Bicycle Movies for a Colder Spring

Springtime is just around the corner. One of my favorite parts about warmer weather is hopping on my bike and riding around Jackson Park lagoon and on The 606 trail. Until it gets a little nicer, I will be indoors watching these movies that prominently feature bicycles.

Belleville rendez-vous (or The Triplets of Belleville) is often described to me as “that animated French movie with the catchy song.” Directed by Sylvian Chomet (The Illusionist), the movie follows Madame Souza, whose adult son, a professional cyclist, is kidnapped. Madame Souza makes friends with three former vaudeville stars who aid her in her search. Before you ask, the famous song is called “Belleville Rendez-Vous," and it’s performed by the group Rock Paper Scissors.

Premium Rush, directed by David Koepp, stars Joseph Gordon Levitt as Wilee, a bicycle messenger who pedals his way into a plot of espionage. The movie is essentially one long bicycle chase through New York City, and JGL’s bike has no brakes. It feels as disorienting and thrilling to watch as it sounds.

Wadjda holds a lot of “firsts.” It is the first feature-length film to be made in Saudi Arabia and the first feature-length film made by a female Saudi director (Haifaa al-Mansour). The film, starring Waad Mohammad as the title role, tells the story of a young girl who prefers mixtapes and DIY jewelry to the rules of her teachers. What she wants most of all is the green bicycle in a shop window, and she enters a Koran reciting tournament to win the prize money to buy it.

In Breaking Away, Dennis Christopher plays Dave, a young cyclist who pretends he's from Italy. However, he's from Bloomington, Ind., and preparing to compete in an Indiana University bicycle race. This is truly a feel-good movie that follows not only Dave and his friends, but Dave’s middle-aged parents as well.

What are your favorite bike movies?

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