Two filmmakers infiltrate an underground bicycle club.
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Waugh Amanda ...
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An exploration of the Black Label Bicycle Club and the wider tallbike subculture that has grown up around it. Comprised mainly of artists driven by anti-materialism and a belief that the impending apocalypse will render cars useless and bicycles in power, BLBC battles mainstream consumer culture and rival gangs for its vision of a better tomorrow. The film chronicles the trials of co-director Anthony Howard as he tries to become a member of the club Written by Anonymous

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January 2006 (USA)  »

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would have been nice if it were about BIKE GANGS!
4 January 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

B.I.K.E. is a documentary that follows the exploits of Black Label Bicycle Gang. I had heard of Black Label before seeing this film, to sum them up, they are a group of Crust Punks who think the best way of defeating capitalism is to weld bikes together and ride them in front of SUVs. As you can guess the second I learned of this I wanted to join up, but I lack welding skills and have a fear of falling from tall heights, plus I don't live near any Hipster infected Cities.

Anyway I'm not reviewing the Gang I'm reviewing the documentary about the Gang. I'll say this; I quite liked the parts that were ACTUALLY ABOUT THE BIKE GANG! Dam, if you're going to make a documentary about something make sure the focus is on the something you're documenting. The protagonist (I didn't know documentaries could have protagonists, but this one seemed to) is Anthony Howard, called Tony. Tony is a pathetic Hipster Druggy who decides to hang out with Black Label members because he eats out of dumpsters and lives in an apartment covered in graffiti, like most Black Label Members.

Now I have nothing ageist Dumpster Divers or Squatters, in fact I very much support them in their Anti-Consumerist pursuits, but Tony is a whiney, gangstar talking Dumpster Diving Squatter. The movie decided to following him around, including the part where he melts down because his girlfriend runs off with some British dude (wait is that a spoiler? I didn't know you could Spoil a DOCUMENTARY). What does Tony's girlfriend's disloyalty have to do with Vegan Artist riding Freakishly Tall Bikes in Critical Mass?

I like Bike Culture, I like Bikes, I like this idea of Bike Gangs riding together and stuff. But this film didn't make me want to join Black Label. Most of the Black Label members they interviewed in this film struck me as the kind of Activist Kids who will give it up in ten years to become Suburban Yuppies. But I don't know any of these people personally, nor am I a member of Black Label so I don't really know if they are really into what they preach or if they're just having fun, the film makes it look like the later of the two. If there was a Black Label chapter in Morgantown I would check it out at the very least, and tell them how much I hated this film.

I'll give it 3 stars for the parts I actually liked, but that's grateful.


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