The Road Magazine:
This is the most instantly
captivating film I have seen for
It’s not about bikes but anyone
with an empathy for wheels,
engines, excess, spirit, danger
and eccentricity will love it.
It is about The Targa Florio, a
Sicilian mountain road race that,
in 1906, gave birth to an era of
It opens with the honeyed
tones of a commentator whose
heavily accented, gravelly but
faultless English describes the
tale of the race from its inception
until its termination in 1977 when
safety concerns deemed it too
insane to continue.
The dusty mountain roads of
Sicily form the track that is
marshalled with a cavalier
indifference to sanity which is
irresponsibly refreshing against
the contrast of today’s health
and safety culture.
I’ve only seen an online
preview as I couldn’t make the
London premier to which I was
invited. Even on the small screen
of my Applemac I was
transported to another world of
warm Mediterranean motorised
bohemia. I guess it’s what you’d
call an art house film.
Emphatically European rather
than American, emphatically
Mediterranean in fact.
The drivers are elite privileged
gladiators in a coliseum of poor
but enthusiastic peasant
onlookers and their bewildered
Sun creased leathery faces
articulate comments on the
lunatics who risked all for glory
in the tradition of Jules Verne.
Rear facing cloth caps. leather
lined brass goggles, tuxedos
and plus fours, brogues, bow
ties and starting handles; open
cars with running boards, great
brass lamps and not a roll bar or
seat belt in sight.
Ideally you should see this film
with a ROSPA directors in order
to watch them squirm with horror
at the mad kaleidoscope of
inappropriate indulgence. Above
all this it is a most beautifully
made film I can remember
seeing for years. Wine, olives
and desperate escapades, ace.