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A Sunday in Hell (1976)

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Published on Dec 8, 2014

The film follows the French Paris-Roubaix spring classic, notorious for the hellish paves or cobbled roads of the north "which are no longer used for traffic but only for transporting cattle - and for cycle races". We are there from the dawn preparations and rituals on the outskirts of Paris and through the rigours of the race with special focus on a number of prominent cyclists to the final outcome on the Roubaix cycle track - followed by the filthy riders taking their showers. There is also an eye for life among the spectators and the media event as such. The film alternates among different kinds of shot with a view to establishing the most suitable view of the narrative: shots from motorcycles, which are able to convey the motion of the race and provide close ups of the riders in the style of television cycle race reporting; fixed cameras stationed at strategically important points along the route, where viewers can watch riders passing in real time and thus gain a clear overview of the distance between the leaders and the main field: and the Olympian eye of the helicopter shots.

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