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Like Choppertown, Brittown centers on a bike build, but in this case it is Meatball's 1971 650cc Triumph, which he plans to assemble to a fine state of tune inspired by Gene Romero's 157-mph 1971 Daytona pole position aboard a similar machine. The bike build alone is fascinating, but what goes on around it and what it reveals about Meatball's personality and the lifestyle of his friends is the real point of the movie. Between segments of the build, Meatball and his buddies ride the desert (the film opens with a scene reminiscent of On Any Sunday ), go scrambling at Elsinore, do some dirt-tracking at Perris Raceway, and a bit of road racing at Willow Springs. In all cases, Meatball's weapon of choice is an aging Brit bike. Clearly, riding is all about the fun and not about having the latest or the best on the block. For example, he explains that his BSA dirt-tracker is a $400 motorcycle. He smiles and adds, It has a 30-year-old rear tire and a 30 dollar Meatball singingfront tire. And he seems totally impassive when it throws its primary chain right through the side cover. What the heck! Just another old Brit bike to rebuild, which is an enterprise that Meatball clearly loves and approaches with the attitude of an artist approaching canvas.
As in Choppertown, music plays an important role in this 85-minute film, and it does as well in the lives of the Brit bikers. Meatball is lead singer in a group called Smiling Face Down. The film also includes performances by Thirteen Stars and The Faraway Boys. But unlike Choppertown, where the musicians were mostly artless head-bangers working off some aggression, these bands are good. They do good music, write good lyrics, and directors Di Lalla and Coffman use their material skillfully in the editing of the film. As we segue from a live-performance bar scene, the music continues as the image fades to bikers jamming on the freeway, hunkered over their clip-on handlebars in true Brit bike fashion. With their bikes, music, and friends, these are people having fun in the best Southern California tradition where sometimes it becomes quite difficult to understand the difference between work and play. For example, the final assembly of Meatball's Triumph road-burner is a ritual where a dozen of hisBrittown Queen best craftsman friends gather to drink good beer, do good work, and quickly turn an empty rolling chassis into a beautiful Triumph that roars to life on the first kick. --Ed Youngblood's Motohistory
How much are motorcycles part of your life? Do you use t --Helmet Hair
How much are motorcycles part of your life? Do you use them for commuting, or taking trips? Or do you race once a month, and pile into the family SUV the rest of the time? Maybe you're a weekend warrior who needs to leave the strife of the work week behind and thunder down the boulevard letting the pulse of the motor and exhaust penetrate every ounce of your being? I would guess that those few generalizations cover the majority of us who saddle up to a two wheeler. But there are those that exist in a culture where motorbikes are at the core of life.
For my money few in motorcycledom truly live a culture of bikes like the devotees of vintage British iron. Not only do they ride old bikes, many of them are throw-backs to the whole era from whence those bikes came. Their manner of dress, music listened to, hairstyles and make-up can have you feeling you've stepped back in time when you meet or see them.
A time machine might as well have served as my transpo to the screening of Brittown: a British Motorcycle Documentary held recently in Santa Monica, CA, because when I arrived I was in the midst of a swarming horde of just such folks. Hundreds of people -- Rockabilly, greasers and the like -- arrived on their chopped and bobbed bikes of various European origin with a few older UJMs in the mix, filling the theater to capacity for what was billed as an invite-only event. Guess word travels fast in this corner of motorcycling.
This latest film from the makers of the critically-acclaimed Choppertown: The Sinners may be titled to lead you to believe it's about Brit bikes, but the reality is the movie chronicles the life of one guy who truly lives old British bikes.
This documentary follows the life of Jeff Meatball Tulinius for a few months, giving us a look at someone who's various aspects of his life are underpinned by bikes. Meatball owns the Hell on Wheels motorcycle shop that he informs us he moved to the garage of his vintage home in Anaheim, CA, and serves as the backdrop to the film as he rebuilds a 1971 Triumph Bonneville, a bike near and dear to his heart. Interspersed throughout the various stages of rebuild where Meatball gives us a detailed description of what he's doing to breathe life into the old Twin are glimpses of what he does with the rest of his life when not wrenching.
Can you guess what that might be? If you figured there was an old bike in there somewhere, you were right on the nose. Meatball loves to ride and race his collection of crusty machines. We follow him to Perris Raceway in Perris, CA where he bombs around the dirt oval on his vintage flattracker, to Lake Elsinore to watch him compete in the long-running Gran Prix on a vintage British motocrosser, and then to Willow Springs Raceway in Rosamond, CA where he roadraces yet another of his classics.
What endeared me to Meatball and many of his cronies was the simple fact that, though they love old machines, none of them are pristine restorations that we see so many of today -- not that this a bad thing. All their bikes run, but they're also ridden and most of them aren't pretty. These guys don't polish the tank once a month and burble to the local shop on Saturday to gush about all their two-wheeled know-how. They ride these ancient beasts, and they ride 'em hard. The people in the film are like the classic bikes central to the scene: genuine. Meatball's shop is a good example of this as it's really an unorganized assortment of bikes and parts crammed into every available space, just like so many of our garages. --Motorcycle.com
Just watched Brittown the new motorcycle movie from the guys behind Chopper Town - The Sinners. Brittown follows a guy called Meatball who excels in building vintage British motorcycles like Triumph, BSA etc.
The movie is loaded with paralyzing moments of cool vintage motorcycles being put to actual use. The filmmakers Scott Di Lalla and Zack Coffman has a remarkable knack of finding people who appreciate old motorcycles for what they where made for, which is riding. Instead of old geezers restoring vintage motorcycles to period perfect mint condition, and maybe ride them once a year if at all.
Mantle piece museum motorcycles is definitely not what Brittown is about. The amount of (ab)use these bikes take is amazing. Dirt tracks, motocross, race track and café racing, you name it. One of my favorite parts is when they participate in a local motocross race alongside modern cross bikes. After the race one of Meatballs friends grinningly admits that vintage safety gear might not be up to modern standards, while wearing an open face helmet and a nose bleed.
I could go on about praising this movie, but I have to run out and find myself an old British dirt bike.
Highly Recommended: Verdict: 5/5 helmets
Where to buy brittown DVD You can get the region free DVD at the choppertown store. Buy a copy for your buddy as well. We need to make sure Zack and Scott can afford to make more of these brilliant movies. --Helmet Hair
Top Customer Reviews
I learned a lot, and loved the film, highly recommended.
A fantastic documentary film but without the normal boring bits of a documentary! I don't even have any interest in bikes it’s just my Dad but we all sat down and watched it Christmas day. Basically the story of a group of motorcycle enthusiasts and their love for British bikes....
I searched everywhere for this DVD in the UK, but had to order it from the US in the end...needn't have worried the shipping time was next to nothing and reasonably priced. We thought it would arrive after Christmas early Feb but I got to us before the 25th Dec. WOW better than some UK sellers.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Just a carefree, low budget film. Don't expect too much and you can find some
grains of entertainment to enjoy.
Great DVD that shows a whole other culture with respect to Bike Builders. Meatball keep doing what you doing for as they say if you enjoy what you are doing you'll never work a... Read morePublished on June 27, 2013 by Alfred
If you love Brit iron, this is a must have. If you love bikes put this in your library today.Published on January 27, 2013 by Philip M. Smith
If you're looking for a shameless self promotion of some California hipsters crappy band then this is the DVD for you. Read morePublished on February 4, 2012 by Fastgob