I was going write a long, subjective and detailed post about the best cycling films, but thought better of it. suffice to say, films you really should see include:
1. Breaking Away (Peter Yates), featuring a really young Dennis Quaid, and a rites of passage narrative focused on a real-life race, the Little 500. the film is also about social class and very much in a tradition of american films like ‘the outsiders’ (adapted from SE Hinton’s brilliant novel), and it’s an ensemble piece. it’s a hugely underrated film, and there’s a great article and video clips here.
2. A Sunday in Hell (Jorgen Leth), a documentary about Paris Roubaix. By some distance the best film solely focused on cycling, and directed by a dane who late became a fully fledged member of the Dogma movement. A Sunday in Hell seems to get even better the more i cycle, the esoteric aspects become more relevant. below is the entire film (!). if you’ve got 90 minutes to spare then watch it. if not, then just watch the first few minutes.
3. the bicycle thieves – neo-realist director Vittoria De Sicca’s film focusing on a missing bike and man who needs it back: “no bicycle, no job”.
4. Les Triplets De Belleville; an amazing animated film, with terrifying depictions of mountain stages in the Tour, oblique references to real-life celebrities of the era, and a brilliant dog, who has startling dog dreams.