February 7, 2011 § Leave a comment
Documentaries seem to be my life line. No matter what the subject matter is, I just love watching them. I recently watched one called “B.I.K.E.” It is about the Black Label Bicycle Club in New York. The documentary was shot mostly during 2004.
This documentary had me feeling all kinds of different things. Let me explain the film a bit before; it will make it easier to understand. The two filmmakers, Jacob Sepitmus and Anthony Howard, “infiltrate” the Black Label Bicycle Club. The film is based around Tony trying to become part of the Brooklyn chapter. Along with Tony’s mission, we see his dangerous drug-filled relationship with his girlfriend, a bromance with Doyle, the “poster child” for Black Label and tall bike jousting, and then finally Tony’s own self-destructive habits. All of this is bundled together while learning about BLBC and the members’ lifestyle of anti-consumerism, environmentalist mindset and politically radical ideals. However, the founder of the group does not want the group to be politically driven. Yet, there is a huge aspect of the film based around the 2004 Republican National Convention.
My summary of the film is a little confusing, but so is the film itself. I have watched it a total of three times this week. Each time, I am grasping it more and more. Sometimes I am cheering for Tony. I want him to make it; I want him to feel like he has finally “fit in” somewhere. Other times, I cannot stand him. I think he is self-absorbed and a rich kid brat. His family seems really nice and supportive of everything he does. Not to mention, he even says that he is a rich kid that went to art school. (I am not knocking rich kids or art students; this guy was just pretentious.) The film is sometimes about the culture, sometimes about Tony’s life and then sometimes about Doyle. I understand it is about the sub-culture and everything about that lifestyle. In the end though, I cannot wrap my mind around the film as a whole. I do think it is very interesting, but there is a lot of drug use, nudity and fighting. It is basically just watching someone slowly go off the deep in while giving the world the middle finger. Either way, I would recommend everyone checking it out at least for a conversation piece among friends.