A black comedy called The Climb has been showing at Cannes this year and seems to be attracting broadly positive reviews. As you can see from the trailer, there’s a fair bit of cycling in it.
The Climb premiered at Sundance Film Festival last year as an eight-minute short (which you can find below), but has since been expanded into a 1h38m feature.
The film follows two friends, Michael and Kyle, and their often tense relationship over the course of a decade. The original film comprised a single, casual bike ride, but the finished film expands to a number of different scenes – not all of them cycling-related – as the viewer catches up with the characters once every few months.
The first scene, which is a single take, is the one in the clip above. The two men are in France on a cycling holiday, which is a sort of stag do before Kyle’s wedding to Ava. If it seems a bit farcical, apparently the rest of the film isn’t like that. We’d guess that the short is a better indication of the overall tone.
The director, Michael Covino, who plays Mike, is reportedly a keen cyclist and scouted locations during last year’s Cannes Film Festival and the opening scene takes place on the Col du Vence.
Covino told Bicycling.com that he felt he, “could take a pretty typical dramatic event, like a friend revealing to another friend that he slept with his ex, to another level by incorporating that physicality of being on a challenging climb.”
He said that while he had been in pretty good shape, co-writer Kyle Marvin (who plays Kyle) Kyle hadn’t been on a bike since he was a kid. “So in the short, when you see him hurting and suffering, there wasn’t too much acting going on there. He was really winded, which sort of worked for what the character was going through.”
Marvin has since got really into cycling.
Covino’s got a tip for you as well, if you’re ever struggling on a climb.
“There was something about acting while we rode that kind of distracted us from the physical part. I actually went back to do the route again earlier this week, and it pretty much killed me, so I really think the acting part helped a lot.”