Teton Gravity Research’s ‘Accomplice,’ a love-letter to bike-riding, on drive-in tour
IF YOU GO …
What: Teton Gravity Research’s ‘Accomplice’
Where: Audi Drive-In Theater presented by Bumble, Buttermilk Parking Lot
When: Saturday, July 25, 9 p.m.
How much: $40
Tickets and more info: aspensnowmass.com
Even professional mountain bikers, once upon a time, were gleeful kids unwrapping their first bicycles and struggling to balance without training wheels.
That’s the sweet and simple concept at the center of Teton Gravity Research’s new biking movie “Accomplice,” which in the summer of COVID-19 is on a North American tour of mountain town drive-in theaters. It plays the pop-up Audi Drive-In Theater at Buttermilk Ski Area on Saturday night.
The film, directed by Jeremy Grant (“Where the Trail Ends”), opens with grainy VHS-era home videos of future extreme sports heroes screaming with joy at getting their first bikes and crashing on tricycles in their childhood driveways. Then they’re a little older, tooling around on BMX courses and mountain trails, passing a camera around while they practice bike tricks on a trampoline.
“I was 7 years old and that changed my life,” one rider says in the film. “It opened up almost every door there is for me.”
Out of the gauzy kids’ footage, there’s a smash cut to those bikers all grown up — dropping cliffs and throwing backflips in the desert. The film follows that through — line for an hour of nostalgia — and adrenaline-fueled footage, with athletes like the McCaul brothers, Cam Zink and Hanna Bergemann talking about their bikes as tickets to freedom and adventure interspersed with segments from Oregon, British Columbia, Utah and Crested Butte.
“If you would have told me when I got my first one at like 4 years old how it would open up all these doors, I would not have believed you,” one rider says.
The biking movie, from the Jackson Hole-based production company best known for its ski and snowboard films, arrives at drive-ins during a moment of surging interest in biking nationwide as a social distancing-friendly pastime for kids and newcomers along with the hard core who might have been following TGR releases anyway. Shops in Aspen and nationwide have reported a bike shortage this summer, as demand outstretches supply.
The ongoing “Accomplice” tour is stopping in both Canada and the U.S. in drive-in and outdoor theaters of mountain towns from Vancouver to Burlington, Vermont, to Driggs, Idaho. This weekend it plays Vail as well as Aspen, where the Buttermilk venue is scheduled to host movies — mostly family-friendly classics — through July. The “Accomplice” tour runs through Aug. 9, when it concludes in Greenville, New York.
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