Here at the MFF, we’re busy biker bees toiling over piles of film submissions and event planning but thought we’d take a quick break to let you all in on the latest updates. and wow are they exciting!
The 2nd annual Motorcycle Film Festival is now officially scheduled for the last week in September. Just a few days after the 6th annual Brooklyn Invitational, we’ll kick off the festivities with a Cine Meccanica hosted pre party on Wednesday September 24th, followed by 3 days of MFF, September 25-27th, bringing to you the very best in groundbreaking motorcycle films, and of course bikes, parties and general shenanigans and mayhem! so take time off from work, book your flights or plan that cross country road trip you’ve always wanted to take and come party with us in Brooklyn at the 2d annual Motorcycle Film Festival!
And, by us, we of course mean MFF Co-founders Jack & Corinna, the amazing MFF staff of volunteers without whom this event would not be possible, the filmmakers, the motorcycle community on whole, AND an unbelievable panel of hosts and judges that we are honored and quite frankly mind blown at being able to announce. So without further ado, we are thrilled to introduce you to the 2014 panel. Every one of these individuals is a powerhouse in the motorcycle community and together make up the modern face of motorcycling and cement it’s place in the art world. Welcome Paul, JP, Stacie, Shinya, Roland, Ultan, Hayden, Chris, Peter, Amos, and Eric!
It is such an honor to welcome back three of last year’s judges, each of them truly inspiring artistic minds, and also three lovely people who we are proud to call dear friends. Welcome back JP, Stacie and Paul!
Paul d’Orléans: The Vintagent
Co-Host & Judge
Returning co-host and judge, Paul d’Orléans declared last year, “The world’s lack of a Motorcycle Film Festival has been cured.”
Paul, the man behind TheVintagent.com, has been writing about motorcycles and culture for almost 30 years, and has reviewed, dissected, and illuminated plenty of motorcycle films, making many obscurities, like ‘Scorpio Rising’ and ‘Not So Easy’, available on his website, along with motorcycle-based shorts from artists as diverse as Buster Keaton and Karl Lagerfeld. Paul is a complete movie nut, and from his 20s onwards was a film festival regular, watching everything by his favorite directors: Fassbinder, Tarkovsky, Kurosawa, and Cocteau. Equally a motorcycle nut, he was fascinated by the use of bikes in film, whether as props, characters, or symbols (Death! Rebellion! Freedom!). “I can probably still quote every line from Kathryn Bigelow’s first feature, ‘The Loveless’, which became a kind of talisman for my Café Racer club in 1980s San Francisco, the Roadholders M.C.”
As co-host of last year’s MFF 2013, Paul noted, “All the films being shown are excellent samples of the mighty wave of bike-based video/film content generated in the past year, in what looks like a Motorcycle Renaissance happening right under our noses.”
In addition to his regular musings on everything motorcycle related on TheVintagent.com, Paul writes a monthly column in Britain’s Motorcycle Classics, and contributes regularly to magazines around the world, from Cycle World and Men’s File to MCM in Sweden. He co-authored the #1 best-selling motorcycle book “The Ride” (2013), and his “Cafe Racers: Speed, Style, and Ton-Up Culture” arrives in bookstores this May. He is currently finishing his magnum opus, ‘Chopper; the True Story’, which will appear next September, just in time for MFF 2014. Paul also consults for Bonham’s motorcycle auctions, and hosts/judges motorcycle shows like the Quail Motorcycle Gathering and Concorso di Villa d’Este. He also exhibits his ‘MotoTintype’ photographs at shows from Austin to Biarritz. Before you see him at Motorcycle Film Festival, Paul will have barreled 4,150 miles across the USA on a 1933 Brough Superior 11-50, for his second Motorcycle Cannonball. Paul is motorcycling’s all-around Renaissance man.
“It’s a good goddamn sign when people take it upon themselves to create an event (that holy shit, doesn’t even exist?!) like the Motorcycle Film Festival,” bellowed JP last year when tapped to be a judge.
JP grew up in a biker household and was obsessed with the imagery, style, energy, and influence of movie classics like The Wild One, Easy Rider, Billy Jack, Rebel Rousers, and more! JP described his father as a “pretty fucking hardcore biker—a machinist, dirty, no whining, take no shit, get ‘er done, kind of guy.” JP was expected to do his part: wash the bike, dump the used oil, hold the timing light, pass the tools without having to be told what tool was needed next, and “most importantly—watch his motherfucking Harley.” This upbringing made it easy for JP to shoot holes in many biker films for their inauthenticity: “Many of these movies are more someone’s idea of the motorcycle lifestyle than the reality, because they really had no idea what the lifestyle was about.” JP knows about style. In the menswear business for the past twenty years, JP is highly in-tune with the influences of the iconic motorcycle films. Not stopping there, he has gone to great lengths to learn about those bikes, those who built them, the sound and score of the films, and the style and clothing that continues to inspire to this day. “It’s all a beautiful menagerie of what I love and where I’ve come from.”
We’re proud to have JP, the man behind The Selvedge Yard, return this year. JP’s love of movies, photography, music, bikes, culture, style, history, and whatever else piques his interest that day is what The Selvedge Yard is all about. JP confides, “The MFF brings it all together on the big screen and it’s a huge honor to be part of it, let alone a juror.”
No stranger to the film industry, Stacie grew up in one of the houses built on The Back Lot of MGM studios. As a youngster she toured the “Chips” set with none other than Ponch and even sat on his bike. Years later her obsession with movies, combined with not needing much sleep, rewarded Stacie with being one of the youngest to be admitted into the Art Director’s Guild, and motorcycles remained a part of Stacie’s imagination. In 2009 she purchased her first motorcycle, a 1969 BMW R60US, and the motorcycle takeover had begun. If it is two-wheel related, Stacie wants to try it: road racing, motocross, flat tracking, dirt bikes, long distance trips, canyon riding, night riding, day riding, stunt riding, or just riding around the block.
Recently, Stacie, who by day is an exhibition designer at L.A.’s MoCA, has started working in front of the camera, finding it exhilarating to be the subject of a film rather than creating an environment for it. When not around the camera, London is road racing her 1968 Honda CB160 (Triple Nickel 555) in two circuits and racing her 1966 Bultaco Sherpa flat tracker.
Looking for other women motorcycle enthusiasts lead her to start East Side Moto Babes, which has built a strong community (for both genders) that provides encouragement, support and inspiration to women riders…and potential riders. Most of all it has created camaraderie among women helping and teaching other women. London reveals this is no easy task, “These are not your average women, these are motorcycle riding, courageous, powerful, badass women who do not take shit from anyone—a sorority for rebellious women because we all need community.” London enthuses, “Being a returning judge to the Motorcycle Film Festival and having the opportunity to work with people I admire is a huge honor.”
Shinya Kimura is one of today’s leading motorcycle designer-builders. His distinctive builds emerge from his 1992-founded “ZERO” shop where he gained a reputation for his bare metal, minimalistic and vintage looking bikes that combine form and function. Kimura’s creations are described perfectly by the Japanese concept of “wabi sabi” (austere refinement) and the beauty of the raw materials. Kimura and his crew put their work to the test in vintage races and have won several awards.
In 2006 Kimura launched chabott engineering in Azusa, California as an outgrowth of his previous repair shop named Chabo, which means “bantam rooster” in Japanese. This was Kimura’s “back to basics” statement. With chabott engineering, Kimura continues exploring metal and rubber in new ways—not only building custom motorcycles—but creating functional art by infusing his philosophy and aesthetic values into sculpturally unique and rolling designs.
“I believe that the motorcycle itself is art, not just mine but the existence of motorcycle is art. My role is to just extract the artistic quality in motorcycle it already has by redesigning it for the particular rider without trying so hard to make it look like art. (Though I swear I’ve never tried hard to make it look like art.)” Since then, two of Kimura’s bikes were used in “Iron Man” (2008), and Kimura continues to build some of the more beautiful and distinct motorcycles on the road.
California native Roland Sands, a veteran of pro racing, is one of today’s elite custom motorcycle design-builders. The 1998 AMA 250GP National Champion founded Roland Sands Design in 2005 following his success on “Biker Build-Off.”
Sands grew up in the Performance Machine shop by sweeping floors before moving up to assembly, sanding, polishing, wheel designing, eventually working his way to Director of R&D. Of course with an eight-year stint in the road racing circuit. His eponymous Roland Sands Design designs concept motorcycle parts and builds custom motorcycles. RSD works with major motorcycle manufacturers to design concept and prototype motorcycles and promote benchmark product in the motorcycle industry and beyond. Sands’ designs mix sport bike and chopper influences to create distinguished custom bikes. Lately Sands has brought his sense of style from bike to gear with a distinct vintage influence.
Ultan Guilfoyle quintessentially combines motorcycles, art, and cinema. Ultan was curatorial advisor for the Guggenheim Museum for their groundbreaking, blockbuster exhibition “The Art of the Motorcycle.” One of the best attended museum exhibitions…ever, “The Art of the Motorcycle” has been credited with reintroducing motorcycles to the general public as beautiful machines and artistic endeavors, not the hooliganism associated with the immediate post-war era.
Guilfoyle is no stranger to the world of cinema either. He is a producer with several films under his belt and known for his productions known “Robert Rauschenberg: Making It Big” (1998), “1071 Fifth Avenue: Frank Lloyd Wright & the Guggenheim Museum” (1994), and “The Kimbell at 40” (2013). Guilfoyle produced “Sketches of Frank Gehry” (2006) which was an Official Selection of the Cannes Film Festival. Incidentally, Frank Gehry was the exhibition designer for “The Art of the Motorcycle.” Guilfoyle’s attention to art and architecture provides him with a keen eye for style, structure, and concept.
Hayden Roberts: Hell on Wheels MC
Hayden Roberts lives in Long Beach, California and is general dogsbody and chief party planner at Hell on Wheels, which specializes in repairs, restorations, custom builds and parts for vintage motorcycles. Hell on Wheels hosts several vintage motorcycle races in California and around the world, from Vintage MX and Dirt track to hill climbs. He is uniquely qualified to judge this festival as he once sat at a bar in Pasadena with Werner Herzog. Follow @hellonwheelsmc on instagram; they can’t figure out computers but they can manage to take a picture.
An award-winning documentary filmmaker, Peter Starr’s list of motorcycling accomplishments is nothing short of awe inspiring. From racing motorcycles and working for the Triumph marquee; to hosting and producing innovative radio programs; to award-winning films, television commercials and developing groundbreaking specialized camera equipment, penning articles for the world’s top motorcycle magazines, and producing and directing over 40 films, many available through Starr Film, Peter Starr can be found at the forefront of our cultural renaissance of motorsports.
With five decades of motorcycling, professional road racing, and international touring under his belt (helmet?!), Peter has been in step with, and responsible for, some of the most important developments in them all. Among Starr’s groundbreaking firsts: in 1980 he was the first to mount a film camera on a motorcycle during an AMA National Race; in 1985 his live broadcast from the AMA National-Duquoin Mile for ABC Wide World of Sports was the first; and, the Peter Starr Motorcycle Show was the first national television series on motorcycling.
His most famous feature film “Take it to the Limit” (1980) has received awards at international film festivals. Furthermore, Starr’s films have won an additional 12 international awards, and his radio programs have been honored with New York International Radio Programming Awards.
Widely and wildly admired as a filmmaker, writer and producer, Amos Poe is a founding father of Punk, No Wave, and Indie American Cinema. The New York Times has called Amos Poe a “pioneering indie filmmaker.” One of the first punk filmmakers, he co-directed the cult classic “The Blank Generation” (1976)— a quintessential snapshot of New York’s DIY spirit. Poe’s successive films—”The Foreigner” (1978) and “Subway Riders” (1981)—landed him squarely within the No Wave Cinema movement. During this time Poe directed the public access television cable show “TV Party”. Eddie Cockrell of The American Film Institute summed it up in a nutshell: “Amos Poe is not afraid to simultaneously challenge and move an audience. Seldom, if ever, in American cinema has a sensibility of such avant garde and seemingly pessimistic tastes produced films of such compassion and reflection.”
Poe continues to teach screenwriting, directing and production at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. His full filmography and current works are found atamospoe.com. When he found out about the Motorcycle Film Festival Poe responded, “Let’s see, the technical term would be—’holy shit!, YES!!’ Combining my two favorite activities, filmmaking and riding, yes!” When not planning his next film, a re-imagining of “Easy Rider as a feminist allegory, Poe can be found riding “Black Bonnie” his 2012 Triumph Bonneville.
Meet Amos in his own words.
Many of you will remember Eric Ristau from last year. His film “The Best Bar in America” (2009) took Winner Feature Narrative and Best of Festival. When asked what drew him to the festival Ristau deadpans, “We were looking for film festivals that weren’t pretentious bullshit.”
His previous films include the documentary “Shooting Grunts” (2008), cinematography for “Jupiter Landing” (2005), and number of client-based works, primarily non-profits. Between films, Eric can be found exploring people and places, or just getting away, on his ’74 BMW R75/6 with a 1973 Spirit of America sidecar. Incidentally, Eric successfully completed a KickStarter campaign with Geneva Liimatta for their next film, “Sit Stay Ride: The Story of America’s Sidecar Dogs.” The title says it all and we’re looking forward to it.