I once heard a comedian, Eddie Izzard, joking about how the American Dream is to go from rags to riches but the European Dream is “to be in the South of Europe… on a moped with no helmet on, riding along, going ‘Ciao’.” 🙂
I definitely wouldn’t ride my scooter without a helmet, but I love riding this time of year with the warm wind rushing by… it feels like I’m flying.
I was looking through our extensive foreign film collection here at the library and realized that three of my favorite foreign films, truly incredible movies, have cycling of some kind as a theme.
In The Motorcycle Diaries it is a 1939 Norton 500 that Ernesto “Che” Guevara and Alberto Granado set out to ride across Latin America. They eventually have to leave it behind. I loved this film because of the dialogue between the two young men and also the cinematography is just beautiful.
In Il Postino a man carries mail back and forth on a bicycle to a famous poet and learns how to romance a beautiful woman. This is a very sweet love story.
The bicycle is the central theme of The Bicycle Thief because this man’s survival is dependent upon finding it. This film was a very powerful portrayal of hunger but has a soft side too.
If you want to throw in an independent American film as well, The World’s Fastest Indian is about a man from New Zealand who builds a motorcycle and competes in the American “Speed Week” on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
Some other foreign film picks:
Run Lola Run~A suspense/thriller with an interesting casino scene.
The Dinner Game~A comedy where a man gets duped by his dinner guest.
Wings of Desire~A beautiful drama about angels wanting to become human.
If it’s sunny outside I’ll be riding my scooter. Ciao! 🙂
Jesse Lee Harmon is the bookkeeper/library assistant at the Oliver Wolcott Library and loves playing guitar & singing her songs, riding her scooter & cooking, especially with fresh herbs and lots of chopping.