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Chelsea Bridge Boys
Staffan Lamm & Peter Davis

Chelsea Bridge Boys. By Staffan Lamm

We were just slightly older than these biker boys at the time, still under 30, and as obsessed with documentary filmmaking as they were with their bikes. Peter Davis and I took part in their adventurous nightly escapades — fiddling around with our camera and sound equipment on the back of their bikes; sort of free-wheeling comrades to these working class rebels, sharing the feeling of being outsiders.

‘What do you think about society?’

‘Okay, as long as it don’t bother me.’

Struggling to be open and precise about their love of biking (‘Freedom going fast along an open road. Funny feeling in your stomach, hard to describe. Moving fast, travelling about. Feeling of getting somewhere, not attached to anything’), but nonetheless careful and responsible (‘There’s always the unexpected’), these bikers sometimes surprised us all:

‘Do you believe in God?’

‘Yes, in a way. Funny thing, I go to church every now and then.’

But I don’t think they took our film project seriously at the time. In us they saw two sympathetic amateurs, fools even, believing they were making a real film. Helping us along the best they could with our improvised way of working (even momentarily taking over the interviewing with their own kind of questions, after having politely asked for permission to do so), but firmly convinced that, in time, Peter Davis and I would grow up and leave our unrealistic project un-finished. Just as they would leave their bikes behind and continue on the road to becoming well-adjusted and decent citizens. Whatever we all thought then, though, none of us could have predicted that our project would be released on Blu-ray almost fifty years after we made the film.

Prod. format
Duration 00:30:00
Color BW
Year 1965
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About the artists

Staffan Lamm

Staffan Lamm

Staffan Lamm was born in Stockholm. Autodidact with no formal film training. He started out working with Peter Weiss, and has been active as a freelance documentary filmmaker since the early 60’s, mainly for Sveriges Television (SVT). He has also worked as a cinematographer, scriptwriter and director. In 1993 he wrote and directed the feature film Morfars resa (Grandpa’s Journey) starring Max von Sydow. In 1999 he made the shorts Emma, Ruben and Sara that were nominated for Guldbaggen, the Swedish national film award, the same year.

Peter Davis