Free screening of Belleville Rendez-vous this Sunday… and bring your bike

Classic cycling animation screens at classic cycle track – and the pedal-powered cinema needs volunteers.

by Max Leonard   April 15, 2011  

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Something of a triple-whammy for London’s cycling film fans on Sunday night: Belleville Rendez-Vous is being shown at Herne Hill Velodrome, presented by the Velodrome itself, Hackney Bicycle Film Society, Free Film Festivals and the Save the Velodrome campaign.

Best of all, it’s a bike-powered screening, thanks to Electric Pedals, the group that organises and provides the know-how behind bicycle-powered community events. Audience members will be encouraged – for that read ‘required’ – to contribute some valuable wattage in order for the film to go ahead.

The classic cycling animated feature film, directed and written by Sylvain Chomet, a French comic-book artist, tells the story of Madame de Souza, who masterminds her grandson’s challenge for the Tour de France, only to see him whisked away by gangsters and taken across the Atlantic to Belleville.

The velodrome’s management has said that, in the case of good weather, anyone over the age of 8 who brings a bike can have a ride round this, the last of the 1948 London Olympic venues. At the moment the weather forecast says the sun will be shining.

However, as anyone who’s tried to attend the Good Friday track meet over the past couple of years will attest, the Herne Hill velodrome is open to the elements, and the track will be closed if it’s damp. The screening, however, will go ahead what ever the weather, so audience members are advised to dress warmly, pedal-power the cinema to keep core body temperature up, and consume as much of the tea and other refreshments on sale as possible.

Belleville Rendez-Vous
8:30pm, Sunday April 17
Herne Hill Velodrome, Burbage Road, Herne Hill, SE24 9HE
Free!