DETOUR DE FRANCE:DVD
An Australian look at the greatest bike race in the world, The Tour De Franc, and Lance Armstrong's legendary last ride. Taking a layman-friendly, often lighthearted approach, the film introduces audiences to the mechanics of this international event through the eyes of three cycling journalists, familiar with the world and out to turn their coverage into an adventure (with a few drinks).
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Over three weeks, and with a million spectators every day, the Tour de France is big. But in a stridently Australian larrikin look at this major sporting event, we are treated to the basics; it's Tour de France 101. The three Aussie journos report in a chaotic fashion, starting with a tribute to John Trevorrow - their fellow journo, but a previous cyclist himself. Then there's the drinking.
We soon move to the race itself, and Lance Armstrong's 7th attempt at the championship. We also glimpse the handful of Aussies in the race. The filmmakers ram home the sheer size of the event, throwing stats on the screen at every opportunity. If only we could remember them - but it's a cumulative effect they're after.
Unpretentious and evidently biased reporting helps keep the mood buoyant, if rather too self indulgent. Then there's the drinking ... The pictures are as fast as the bikes and the infotainment is easy to take, if a bit repetitive with all the bonhomie. An interview with the race's Director General Jean Marie Le Blanc is about as serious as it gets - except for the tribute to the Australian cyclists hit by a car during a training run not far away from the course in Germany, in which Amy Gillet was killed.
The race is run in 21 stages, which the film catalogues, with plenty of detours, as the title promises, including a pre-final night at the famous Moulin Rouge in Paris - and a chance encounter with filmmaker Ron Howard.Then there's the drinking ... But with all the adoration poured out for Lance Armstrong's astonishing 7th triumph, this race (and this film) may well have been called the Tour de Lance.
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DETOUR DE FRANCE:DVD (PG)
CAST: Documentary featuring John Trevorrow, Denis Donoghue, Bill Schwarzenberger, Lance Armstrong, Jan Ullrich, Jean Marie Le Blanc
NARRATION: Denis Donoghue
PRODUCER: Dan Jones
DIRECTOR: Dan Jones
SCRIPT: Dan Jones (with Denis Donoghue)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Dan Jones
EDITOR: Jim Coleiro
MUSIC: Michael Stifter
RUNNING TIME: 91 minutes
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: áccent film entertainment
DVD RELEASE: June 14, 2007