Life is Beautiful

(click to see on black // canon 5d mark ii, canon 35mm 1.3, f/1.6, iso 2000, 1/80 // buy print)

It’s that time of the week again…time for Movie Title Wednesday. When I looked at this image thinking I’d use it for the weekly film series, the first title that popped into my head was Life is Beautiful.

What’s kind of weird about that was I couldn’t remember a single reason WHY I connected a bicycle with that film. The movie came out in 1997, so that’s fourteen years ago and I don’t remember much about it at all. But then I Googled “Top 10 Bike Movies” and it was on almost every list. So obviously I remembered something from that movie.

So what I do recall about Life is Beautiful was that it was an amazing, powerful film. The first real movie I watched with subtitles. And I remember afterwards telling my wife that about a 1/3 of the way through the movie it suddenly felt as if you weren’t reading anymore…like you almost forgot it was in subtitles. And I remember it being sad and probably getting a bit of dust in my eyes at the end.

Of course, my bigger memory is the star of the film, Roberto Benigni (who won Best Actor), at the Oscars making his way to the front by walking across the chairs instead of the aisle. His acceptance speech was one of the most memorable in history. I’d love to watch Life is Beautiful again, but it’s kind of like Schnidler’s List to me…it’s always hard to re-watch those gut-wrenching Holocaust movies.

Now, about the picture…what is it about bicycles that are so interesting? When I was in Amsterdam, or anywhere in Holland or Belgium really…if I saw a bike, I wanted to take a picture of it. Old bikes against old brick walls…a hundred bikes lining a canal…an alleyway with…yup…bikes.

I saw this one outside the New City Studio gallery this past First Friday in downtown Phoenix and I had to shoot it. I really dug how the light was almost like a spotlight on the bike and then how it falls off everywhere else. Definitely had to crank up the ISO on this shot, but I love the feel.