It’s been near a month since my last top ten, I almost feel like it wasn’t missed at all, and with Premium Rush hitting theatres this weekend I felt it best to take on a topic that will probably bore you all to tears, movies and bikes. So let’s get on with the counting…
10. Donnie Darko – Opening Scene
It’s odd to be starting this list with an opening scene from a film which actually has little to do with bikes as anything else. However the scene remains particularly striking, because like most great films it takes the opportunity to grab you and give you a small idea of what kind of tone this film looks to take. Just calmly following Donnie as he wakes up on the side of the road next to his bike and rides home with some great mellow soundtrack in behind him is just so fun.
9. 127 Hours – Beating a Record
What I love so much about this scene is how it basically explains who this guy is. He’s not that guy who passively enjoys nature and is out here for no reason, he’s aggressive with his passion and the way he seems to want to push himself to break some silly record for just himself shows some greatness and what’s to come.
8. Torque – The Cat Fight
So I don’t think I can talk about movies with bikes without talking about the brilliant film that is Torque. Joseph Kahn decided to film a bike fight scene where two women (who say bitch about five times each in 3 minutes) fight while on bikes, riding bikes, doing spin kicks with bikes and surprisingly not crashing into anything.
7. The Shining – Tuesday
This low-key scene works so well, for the same reason every scene in The Shining works so well, because of how eerie it is from top to bottom. As we follow Danny peddling his big wheel around the empty hotel you can’t help but getting a sense of uneasiness as he stops and gets up going towards that door. Help me sleep at night please.
6. The Great Muppet Caper – “Couldn’t We Ride”
I did a marathon of the Muppet films last year, this scene was is one of those gems from the history of the Muppets that I dare say surpasses so many others that no one should ever forget it. It’s shocking the first time you see the camera come away and you see what must be a woman in a massive Ms. Piggy outfit and some similar setup for Kermit as they ride in tandem singing a great song. It’s gorgeous.
5. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – “Rain Drops are Falling in my Head”
Talking about two people (not so in love, or maybe) riding together. Here’s a moment with Paul Newman falling over as much as possible as he rides his best friend’s girlfriend around the farm on his new contraption (a bicycle).It starts as a sweet moment and switches to an odd slapstick moment which is saved by the help of Burt Bacharach’s music.
4. Quicksilver – Bacon v. Fishburne Race
I don’t think we can talk about bikes and bike messengers (Premium Rush) without discussing the amazing feat of filmmaking that is Quicksilver. While this is one of those films that I believe deserves an “all of the scenes” pick, the scene that definitely remains at the top of my mind is the race between Bacon and Fishburne. It’s amazing and the emotional reaction towards the end is why it sticks in your head.
3. ET – They Fly
So this scene is a no brainer. It was so iconic that it became Spielberg’s logo for his production company. What may seem cheesy now when you first see it and Elliot on his bike and lifting off the ground you can’t help but just have your jaw drop to the ground and start cheering. It’s one of those great movie moments where disbelief is the furthest thing from your mind.
2. Better off Dead – I want my $2
What would you do if you owed the paper boy $2? And then that paper boy turned out to be some sort of crazed stalking loan shark type character who had a posse of other paper boys who’s entire purpose in life was to get that $2 from you… well that’s what happens in Better Off Dead and it’s brilliant. One of the most underappreciated comedies of the 80s and the use of the crazed paper boy is so fun that I can’t imagine why I don’t hear anyone talking about this movie anymore.
1. The Bicycle Thief – all of the scenes
Sadly the obvious pick is the best one and the only movie on the list which will continually put me in a state of complete sorrow. In this life we place so much importance on so many unimportant things, it’s always something to see a film remind us all that every so often the smallest and most mundane thing can become the most pivotal thing in your life.
Which scenes/films did I miss out?