Since our relaunch in 2016, The Vintagent has been committed to hosting motorcycle-related films every week.  We produce our own films (Vintagent Originals), host new films (Vintagent Selects) as well as showcasing the best or even most obscure films about bikes (Vintagent Classics).  Our Editor for Film, Corinna Mantlo, founded the original Motorcycle Film Festival in NYC in 2013, and hosted a weekly motorcycle film night in Brooklyn (Cine Meccanica) for a decade.  The Vintagent was a proud sponsor of the Film Festival, and our founder Paul d’Orléans was the Chief Judge of the Festival, being a committed cinephile since his pre-teens.
What better way to pass the time while the world is on lockdown than catching up on all those movies you’ve missed, or never even heard of?  This is the first of what we hope will be a short run of recommended films to keep your mind on wheels during the necessary curtailment of public activity. We call it Quarantine Cinema.
The Best Biker Movies Set
Eight films from Corinna Mantlo’s Choppertown film set. [Amazon]
This biker documentary anthology was curated by Corinna Mantlo for Choppertown.  For a mere $1.99 on Amazon Prime, you’ll get 8 fascinating documentaries on everything from the Isle of Man TT, a Bonneville Salt Flats expedition, a women’s sidecar racing team, artist Richie Pan, and more. Best of all, a percentage of sales goes direct to the independent filmmakers featured.  Follow this link and check it out.
Catching up with the Classics
Lee Marvin as Chino in ‘The Wild One’: Marvin was an actual motorcyclist, and based his character in real members of the 13 Rebels and Boozefighter motorcycle clubs of the 1940s. [The Vintagent Archive]
We know a shocking number of you haven’t seen the most important motorcycle film of the 20th Century.  ‘The Wild One’ changed the way the whole world looked at motorcyclists, and for the worse! On the other hand, a whole lot of motorcyclists embraced the bad boy image: ‘The Wild One’ established what Paul d’Orléans calls the Dark Rider trope, with motorcyclists representing everything repressed about 1950s America: freedom from suburban normalcy, distrust for Law and Authority, and an embrace of the impulsive and dangerous.  ‘The Wild One’ was based on two layers of fake news: a posed photo of a drunk on a bike in Hollister in 1947, which became the basis of the story ‘Cyclists Raid’ in Harpers Magazine, which became the basis for the film.  Watch the full version of ‘The Wild One’ for $3.99 on YouTube.
Artists Who Paved the Way
The amazing 1928 film ‘Impatience’ is explicitly an art film, and almost never seen until we brought it back to life on The Vintagent.  ‘Impatience’ (1928) was the first film to eroticize the motorcycle.  Other films of the Silent Era relied on motorcycles for their kinetic energy, but none made an explicit connection between a moving, vibrating motorcycle and a woman’s nude body, a landscape, a woman rider, and even swaying abstract shapes!  ‘Impatience’ is the pioneering film of Charles Dekeukeliere, a Belgian artist, whose work fits into the great artistic movements of the era – Futurism, Dada, and Suprematism.Charles Dekeukeleire sought to create  a pure cinematic experience, without a narrative.  ‘Impatience’ has four characters – the motorcycle, the woman, the mountain, and abstract shapes, with the woman played by Yonnie Selma.  With no story, ‘Impatience’ is visual poetry.  The impact of this rarely-seen film can only be guessed at – did director Jack Cardiff know of it before he directed ‘Girl on a Motorcycle’ in 1968?  The parallels are striking, and some scenes are nearly identical – ‘Impatience’ clearly set the pattern for sexualizing the motorcycle, and relating the machine to a woman’s body, with the possibility of an erotic bond between them.  This one is free, as it’s already on The Vintagent.
Keep safe, stay healthy, and enjoy the films!
Corinna Mantlo is the Editor for Film at The Vintagent. She is also the owner / lead designer at custom seat maker Via Meccanica. She is also the founder of both Cine Meccanica and the Motorcycle Film Festival.  She has contributed to several books, including “The Chopper; The Real Story” (Gestalten 2014) by Paul d’Orleans. In her spare time, Corinna travels as a professional daredevil with the American Motor Drome Co. Wall Of Death.