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Find This Film 6 – Breaking Away

Breaking Away 1979

Director: Peter Yates Cinematographer: Matthew Leonetti

Starring: Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern, Jackie Earl Haley, Barbara Barrie, Paul Dooley

Dave, Mike, Cyril and Moocher are… Breaking Away

I saw this in the theatre, park hills cinema 7 when it was a 4. practically no one was in the auditorium. Practically no one saw the film at all.

Take a moment to soak this in. A stunning cast of terrific actors. Directed by a great director. This movie was firing on all cylinders. The writing, cinematography, editing, soundtrack, all click.

It is a simple underdog story but told in such a good way. There is a point where all of us see every story. The joy in cinema is not seeing an original idea, but seeing how creative and well a story can be told. this is an excellent example. You know immediately that Dave will have his heart broken, he will lose something in the realm of bicycle racing, he and his friends will come together after some shared adversity and they will win the race.

The film gives us a fairly realistic showing of bicycle culture. The characters are believable, elevated above cookie cutter people. Their friendship makes sense. Dave’s parents are good people looking out for him in a real way. The journey to the race makes sense. That odd sensation of the cusp of adulthood is represented well.

The film doesn’t stray from its purpose. It digs in and tells the story making sure it works. I felt an understanding from the film. It resonated with my struggle to become an artist in a town that did not permit it. The outsider doing something strange. I got a lot psychologically form Breaking Away. It still makes me happy.

Post internet I learned that there was an audience. Small and strong. The film has survived, finding new audiences by word of mouth. Above is a surviving artifact.

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