Cantankerous Titles & Obscure Ephemera Vol.1
Released on November 1, 2006
A new DVD collection of short documentaries by Joe Biel about bikes, trains, dogs, patches, and the board game RISK.
"Martinis in the Bike Lane" (11 min) is a documentary short about the history of the decorated and unique bike lane markings in Portland, OR. Why does that one have a golf club or a book? Without giving too much away, it's an exciting issue that has been pondered by many and explained by few. See a fun and adventurous marking that Joe got to design.
“Last Train out of North America” (19 min) discusses the lack of priority and funding towards passenger rail service in North America. Interviews with passengers, employees, and train obsessives tell the story of the rails being sold to cargo train companies, why the government fired David Gunn, & how each year appears to the be the last.
“Central Kansas - Canvas Central” (11 min) is a mockumentary about the obsessive nature of people with patches as a kind of media. For years we’ve tabled at bookfairs and sold primarily patches to young, excited individuals who ignored our reading material. I set out to get the inside story from this interesting set.
“Of Dice and Men” (39 min) chronicles players of the board game RISK and their obsessive behaviors. The game affects their personalities, turning anarchists and relaxed folks into conniving, manipulative, and calculated imperialists. Parallels to the patterns and habits of the US are drawn, showing how these situations, in the real world or a game, reveal human nature.
"Cowboy Hat & A Cane" (11 min) is a documentary short about America's most loved dog - Coda Bowles and her relationship with her people. Move over Lassie, this dumpster diver grew up on the mean streets of Portland after probably spending some time on a puppy farm, and was found roaming a dangerous intersection! The video focuses on Coda's history as much as it can be traced and then moves onto her daily habits and behaviors now. A fun movie for dog owners and lovers everywhere!