What Hunter S. Thompson did for drug culture and journalism in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
, Anthony Howard and Jacob Septimus do for underground bike culture and film in B.I.K.E.
Howard is an alcoholic filmmaker/protagonist and wannabe artist who becomes so enamored with the subculture of bike clubs and their ragged lifestyles that the first hour of the film is a riveting, fast-paced, gritty and raw mess of conflated motivations. Howard quickly crosses the line from observing the group to trying to join the club and direct it instead. He's aching to find meaning in the bike culture and within himself while exploring ideas about art and counter-culture but his own manias take over the project. While the filmmakers draw stained links with political/environmental movements like Critical Mass (a bike group opposed to cars and fossil-fuel consumption), it's the drunken, reckless, medieval-style jousting on reconfigured bikes that excites Howard. He tries to prove himself in jousting bouts so he can join the Black Label Bike Club, but the group resists him -- possibly because the cameras violate its underground creed, or possibly because he's an abrasive, narcissistic drunk who loves to confront people. His provocative nature costs him plenty, but in a compelling and revealing way. Is he interested in art or merely attention? Is there greater meaning to all this or is it just intoxicating chaos. Sorting it out is a wild ride. Check out the film before its run expires but also see the Web site (www.bike-films.com
) for additional deleted scenes and photos of tricked-out bikes. Tickets $7 general admission, $6 students/seniors, $5 Zeitgeist members. -- Will Coviello
9:30 p.m. Tue.-Wed. Aug. 15-16
Zeitgeist Multi-disciplinary Arts Center, Tulane University School of Architecture, Richardson Memorial hall, 827-5858; www.zeitgeistinc.net
click to enlarge