Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Bicycle Film Festival comes to Austin

One of the best parts of the TNSR is that the greater cycling universe occasionally shows up. Every week I seem to meet someone brand-new and a lot of times they have something really interesting to say. Sometimes they tell you about stuff that's going on. This time, it was the Bicycle Film Festival! 

The festival was held at the Marchesa, a theatre with a lot of potential. But that said, biking to it was interesting because it's in the most out-of-the-way shopping center I've been to in a while, and not terribly well marked. But we knew we'd found the right place when we pulled up and found this:

The Marchesa is a small art-house style cinema in an older building, identified only by a filigree M on the outside:

The film festival was sponsored by Kind Snacks, but there were also a couple awesome nonprofit organizations there, including a children's advocacy group that restored this van! While I don't recall their name, if anyone could message it to me I'd like to put a link up for them.

We moseyed inside, where I grabbed a cocktail, and then headed towards the entrance.

Where we met Frankenbike! I got a sweet pile of calendar/posters so anyone who wants one....hit me up!

As for the actual films, I saw the second program on Urban biking. If I'm honest, I was a tiny bit disappointed with the subject matter of the films in this program. A couple focused on BMX, which had it's own program. If I wanted to see a film on BMX, I would have paid for the BMX program, now what I mean? One was one the Alleycats done by NYC bike messengers. Lots of weaving in and out of traffic, and all I could think was, "Glorification of this kind of assholery is why people hate cyclists." That subject matter does not really capture the magic of urban cycling and what it does for me personally. When I ride a bike in a city, familiar or novel, I feel that I meet the true heart of a city. It's people, it's roads, it's little back corners. That's what I hoped to find and it was missing in so many of these films. However one, a day in the life of a 65 year old Afghani postal worker, made me sigh as I watched it. 

But overall, it was a wonderful experience. I saw old and new friends, and made a few while I was at it. It was a lovely evening out among all the things I love - bikes, warm weather, my beautiful city, and my friends. 

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