The roof of 210 Cook Street, Bushwick, Brooklyn | DIRECTIONS
Click here to read a special note about how this venue fits in with Rooftop Films' history
If you've been to underground noise rock shows, dangerous loft parties in derelict areas, or unlawful bicycle events in the streets, you might've noticed some of the members of the Black Label Bicycle Club. They tend to be tattooed and pierced and wear black-painted jeans-jackets. They seem to like to party and fight. And they build their own bicycles. Tall-bikes, in particular: frames welded on top of other frames so the seat rides six feet off the ground. They're easy to spot cruising down a crowded avenue, or jousting under a bridge, carrying a long plumbing pipe and trying to knock an opponent to the tar.
But if you've only ever gawked from afar at these pedal-powered Hell's Angels, you don't know the whole story.
Granted, they're hard to get to know. As visible as they are, the Black Label Bike Club remains a tight knit, self-protective, secretive sort of group. Anthony Howard wanted to know more, so he tried to join the club. And he made a film about it.
Howard throws himself headlong (and headfirst off more than a few tall-bikes) into the Black Label lifestyle, and, along with co-director Jacob Septimus, discovers that Black Label is about a lot more than booze, brawls and bikes. Comprised mainly of artists driven by anti-materialism and a belief that the impending apocalypse will render cars useless and bicycles in power, BLBC battles mainstream consumer culture and rival gangs for its vision of a better tomorrow. Howard's vision, however, becomes increasingly blurred by drugs and self-destruction. In his desperate attempts to appease the group, Howard loses perspective on what the group values, and loses control of his own life.
This fascinating and gorgeously gritty film provides insight into a passionate political subculture, and exposes the darker aspects of living on the wild side.
Heads break, necks crack, drugs are consumed in mass quantities, and the inherent contradictions of radical individualists attempting to maintain a group identity implode, reform and implode yet again, in an absolutely fascinating tour of a modern netherworld.
-Ray Greene, Box Office Magazine
At first, B.I.K.E. seems to be about people who are nothing like us, but...moments of relatable sincerity...make the film far more than a dissection of a movement. Its central conflict between individual need and group comfort is
something we can all understand.
-John Thomason, Orlando Weekly
Vaz are dark and spooky but still manage to have an outstanding pop element.
We at Rooftop Films are thrilled to return to our outlaw days on the warehouse roofs in the East Williamsburg Industrial Park, our home from 1998-2003. If you remember those gritty old days—showing movies on top of nearly abandoned buildings with car fires and gun shots crackling in the near-distance—you won't want to miss the opportunity to watch this renegade film on a gorgeous industrial roof on the border of Bushwick.