The Bikeriders - Images of Americana

The Bikeriders - Images of Americana

Written by Zoe Crombie 

Though we tend to discuss films in terms of the story being told, it is – obviously – a visual medium, one that deals in images above all else. Even if you have no concept of the plot of films like The GodfatherA Clockwork Orange, or Jaws, the images from them are likely as ingrained into your own mind as they are into popular culture. In these cases, and indeed in most, the director took a concept and crafted images around it to deepen and elaborate upon that central idea.

This is what makes the origins of Jeff Nichols’ latest film The Bikeriders so compelling – based on a photo book, it takes images of motorcycles and Americana and reverse-engineers them into a story retroactively, one loosely inspired by the real-life Outlaws motorcycle club. Bringing depth to these visuals is the excellent trio of performances at the centre from three of the most acclaimed actors of their generation: Tom Hardy, Jodie Comer, and Austin Butler. As the group navigate life on the road and the violence that came along with it, the audience are treated not just to the talents of the actors, but Nichol’s masterful interpretation of images from 1960s biker culture.

The Bikeriders is a gritty look at a culture known mainly for its surface, adding depth and authenticity to the memorable real-life visuals that preceded it. Nichols succeeds both in creating an engaging period drama and in breathing new life into these old images.

The Bikeriders runs from 12th - 18th July. 

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