A triple bill of films examining the niche art of time-trialing - an age-old British tradition - including grueling hill climbs up Cheddar Gorge; Danish auteur Jørgen Leth’s iconic 1974 documentary of his compatriot Ole Ritter’s attempt on the iconic world hour record; and the honest and heartbreaking study of Danish time-trial speciaiist Rasmus Quaade.
The Impossible Hour
Dir: Jørgen Leth, Denmark, 1974, 40mins
Jørgen Leth’s concentrated study of Danish rider Ole Ritter’s attempt to recapture the most compelling and difficult record in professional cycling – The Hour Record. Chronicling Ritter’s record attempt in Mexico City in 1974 Leth’s trademark poetic narration examines Ritter’s special training on his purpose built track bike and the psychological conditioning required for achieving a concentrated performance at this level. An objective and lyrically intimate study of a loner’s defiant attempt to make sporting history.
- Watch again director Jørgen Leth discussing his iconic documentary A Sunday In Hell at Cyclescreen back in 2011 when he visited the festival.
Dir: Daniel Dencik, Denmark, 2012, 1hr 22min
A coming-of-age story about Danish time-trialist Rasmus Quaade. This is a rough and winding road through hell and back as we follow young Rasmus' struggle to become a professional rider. Rasmus has proven to have a special talent for riding, but even if his physical abilities are extra-ordinary and tailor made for cycling, his mind is built for thinking. His constant reflections about life and death are his biggest obstacle in reaching his goal of becoming a time-trial World Champion. Shot on fragile Super8 and raw helmet-cam, this is a journey seen from the inside the head of a young cyclist and is a poignant picture of the extreme and lonely life of a young championship rider.
Screening with short:
Up Up Up
(Dir: Thom Heald, UK, 2014, 3mins)
Local filmmaker Thom Heald goes to Cheddar Gorge for this evocative look at the local hill climbing scene.