Bike Film Festival Comes to Boston Nov. 20/21

Filed in Arts & Entertainment, Lifestyle, Local Events by on November 20, 2009 1 Comment

“New Moon,” the latest installment in the “Twilight” series, hits theaters today and, unless you’re in your early teens or a vampire yourself, constantly in search of acceptance and a sense of belonging in this overwhelming human world, you should do everything in your power to avoid this trite, reheated movie. Not to disparage vampires as a whole, but I refuse to believe that this hackneyed adolescent tripe is anything but timely methadone for “Harry Potter” addicts to cope with their wizard withdrawal.

That doesn’t mean there is nothing good in theaters this weekend. On the contrary, a slew of original, independent films—all of them devoid of vapid teenage vampires—can be viewed this weekend when the Bike Film Festival comes to the Brattle Theater.

The festivities kick off tonight at 7:30pm with GoldSprints—a head-to-head sprinting competition held on stationary bikes—at the Middlesex Lounge in Cambridge, followed by an afterparty with live music by DJ Brek.One. Prizes, including a custom frame and other unspecified swag, will be doled out for the fastest times.

Then on Saturday, in keeping with the event’s “film festival” nomenclature, the screenings will begin.

The films are a mix of short amateur takes and full length features that cover the wide spectrum of cycling, from BMX, to bike polo, to professional racing; five minute reels of fixed gear tricks as well as documentaries about famous frame builders will be shown throughout the day Saturday.

The screenings actually break down into three programs, each geared toward a different biking demographic. The first, beginning at 5:00 p.m., consists of a short film tracking two BMX riders as they thrash around the country, and a documentary about legendary BMX company FBM. The next program starts at 7:00 p.m. and includes a feature following bike enthusiasts as they ride across Africa en route to the world’s longest bike race, the Tour d’Afrique.

The final program at 9:00 p.m., and the one likely to draw the biggest gathering given Boston’s vibrant fixed gear community, consists of a series of shorts germane to the fixed gear phenomenon—customized frames, flatland tricks, and, of course, bike polo are the subject of these films. Particularly intriguing is a three-minute video, “One Less Horse,” which pits three polo players on horses against three players on bicycles.

An afterparty will be held on Saturday night as well, this one at Flat Top Johnny’s in Kendall Square. More prizes are rumored to be in the mix, along with the copious booze and flannel button-downs. And, best of all, there will be no teenage vampires.

Founded in 2001 by Brendt Barbur as a way to celebrate all forms of biking through art, music, and film, the Bike Film Festival is now held internationally in 39 cities. This year’s festival kicked off in Memphis way back in May, and concludes December 5 in Miami. The BFF is also being held this weekend in Tokyo.

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