YouTube filmmaker Sammy Paul released his short film “Bicycle” Nov. 14, starring Chris Kendall as the main character, Felix.
The film follows Felix’s stand-up performance about his bisexual awakening and the bisexual experience in general. In the words of the creator himself, he wanted “a fun LGBTQ+ story that wasn’t speaking down to its audience.” Paul calls it “self-deprecating without being downtrodden.”
The short film hilariously portrays the bisexual experience in a way most of the bisexual community can relate to. The stand-up format came about from Paul’s admiration of how “direct and disarming it can be.”
Felix tells the story of his sexual awakening, which involved the movie “The Amazing Spiderman 2” and his ability to be with both Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield “in any order.” Many bisexual folks joke about how their sexual awakenings came from pieces of pop culture from their childhoods. He also takes a jab at the stereotypes surrounding bisexuality, specifically that they aren’t even “‘good’ bad stereotypes.”
Aside from being hysterically accurate, the film also highlights the less-fun aspects of being bisexual. In between the cuts of stand-up comedy, we as an audience are backstage with Felix as he talks about the more serious topics of coming out and going both ways. He talks about how being in seemingly straight relationships is easier, which in many cases it can be. He talks about how being in one relationship, holding hands is normal, but in another, it is a statement. These are things that many bisexual people can relate to, sadly enough.
Kendall really was the perfect actor for this role: His deliverance of the jokes is flawless. Paul said in an Instagram Q&A that he was the only actor he wanted for the role. Kendall also won an award for “Excellence in Performance” at Buffer Festival in Toronto. Kendall has also starred in another one of Paul’s films titled “Friend Like Me,” a story about a boy and his genie, as well as “The Forever Train” and “Hair and Brimstone” by filmmaker PJ Liguori.
On top of being funny and accurate, the film’s visual aesthetic is beautiful. The comedy scenes are doused in shades of pink and purple, which make the scenes more vibrant and lively. The more serious scenes are saturated in blue and give a calm feeling to the audience. The final scene holds hues of purple to tie together the tricolor bisexual pride flag, the overshadowing purpose for the lights in the first place.
The film is incredibly entertaining with an important message. Bisexual leads in films and television shows are not common. The representation of the community is needed and long overdue. Bisexual erasure is prominent in media, and this took a leap of faith and gave a charismatic portrayal of an underrepresented community.
The whole project only took about a year. Paul revealed on his Instagram Q&A that the developing of the concept began in January and lasted until March when they began pitching the idea. He spent April and May writing the script, and the redrafting and preproduction began in June. Preproduction turned into rehearsals in July, and the project was shot, edited by Jack Howard, and pushed through postproduction in August. The film debuted at Buffer Festival in September and was put out for public release as of Nov. 15.
I can recommend this film to anyone looking for a laugh or looking to get a more in-depth look at a group of people you may not know much about. You’ll have a laugh and take away a better understanding of what it means to be bisexual.