept saying: "who gives the f*#@ about this guy? it's not like he is theo bos! why are they just showing them on rollers?!"
  • the tookbox- a little anime of a bicycle chain and stem moving around the floor. it was only 2 minutes long, so i won't complain much.
  • raven and the bicycle angel- i think this was supposed to be a comedy about this dude pursing this girl. except it wasn't funny. and it just went on and on and on and on.
  • wolfpack hustle: the midnight dragrace- so, this would be like if someone came to the port to video tape our street sprints. a bunch of poor form, slow sprints, that just go on and on and on, one after another, for minutes on end, with some shitty song in the background. [not that i don't love sprints at the port, but it isn't exactly film-worthy, unless someone actually decides to edit it-- not just video tape every single sprint from the same angle.]
  • fumikiri- spend a long time watching some bike tricks. except this time, the scene is japan, not nyc or la or sf. but, it all looks the same and the editing is mediocre at best.
  • mystik mood- this must have been so good i can't even recall watching it. another 4 minutes of my life gone.
  • belle epoch- finally. a good video. but that was just because this was all compiled archived films. it follows this italian cyclist from the 80s go up the alps -- whilst playing 4 musical instruments... or go up alp without handlebars! and then DOWN without handlebars or brakes! it was pretty amusing and amazing! 3 minutes in length.
  • balorda- this was some cultural piece, which must have been so good, i can't even explain to you what the point of the cultural activity was.
  • the making of the bootleg sessions v2- i guess there was a version 1. except i can't remember v1 or v2, it was so good. it was probably some pictures of dudes doing wheelies.
  • waffle bike- some dude makes a bike with sound system and then goes around sf with it and raps with little kids. maybe a cool idea, but not a cool film.
  • keirin- i wanted to like this one, but it wasn't very informative or interesting. i think i even fell asleep during it.
  • what's a girl to do- some terrible music video that made me want to cry.
  • macaframa- more tricks on bikes. this time it wasn't as terrible to watch, because the editing of the film was actually good and inventive. and i knew some of the people in it. but, about half the videos in this series of shorts showed the exact same thing, which is pretty ridiculous for a compilation.
  • lucas brunelle worldwide adventure- this was the beginning of a series of alley cat clips, that looked terrible. praise jesus alicia leaned over to me and said: "i've had enough of this cock stroking, let's get out of here." so we walked out.
that was a terrible film festival. over the course of the weekend, the bicycle film festival had 7 programs, each 2 hours in length. now, i doubt there are that many films produced each year about bikes that can create a quality independent film festival. my suggestion would be to have 1 or 2 programs, and have the quality of shorts be more than some you-tube clip. they must have just accepted everything! i cannot attest to the quality of films on friday night or saturday day time... but shit, saturday night was terrible. but alicia was pretty funny mocking it all night, so that made it all better.


twinkiepatissier said...

goldsprints on friday?

Audra Marie said...

Wow, glad I didn't go to that. I was considering it, but last night I took my date to the brainwash film fest instead. Which also sucked monkey balls, but at least we didn't have to cross the bridge.

TreBone said...

wow... thanks for the intercession. i can FEEL the suckiness and i usually try not to hate on the "artistry" too much. now i can go back to watching more macaque videos on youtube.

Grey said...

Jesus, you're crabby today.

Please tell Alicia she's right: It's not Theo Bos. He's faster than Theo Bos. Who won gold in the sprint (defeating Theo Bos), the keirin, and got silver in the team sprint at track worlds? "Um, Chris Hoy?" I would really think you'd know who Chris Hoy is. I'm disappointed in both of you. I agree that the majority of that stuff was crap, but the Hoy one I got: they show him doing all the prep stuff, all the build up for just one lap on the track. The music video aspect of it punctuated by stupid quotes ("the unexamined life is unworth living" Really? Wtf does that have to do with bike racing?) was annoying, but at least it was conceptually me.

It's funny you mention the port in reference to wolfpack hustle, cuz I thought the same thing. In fact, that kid Panda Jeff posted a short video last week on his vimeo that's more pleasant to watch.

Oh yeah, and the "MC" is the director of the film festival. He did a similar thing last year. He should not be allowed to address the crowd like that.

I had fun there, but mostly because I was with fun people, but I also really question the selection of these shorts. Could you even hear the dialog in "raven..?" The windy sound was horrible...not like it mattered though. Dude who dresses like Ronald McDonald would at a gym stalks cute track racer at alley cat race. Lame.

The bright spots for me were also the belle epoch, and the fact that the Japanese kids did way better tricks than their American counterparts on track bikes. And that lucas brunelle thingy showed Shino (the Tokyo footage). Shino is by far the fastest messenger in the world. He should really grow up and be a real bike racer, but in the meantime he just won messenger worlds by some ridiculous margin. I thought it was pretty cool to see Shino riding stupid in Tokyo traffic.

Anyway, cheer the fuck up.

Beth said...


1. that wasn't chris hoy. c'mon. it was a scottish track cyclist named craig maclean, who admittedly i don't know anything else about, other than he was the subject of some stupid short who kept talking about him as some greek god odysseus. please.

2. you had fun because you were wearing skinny jeans.

russellp said...

Further counter-commentary:

1. Grey, you're so busted on the Hoy thing.

2. Standing Start--could've been much better with a straight-up narrator rather than pretentious Odysseus monologue.

3. Waffle Bike--would've been much cooler if it was Richard Sachs instead of John Sachs.

4. Keirin--some of the footage was pieced into "Les ninjas de Japon" which was shown earlier, and was a lot more interesting in that film somehow. And isn't there supposed to be motorpacing?

5. What's a Girl to Do--weird, and I don't remember the music, but full points for the whole thing being a single 3-4 minute take. I wonder how many times they had to start over 'cuz the guy in the rabbit head fell over or something...

6. Macaframa--when it became noticeable that nobody on the bicycles was doing anything of note, it became much more fun to just watch the cinematography. Whoever was behind the camera was doing a great job.

7. Lucas Brunelle--so, if the guy had actually been smeared by the bus, would he still be making films? Warren Miller's crew lost a skier this past winter for the first time in 40-odd years, and I'm guessing it won't take LB that long.

CyclistRick said...

Wow, you should have started posting movie reviews earlier. A couple of weeks back Disney lost their two name brand reviewers and were searching for replacements. Could have had yourself a nice gig.

Grey said...

Ok, my tail is slightly between my legs. I looked for photos of Hoy on line and thought he looked close enough. Still, he's a sprinter on the UK national team. Not fast enough for ya?

Russel, I agree...about everything. I looked for a pacer too in the keirin thingy, and I don't really get what Maca Frama is trying to do other than make a sort of tourism ad for SF with a hipster target audience. I also have really mixed feelings about the dangerous riding shown in the LB thing, but unbeknownst to probably most of the people in that audience even, Shino is the Lance Armstrong of international courier racing. He's really fucking fast so I can't help but be a bit thrilled to watch him do his thing in real traffic.

Anonymous said...

i thought i saw jenie-o friday...but wasn't sure

felt kinda out of place with jake at the post party so we left

rider with a life and no blog said...

you need to get a life. don't bother going to see bike films, what were you expecting? battleship potemkin, the searchers, citizen kane?
and for gods sake, stop carrying on about your damn legs. big legs don't mean you'll be a good rider. pendleton doesn't have huge legs compared to some of the others.
give us all a break.... please.