GOING TO THE FILMED BY BIKE film festival just for the movies is like picking up a Playboy just for the articles.
For its ninth year, the locally run, bike-centric festival will screen 40 short- to feature-length movies. But, as usual, much of the action will be happening offscreen during the opening-night street party, which takes over the block outside the Clinton Street Theater with a New Belgium beer garden and a performance by an MC Hammer-themed Jazzercise troupe (they wear a lot of neon Spandex).
If you do manage to make it past the Fat Tire keg and actually inside the theater, Filmed by Bike is running three different slates of films. For the big Friday-night kickoff, festival organizers made the keenly intelligent decision to mix and match from the weekend's batch of films to create a Friday-only program that's geared toward a raucous crowd. Put another way: "They're fun movies that don't require much concentration," explains Festival Director Ayleen Crotty.
In another first for the festival, one of the films showing during the weekend is feature-length—the 80-minute Field Guide to November Days is a sad, nearly wordless flick about Portland hipsters who fall in and out of awkward sexual relationships. It was filmed locally, and (almost) entirely by bike, so if the April rain is leaving you soggy and glum, Field Guide's characters can commiserate. It's sort of the opposite of Friday's wild, ADD-oriented films.
Along with Field Guide, Saturday and Sunday host two different programs: The "Need for Speed" program (Saturday at 5 pm, Sunday at 9 pm) features more of the "messenger dudes going fast in cities" type of short films, as well as a couple movies about cyclocross racing, while the "Bike Love" program (Saturday and Sunday at 7 pm) is full of mildly paced, warm-and-fuzzy shorts ranging from 50 seconds to seven minutes.
Doors open at 6 pm on Friday, and the shows will likely sell out—consider buying tickets in advance at filmedbybike.org. Friday's event is 21 and up, while the 5 pm shows on Saturday and Sunday are all ages.