This atmospheric, almost philosophical film from upscale cycling sportswear brand Rapha is about biking in Los Angeles, but it doesn't actually show much cycling. That's intentional. Director Spencer MacDonald says he "really wanted to hold back the conclusion, and the actual cycling aspect, until the end, knowing the piece would be stronger if we could pull this off."
The film, produced by San Francisco-based production company Avocados and Coconuts, weaves together close-up shots of the city (an apartment building, a skate park, the leaf-covered ground of a quiet forest) and strong sonic cues like birds chirping and cars whizzing by on highways. The narrator is L.A.-based artist Geoff McFetridge, who explains what makes Los Angeles so unusual: "It's funny that it's a tourist town because it's the worst place to be a tourist. It's like, where is it? It's not the beach. It's not the Hollywood sign. It's a texture, it's a collage." And being on a bike lets you zoom between all the textures and atmospheres that make up the city.
The film, captured in two and a half days of driving around L.A., is the last of six short brand films MacDonald shot for Rapha. Other films showed the cycling culture in San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, Boulder and Seattle.
London-based Rapha was in the news this month when it was purchased by RZC Investments, a fund led by Steuart and Tom Walton, two Walmart heirs.