Tour de Cinema


Tour de Cinema - Heads

By Edyta Krygowska.

The British Film Institute (BFI) is celebrating 100 years of  bicycle-themed movies.  It really underlines the enduring charm and beauty of the bicycle, doesn’t it?

The joy of cycling has been an irresistible entertainment for “the talkies” for over a century.  In celebration of this year’s Tour de France departure (le Grand Depart) from Yorkshire, the BFI has curated a wonderous collection of short films about cycling over the years.  Most only a few minutes long, some silent, some with that distinctive Olde Worlde English tone ;-), all laced with playfulness and adventure. Light yet powerful.

Those in the UK can view the films using the BFI’s iPlayer.  But fear not, even we here in Australia can partake of these beautiful documents. With the help of YouTube, we’ve compiled this entré and hope that you’ll while away some time to re-attach to cycling’s effortless humanising effect.  Enjoy…


1. Boy and Bicycle (1965)

Ridley Scott’s first ever film.  A teenage boy lost in his own thoughts escapes society with his best friend – his bicycle.  Nothing else exists but he and his bike.


2. Cyclist Special (1956)

A wonderful documentary on bike touring in the English countryside. Effortless. Great day out; new friendships, wonderful company.

@6:12:   [the only sounds being…] “…the humming of tyres and the talk that arises between solicitor and carpenter, teacher and typesetter, electrician and radiographer – between people of all ages, ranks and stations – who rediscover their common humanity in finding countryside, exercise and companionship all in one.”


3. Fat Man on a Bicycle (1914)

Silent, short, sweet and funny. Nothing should stop someone from learning to ride a bike. You just need bike buddy!


4. How a Bicycle is Made (1945)

An engaging journey through the artisan’s creative and meticulous process of making a bicycle.

@ 16.35:  “There are bicycles for all purposes. Suitable for men, women, boys and girls.  …A bicycle is a comfortable and cheap way of getting about. A great boon to man.  Ideal for shopping, easy to park, handy for work.  A faithful friend ever ready to take tired workers back home. And after work to bring relaxation, health and happiness.”


5. No Short Cut (1964)

How to be an expert cyclist? No Short Cut will teach you how to cycle safely.

@15:57:  “If you’re going to take a bicycle onto the road, learn to ride it. Learn to ride it well and look after it.  Cycling should be fun, an adventure. Learn to enjoy it properly.”


The complete list of BFI’s Cycling Film collection can be found down the page here.






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