Film Reviews

REVIEW: Marinoni

Hot Docs 2014

Marinoni
Canada, 90 min.
Directed by Tony Giradin
Programme: Canadian Spectrum (World Premiere)

Marinoni is a true crowd pleaser. This endearing doc by Tony Giradin (Hockey Migrations) charms from beginning to end due to the irresistible curmudgeonliness of its subject, Giuseppe Marinoni. Marinoni, an Italian-Canadian cyclist, is a local hero thanks to the sturdy bikes he produces in his Montreal bike shop. He is equally renowned for his undying passion for cycling, for he still pedals up to one-hundred kilometres per day at the tender age of 75. Marinoni’s amiable story shows that aging is all in the mind.

Marinoni, the man, is more fascinating than the film itself, though, for Giradin takes a bare bones interactive approach as he joins Marinoni in his workshop and watches him train to break a world record. The modest digital video lets the cantankerous Marinoni do much of the talking himself, and Giradin presents ample footage of the cyclist’s amusing tirades and cranky outbursts. Marinoni doesn’t seem to enjoy being on camera, as he says the stress of being watched hampers his craftsmanship and his training, but this respectful portrait of the cyclist consistently marks him as a leader of the pack.

Giradin culls together interviews with famous and everyday Montreal cyclists who have been touched by Marinoni’s work and spirit. Marinoni inevitably sidesteps any questioning of the costs that arise when one makes such a devotion to cycling, such as the repercussions that his training might have had on his family life, since one could argue that such an all-consuming habit is akin to an addiction. The soft approach of Marinoni, however, stays consistent with the relatable joviality of its subject and style, as Marinoni shares a tangible lust for life with the filmmaker, which emerges most strongly in their trip to Italy to beat the world record. The effusive energy of this inspiring sportsman is an undeniable delight.

Screenings:
Scotiabank Theatre
Sat, May 3, 7:00 PM

Visit POV’s Hot Docs Hub for more reviews and features on the 2014 festival.

Pat Mullen is POV’s Associate Online Editor, etc. He covers film at Cinemablographer.com, and has contributed to The Canadian Encyclopedia, Paste, BeatRoute, Modern Times Review, and Documentary magazine and is a member of the Toronto Film Critics Association and the Online Film Critics Society. You can reach him at @cinemablogrpher

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