Film Scratches focuses on the world of experimental and avant-garde film, especially as practiced by individual artists. It features a mixture of reviews, interviews, and essays.
A Review by David Finkelstein.
In The Oneiric Bicycle, Sam Klickner’s 22 minute surreal fable, we see a young bicyclist (Natalie Miller) wearing a red scarf on her head (under her safety helmet) as she peddles through the beautiful forests which can be found in and around Portland, Oregon. When she discovers a little bag of gold coins which have been left on the trail, this immediately signals to the viewer that we are in the realm of fairy tales, and that she is on a mythic quest.
As she continues on her quest, she meets other figures, who trick her, guide her, seduce her, steal from her, and offer her restitution. Kathleen Baird’s ritualistic, keening music of flutes and percussion adds to the otherworldly mood, and the Foley sound effects of footfalls and bicycle gears, always mixed slightly too loud and out of sync, add to the detached sense of altered reality. The setting of the stunningly beautiful Pacific Coast landscape imbues the quest with a constant sense of wonder and awe.
The mythic figures encountered on the quest are a bit like figures in a tarot deck: enigmatically dressed, offering symbolic advice which can be interpreted in many ways. Like a card reading, the film offers the viewer the sensation of penetrating a mystery, but allows each person to supply their own clues and answers. The Oneiric Bicycle takes the viewer along on a dream journey, giving you the choice to simply soak up the dream’s beguiling details, or assemble them into your own personal fable.