5 films to get you revved up


What does a biker do when not riding — visit ‘The Motorcycle: Design, Art, Desire‘ and watch a film obviously! ‘The Motorcycle‘ exhibition opened the throttle on 150 years of ground-breaking design that shaped one of the most iconic objects the world has ever seen. Featuring racers, record breakers and road icons up close. Get ready to explore the largest collection of historical, iconic and future road machines all in one place. 

‘The Motorcycle’ exhibition was in Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) from 28 November 2020 until 26 April 2021.

The accompanying cinema program ‘Motorcycles on Screen’ brings together a selection of more than a century of motorcycle films from around the world. With over 50 titles in the line-up, it can be hard to know where to begin! So here are five films that really rev my engine — and hopefully yours too.

The sci-fi thriller Rollerball 1975 weaves motorcycles into its dystopian bloodsport, with bikes and roller-skaters joined together in brutal combat in a dark vision of the future.

Tsai Ming-liang’s debut feature film Rebels of the Neon God 1992 is a searing portrait of youthful unrest, sending its characters into the night streets of Taipei on their motorcycles.

In Caro Diario 1993, writer/director/star Nanni Moretti glides through Rome on his Vepsa, philosophising on cinema and the world around him.

The cult gorefest Demons 1985 sets its titular creatures against a crowd of moviegoers at the premiere of a new horror film – and the only way through the horde might just be on two wheels.

And bask in the splendour of the official vehicle of Freedonia leader Rufus T Firefly – a Harley-Davidson Model J with sidecar that never quite gets where it needs to be – in Duck Soup 1933, arguably the Marx Brothers’ finest hour.

Rob Hughes, Australian Cinémathèque, QAGOMA

RELATED: More 5 film suggestions to watch

RELATED: Read more about the bikes in ‘THE MOTORCYCLE’ exhibition

1. Duck Soup

Production still from Duck Soup 1933 / Director: Leo McCarey / Image courtesy: Universal Pictures Australia

2. Rollerball

Production still from Rollerball 1975 / Director: Norman Jewison / Image courtesy: Park Circus

3. Demons

Production still from Demons 1985 / Director: Lamberto Bava / Image courtesy: Intramovies

4. Rebels of the Neon God

Production still from Rebels of the Neon God 1992 / Director: Tsai Ming-liang / Image courtesy: Central Motion Picture Corporation

5. Caro Diario

Production still from Caro Diario 1993 / Director: Nanni Moretti / Image courtesy: Fandango

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QAGOMA is the only Australian art gallery with purpose-built facilities dedicated to film and the moving image. The Australian Cinémathèque at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) provides an ongoing program of film and video that you’re unlikely to see elsewhere, offering a rich and diverse experience of the moving image, showcasing the work of influential filmmakers and international cinema, rare 35mm prints, recent restorations and silent films with live musical accompaniment on the Gallery’s Wurlitzer organ originally installed in Brisbane’s Regent Theatre in November 1929.

Featured image: Rollerball 1975

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