In the pantheon of niche filmmaking, Jason Berry’s insightful, self-financed doc about the 2009 Tour de France is a triumph. Yes, it tends to focus on one cycling team – in this case HTC-Columbia and British sprinter Mark Cavendish – and the score veers towards Wagnerian bombast. But unlike previous team-specific cycling docs, at least this gives rivals a look-in. It’s a good year to highlight, too. Not only for the likeable ‘Manx Missile’ Cavendish – who won six stages – but also for seven-times Tour winner Lance Armstrong’s comeback. Whether it’s looking back at archive, reminiscing with the oldest living rider or sharing the rules of engagement and the roles of mechanics and masseurs, this tackles the ins and outs of the sport with aplomb.
Friday October 22 2010