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Covering a sprawling 1,500 miles (2,400 km) along the Saint Laurence River from Quebec city to Montreal and back, the Tour du St-Laurent was once the longest amateur bike race in the world. The film 60 Cycles (1965) from the French-Canadian filmmaker Jean-Claude Labreque tracks scenes from the 11th and penultimate running of this ‘Tour of New France’ in 1964. Setting the action to the sounds of a groovy surf-rock-infused soundtrack, Labreque renders the competition quite secondary to the mesmerising sights of bodies and bikes in motion against the Gaspé countryside. With its stylish action and kinetic editing, this short film would notably go on to inspire the Star Wars filmmaker George Lucas.
Director: Jean-Claude Labreque
Website: National Film Board of Canada
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