10 04 2012

Bikes, mind. Or in a Bristol accent, Böikzmöind, the name of the documentary made by Aardman designer Gavin Strange with the help of a lot of friends and collaborators. Yesterday was the DVD and book launch of Böikzmöind, and also the opportunity for Gavin to explain a bit about the film, in his words, “modern, film noir, avant-garde, like a Watershed film”.

Tongue in cheek perhaps from the man also known as Jam Factory, but also apt, for it was in the Watershed where the screening and Q&A took place and which cropped up occasionally in the film, most noticeably as the setting for the brutal Rollapalooza.

Böikzmöind is an exploration of the fixed gear scene in Bristol, but one which is not a closed shop. Like Senna can be enjoyed by non-Formula One fans, then the same can be said for Böikzmöind.

You don’t need to ride a fixie to enjoy this film, but having a love of things beautiful and two-wheeled certainly helps. As does having a love of Bristol. I got a bit teary-eyed towards the film’s conclusion as rider after rider joined a pelaton from the city centre which snaked around College Green, up Park Street and finally over the Suspension Bridge in a glorious end sequence.

Interspersed with some laugh-out-loud talking heads from many fixed gear riders, other noticeable sequences include drag-style races in the tunnel along the Bristol and Bath Railway Path; the opening title shot in The Bottle Yard in Hengrove of a tricks rider; and supermarket shopping on bicycles, also shot at The Bottle Yard in the set of Sky One sitcom Trollied.

“I don’t know how to make a documentary,” Gavin admitted, “but if it looks pretty you can watch it on mute. If it looks good, I’m happy. If it feels good and has the content, I’m even more happy.”

Gavin should be very happy indeed with Böikzmöind.

Click here to see stills from the film. Visit the official website at www.boikzmoind.com.



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