“MARINONI: THE FIRE IN THE FRAME”— From Champion Cyclist to Master Bike Craftsman

“Marinoni: The Fire in the Frame”

From Champion Cyclist to Master Bike Craftsman

Amos Lassen

Giuseppe Marinoni of Montreal is a former champion cyclist who is now, at age 75, is a master bike craftsman. He has been an inspiration to many; a man whose attitude constantly changing. We see him at one moment speaking to documentarian Tony Girardin (who directed this film) about the process behind his constructions, and then at the next minute we see him yelling at the filmmaker for asking silly questions. He has a dry sense of humor and much of what he says is sarcastic thus making it difficult to really know his tone. A lot of what Marinoni conveys is so thickly rooted in sarcasm, that it’s easy to misinterpret his tone.  It takes a while to warm up to him and the film but it does indeed happen. One of the reasons that Girardin wanted to make this film was because of enigmatic personality.

As filming continued, a friendship developed between the two men and I really think that the film is much more intimate than anyone suspected it might be. While Marinoni’s story is interesting on its own, watching the relationship develop on camera is really fascinating.  The friendship steadies the film all the way to the final scenes in which Marinoni pushes himself to earn a golden title. The interviews with friends and family add a great deal to the film.

I purposely neglected to say earlier that at 75 years old, bicycle craftsmen Giuseppe Marinoni is determined to break the one-hour cycling record for his age group.  He is an Italian immigrant who moved to Montreal in 1965 to professionally race. Then he was a tailor but he crafts custom bike frames that are used and respected by cyclists around the world.

Tony Girardin follows Marinoni for two months leading up to the race, getting him to reluctantly open up about his life to the camera, as he struggles through his training to cut minutes off his time. The film is a look at not allowing age to cause on to stop moving forward. 

Giuseppe Marinoni is both a cranky but revered man Montreal manufacturer of bicycle frames who decided to set a world distance record for his age group. We see him training for his 2012 date with destiny and this involve a trip back to Italy and an hour of furious cycling. The race is held on an indoor track, and he rides for 60 minutes straight.

The bike he has chosen to ride in on a frame that he designed in the late 70s for Canadian cycling legend Jocelyn Lovell. We see Marinoni is happier

caring for chickens and looking for mushrooms than he is talking about himself, and there are moments that he becomes annoyed with Girardin’s camera giving us a few laughs.

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