October 18, 2009

The Bicycle Lesson, by Paul Ullrich, Rides On!

Thought Winnipeg just has great writers? No way. We have some great visual artists, too.

Paul Ullrich's animated cartoon The Bicycle Lesson will be screened at 7:00 pm this Tuesday, October 20, at the Cinematheque as part of 'The Bike Shorts Film Festival'. There'll also be an exhibition of bike art at 6:00 pm. Admission to the festival (including exhibition and films) is $10.

Prefer going out on Friday nights? No problem. On Friday, October 30, The Bicycle Lesson will be screened at 9:00 pm at the Cinematheque, as part of the 'Get Animated! Film Festival - The Devil Wore a Paper Hat: New Winnipeg Animation'. In addition to The Bicycle Lesson there'll be new animation from many Winnipeg animators. The festival runs from October 27 to 31. Admission is free.

What is The Bicycle Lesson about? The plot is based on Paul's childhood friend's disastrous first bicycle lesson, given by Carl's older siblings.

The lesson begins on top of a hill. Without preparing the bike properly - the seat is too high and a training wheel is loose - Willy places five-year-old Carl on the bike. Their sister points out the problems. While the pair argues, Carl rolls down the hill. Carl can't reach the pedals to stop the bike as it careens wildly towards a lobster fisherman and the harbour.

The Bicycle Lesson premiered in March at 'South Beach International Animation Festival' in Miami, Florida.

It was also shown in May at 'The Sixth Annual Danville International Children's Film Festival' in Danville, California. And, here in Winnipeg, it was shown at 'The Black Women's Festival of Art and Culture / Kid's Shorts Program', at 'Out of My Head', and at 'The Bike Shorts Film Festival' during this past summer.

The Bicycle Lesson has also been selected to screen at 'The Sharp Cuts Indie Film and Music Festival' November 13 to 15 in Guelph, Ontario.

For lovers of CBC radio, there's an extra treat. Leon Cole does the English narration. The music is also fun - excerpts from Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado performed by Glenn Klassen.

All this talking about movies and the Cinematheque made me hungry. What's a movie without popcorn?


prepare regular popcorn
place in large heat-proof bowl
In a heavy pot mix together
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
3 tablespoons corn syrup
boil 5 min.
remove from heat
pinch of baking soda
while foamy pour over popcorn
mix well

Have a great day. How can you miss - you're in Winnipeg!

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