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BMZ Review: Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France
By Ann Coates


Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France
Written by: Ann Coates
Source: Big Movie Zone
Date: April 17, 2006


Category: Reviews

Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France is not so much a film about the Tour de France, but a scientific study of the brain illustrated by the trials of one of the most demanding sport events today.  Directed by Bayley Silleck (Cosmic Voyage, Lost Worlds), the film follows two lesser known cyclists, Frenchman Jimmy Caspar and Aussie Baden Cooke.  Utilizing the journey of these two cyclists along the race, the film examines the power of the brain while providing some beautiful shots of France's countryside, a treat on the Giant Screen.

Tackling the dual subjects of the brain and the Tour de France, the film does a capable job of integrating both an analytical investigation of brain functions while providing a surprisingly compelling human story.  Cyclist Jimmy Caspar, caught in an early pileup in the race, suffers from several injuries as he attempts to continue the event.  The film thus takes this opportunity to examine how pain is filtered through the body and understood by the brain.  This first illustration of brain function sets the tone for the rest of the film: displaying not only the brain's complexity, but it's power over all other bodily functions.

The film also provides a good introduction to newcomers to the Tour de France.  It describes the different jerseys (not just the yellow one) that can be won throughout the race.  The film presents the 19 stages of the Tour as well, illuminating how grueling the race truly is.  It is the images of the race itself that prove most interesting, as cyclists careen down mountainsides, or angle themselves across hairpin turns.  Competent CG images, which delve into the brain and body, comprise the rest of the film, although they're not nearly as much fun as the bike rice itself.

Wired sparingly uses other formats throughout the film, mostly tv images that are multiplied on the screen.  Unfortunately, an exciting sequence of a massive bike pileup was not captured on 70mm format and instead was conveyed through these smaller and inferior television quality images.  Nevertheless, Wired does offer an interesting look at the brain which should enlighten and entertain its student demographic.  Bike and sports enthusiasts should also be wowed with the beautifully captured images of the Tour itself.

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