"Oh Comely," Neutral Milk Hotel, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Wednesday evening I managed to wend my way on two wheels to Asylum in Adams Morgan to take in The Pornography of the Bicycle, a flick billed as "a series of short films on the theme of Bike Porn" that has managed to travel across the country on a seemingly (but never seemly) miniscule budget.
The brainchild of one Reverend Philwhose orange, devil's-horn wisps of hair belie his saintly pseudonymand his cohorts from Portland, OR, along with (and this part's supposition) a handful of dudes from Vancouver, BC, and, perhaps, a few undisclosed enclaves betwixt the two regions, this collection of celluloid vignettes indirectly attempts to answer the Biblical question, Just what the hell is Bike Porn, anyway?
I showed up early at Nanny Obrien's, the one venue that had agreed to host the flick's opening here in DC1. After hanging out for a few minutes and noticing no one whose ass looked as if it enjoyed the touch of leather (be it from saddle or riding crop), I inquired with the 'keep as to where the movie would be shown, only to learn that the venue had changed last minute. So, after putting my own ass back on the saddle, I was quickly off to Asylum in Adams Morgan.
Rolled up to the bar and, as I locked up at the racks outside along with a thousand other bikes, I was accosted by the Portland crew. They appeared to have been hovering about for a while, trying to decide where best to drink whatever was growing warm in a brown paper sack one of them clutched in the crook of his arm (silly me, I thought they were looking for a bar, and suggested The Reef across the street where, unbeknownst to any of us, a rare keg of Rogue Double Dead Guyyum!was on tap). I fell in with them, and we ambled around the back of the bar, settling into a relatively well-lit alley so the boys could shake down a few Schaeffers without fear of an interloping constable.
In between supping beer and talking in the vaguest of terms about the film, the crew passed out fliers for the event, trying to garner interest from passersby. A couple of crushed cans later, and we were inside, where a smaller than expected group had already gathered for the viewing. I headed up to the bar, where I was soon joined by none other than Anna K. just as my beer, a Bell's Double Cream Stout, met my waiting hand. Hung out chatting with Anna for a bit before the film started.
Not long after the flick began rolling, I got a poke in the back and turned around to see Susanna M., formerly of WABA fame and now gracing the halls of CCAN, standing there, beer in hand. I introduced the two ladies, and the three of us talked much of the time, pausing now and again for a sip of beer and to catch up on the film. I guess what I'm warming up to here is, I'm a bit of an unreliable narrator when it comes to describing the various scenes that flashed across the screen well into the night. Sure, I caught bits and pieces, but as for a review, well, the company and a few pints put the kibosh on any attempt at a real critique. Okay, full disclosure is done, here's what I got:
The Pornography of the Bicycle features all manner of bike footage, including a few loops of the infamous Portland Zoobombers. All of the clips are DIY, as they should be. Despite the lurid title, most of the scenes are unassociated with what I'm guessing most people think of when they think of pornography, which is a good thing (gratuity purely for the sake of being gratuitous has been done to death). The notable exception is the concluding clip, which features, ahem, a structurally-modified naked female bike-o-phile attempting a little paraphilia with a hapless road bike left alone in a backyard. In the end, after a bit of fruitless frottage, she hops aboard the bike and, olisbos dangling, pedals away from our leering eyes, off in search of more privacy. There, that's probably the bit you were looking for anyway, so all is not lost. While the film was entertaining enough, it's not likely to pedal away with a Palme d'Or (now there's a nice double entendre for you) anytime soon.
(Damn, I gotta get out on a real ride soon...)
1. Rumor has it that Gwadzilla was instrumental in arranging a DC venue for the film.