Motorcycles on Screen

28 Nov 2020 – 25 Apr 2021 | GOMA | Cinema A

Presented in conjunction with GOMA's 'The Motorcycle' exhibition (28 November 2020 - 26 April 2021), this cinema program explores film depictions of motorcycles from around the world, looking back at more than a century of motorcycles on screen.

Since the early days of the moving image, filmmakers have been drawn to the uniquely cinematic appeal of the motorcycle. The breakneck speed, the unmistakable designs, the ravenously revving engines: motorcycles provide myriad aesthetic possibilities for the screen. Beyond the sound and fury of the bikes themselves, the exoticism of biker gangs and the utilitarian usefulness of motorcycles as common transport offer bases for tales of great danger alongside incisive portraits of life on the ground.

Blending the seminal Hollywood classics that helped define motorcycles in the popular Western imagination with lesser known but equally captivating entries in the film canon, ‘Motorcycles on Screen’ dives into portrayals of the early years of motorcycling, and examines what possibilities may lie ahead of us in the future. It looks at how motorcycles and motorcycle culture have been used in cinema to depict ideas of freedom, danger and fraternity around the world, and how the motorcycle has been used as a potent symbol in experimental filmmaking.

‘Motorcycles on Screen’ is a free, curated cinema program. Seating is general admission and our ushers will ensure all patrons in the cinema follow COVID-safe seating arrangements. As seating is still limited, we recommend arriving early to avoid disappointment.

11.00am Sun 21 March 2021 | Sold Out
General $20 | Concession $18 | Member $16 | Child $10

The delightful Sherlock Jr 1924 stars Buster Keaton as a projectionist who longs to be a respected detective. After being framed for the robbery of the woman with whom he is in love, he must be put his investigative skills to the test in order to prove his innocence. Organist David Bailey will accompany a 4K digital restoration of the film on the Gallery's 1929 Wurlitzer organ.

11.00am Sun 18 April 2021 | Ticketed
General $20 | Concession $18 | Member $16 | Child $10

A rare screening of Lothar Rübelt's A Motorcycle Trip Among the Clouds 1926. An early example of documentary travel cinema, the film follows a group of motorcycle riders as they journey through the Dolomite mountain range – a section of the Alps located in northeastern Italy. The film will screen from an imported archival 35mm print provided by the Austrian Film Museum. Organist David Bailey will accompany the film on the Gallery's 1929 Wurlitzer organ.

Throughout the cinema program ‘Motorcycles on Screen’, the short film The Motorcycle Ride 1992 will screen in Cinema B during the Gallery's opening hours. The Motorcycle Ride was directed by Australian experimental artist-filmmaker Moira Joseph. The film uses hand-coloured photographs and ambient bird noises to illustrate one rider’s transformative motorcycle journey.

National Film Archive of Japan
Austrian Film Museum
QAGOMA acknowledges the generous assistance of the National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra; the American Genre Film Archive, Austin; Cinémathèque royale de Belgique, Brussels; the National Film Archive of Japan, Tokyo; the Austrian Film Museum, Vienna; and the Cineteca di Bologna, Bologna in providing materials for this program. Program curated by Robert Hughes, Australian Cinémathèque.