Tuesday, July 3, 2007

First Annual* BSNYC Fixed-Gear Film Festival

What do you get when you combine the fixed-gear trend with the youtube phenomenon? Why, an explosion of cinematic masterpieces, of course! There is nothing more riveting than watching a subculture self-indulgently capture itself on film--it's like watching home video of a toddler. For the parents it's magical. For the rest of us it's stultifying.

I've taken the time to wade through the debris of the fixed-gear cinema explosion and bring you five videos which will compete for the coveted "Cog d'Or." So just sit back, eat some popcorn, and enjoy the entries.

*(I only use the word "annual" here because it sounds good. There may be another "festival" next week, or just as likely there may never be one again.)

Entry #1: Guy Doing Spinny Wheelie Thing

This guy rides around in circles for awhile and then does a pretty cool yet at the same time totally pointless spinny wheelie thing. There's a lot of suspense while he rides around since you don't know what he's going to do. Good pacing. Says a lot about life, which is also kind of cool sometimes but mostly pointless.

Entry #2: Guy Does Some Skids for Awhile

To the strains of Tenacious D this guy does skids up and down a wet, soul-crushingly suburban street. This film raises interesting questions. Why is he doing this? Does he think this is interesting, or is it a parody? Or is it a profound comment about the blandness of suburbia? And, most importantly, did he hose down the street first?

Entry #3: That Woman in Portland Who Got Busted for Riding With No Brake Demonstrates That She Can In Fact Brake

In the documentary category comes this hard-hitting expose. The hypocrisy of the "system" is ultimately exposed when she demonstrates that she can stop almost as quickly as a bike with a coaster brake--in other words she can go from 10mph to a dead stop in less than 20 yards.

Entry #4: Guy Rides Stock Langster About 30 Blocks in Manhattan

In this epic-length (9 minutes!) nailbiter, a guy rides his bike from 23rd Street all the way to Spring Street. Nothing much happens (I checked) so you don't actually need to watch. Well, he does do some track stands, so if seeing a bike not moving fills you with excitement then this is a must-see. As if the premise is not interesting enough, he shoots the whole thing from some kind of rear-facing fork-cam, so all we see are the BB shell, his sneakers, and the occasional headlight. Bold in a "My Dinner with Andre" way, but limited commercial prospects.

Entry #5: Someone called "Kid Primitive" Performs "The Tao of Fixed-Gear Biking"

In this "Rattle and Hum"-inspired concert video, some guy performs a new-agey song about riding his fixie, apparently without irony.

And the "Cog d'Or" goes to: Guy Doing Spinny Wheelie Thing! I mean, hey, can you do a spinny wheelie thing? I sure can't.


Anonymous said...

that suburban warrior is too damn much...

Stuart K. said...

This is singlehandedly the best bicycle-related film ever. Nothing will ever, ever, ever beat it.


Anonymous said...

At first that messenger girl just made me angry with her Pink Campagnolo hat. Then she started speaking... are we sure "she" is really a "she" at all? I mean whatever floats your boat but....

mathias_d said...

Hearing that "female" discuss her preference for a rear-wheel only braked cycle in the wet as being superior to a bike with two braked wheels instantly made me want to travel to Portland and shove a stick in "her" spokes. That is the stupidest shit I have ever heard. "She" must have stock in vittoria or maxxis or something. For fuck's sake, "she" has a deeper voice than me!

Anonymous said...

I think the messenger woman may actually be transgendered.

So, while her brakeless argument may seem dumb (and fair game for ridicule), you may want to go easy on her about her gender.

Anonymous said...

How is kid primitive's audience not bursting out laughing?

Anonymous said...

Also, you have to love live music where the band members look like they aren't sure what instrument they should be playing

Anonymous said...

"So, while her brakeless argument may seem dumb (and fair game for ridicule), you may want to go easy on her about her gender."

Ummmm no.... I'm sorry I just dont buy this "transgender" garbage. You were born male or female. Thats that. Have we become so bored with life that we now have to bitch that we were not born the proper sex??? People just can't be happy with themselves. Whatever.

Anyway, the Campy hat still irks me. I bet "she" does not even know who Tullio was....

Anonymous said...

"professional bike messenger..." -I love that... As opposed to what? -an "amateur bike messenger?"

Anonymous said...

this one is right in your back yard, one of the first videos (and arguably the best ....seriously) that features the messenger/fixed phenomenon....kudos to Lucas B for putting together a great video. Most of the guys are not on fixed but check out the one guy that is, some very impressive riding around taxis....


Steve said...

"Ummmm no.... I'm sorry I just dont buy this "transgender" garbage. You were born male or female. Thats that. Have we become so bored with life that we now have to bitch that we were not born the proper sex???"

anon 3:45pm: First, sex and gender are 2 different things. Sex refers to biological state based on someone chromosomes, genitals, and other characteristics. Gender is the social-psychological identity that is partially based on a person sex, but also partially on that individual's reactions to societal expectations of how a person is supposed to act based on their perceived sexual characteristics. Gender is a result of this interplay. So while we are born with a sex, we learn and do gender.

2nd, sex, like gender is not necessarily binary object. Check this out . 54,000 Americans are probably intersex. Not that having a transgender identity has anything to do with intersexuality. I just want to point out that sex, like gender, is more continuous than binary.

Don't buy her brakeless argument, fine (I don't either). An individual's gender identity is might not match up with society's norms is. I don't think that is such a big deal and certainly don't think it's "garbage." Bike commuting doesn't match up with society's norms either, and I doubt most readers of this blog agree with this norm.

Unknown said...

Gender aside, it's still a stupid argument by someone just mad at the "establishment" for losing in a court of law. We've all had equipment failures, and I'd love to see her try to skid stop when her chain snaps. What then smarty? Is she next going to try and convince us she can shoe-drag to a stop in 20ft?

Use common fucking sense and put a brake on your bike.

mathias_d said...

All right already about my supposed intolerance of the transgendered...sheesh! Reading back over my post I might have come across as an ass. Sorry if I chapped your private parts with some salty comments. I forgot that the aclu reads these posts.

However, her argument is absolutely ridiculous and hilarious and I was reacting as well to the video's funky hipster smugness; a la "ooh, look at us here in Portland we're different and we don't believe in brakes!"

Honestly, I wish we would all stop trying to pretend we are so much more understanding than everyone else. It reeks of moral one-upsmanship and I wasn't really pointing out anything that wasn't already public for ridicule anyway.

I'll make sure to never make any more comments that might offend anyone with a sex or a (trans)gender or anyone who has witnessed or taken part in the act of sex.

Tim Jackson said...

Yep- video one wins- I mean, how many of us can do that (I can't).

Video two- Ummm... yeah, life is pretty hard core in the burbs.

Video three- Um. Fixed braking better in the wet? I never noticed that when sliding down the track banking in the rain.

Video four- 9 minutes? Seriously?

Video five- I lasted 30 seconds before hitting my back button on my browser.

Yep, video one wins.

Niki said...

I can't believe RASH (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7SKjIxlbHM) was left out. It's from NYC!

Creature #1 said...

I agree. RASH demonstrates completely the transformation of fixie culture to an entirely new focus.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Thanks for the RASH link. It was fun watching that back-to-back with the MASH trailer. I hope someday soon fixed gear kids all over the country will ride around with rollers under their arms just like breakdancers used to carry linoleum. Then when they encounter each-other they'll throw them down and battle B-boy style.

The Los said...

Jesus... I actually have that same jersey "Kid Primitive" is wearing. Sometimes I hate myself.
I think I lasted about 10 seconds longer than Tim before I had to eject.


Anonymous said...

"Like a cheetah on the hunt"... Oh my, Kid Primitive is beyond words... Thanks, I think you might have ruined my day...

kidprim said...

fuck irony.-kid prim

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Unknown said...

THIS is a must-see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiE1Qm7HSd8&feature=related Beats everything bike related. (Well, maybe not that one, but still... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5lboJIylD0&feature=related)

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