The Girl on the Motorcycle
‘Serious film buffs’ often dismiss the admittedly ponderous and indulgent 1968 film from Jack Cardiff that was based on Mandiargues’s quasi surrealistic novel as a slightly ridiculous joke.
But if you dig the aesthetic of the last couple of years of the sixties, you’re interested in the idea of girls on motorbikes being slightly unnerving and subversive, then you really should take the time to hunt it down on your local bit torrent.
The clip below gives a good flavour of the feel of the film. The bike riding scenes are ludicrous but still somehow kinda cool. The Harley is almost comical and other worldy in the context of the French countryside. Marianne Faithful looks pretty and seductive and vaguely sinister in her skintight leather one-piece in combo with the futuristic open face lid.
But, you can’t help but notice the similarities with other films like Easy Rider and countless schlockish bikesploitation movies that equate motorcycles with freedom, rebellion and sexuality. It’s cool to witness an European take on the theme, and the main character’s interior monologues are amusing – and her encounters with randy gendarmes laugh-out loud hilarious.
Perfect viewing for the frustrated biker on a wet Easter weekend.
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