Last summer, photographer Antony Crook, stylist Glenn Kitson and world-record breaking cyclist James Bowthorpe found themselves in the isolated Norwegian countryside in the middle of the night. “It was August and we were so far north that the sun never set. We found ourselves in this incredible landscape in the bright sun at 2am with nobody there,” says Crook, who was there with Bowthorpe and Kitson on a shoot for men’s style zine The Rig Out in collaboration with fashion label Woolen Woolrich Mills and menswear store Oi Polloi. “Glenn and I had seen an outfit from the collection by Daiki Suzuki for Woolrich Woolen Mills. It was when seeing that outfit that we first visualized James cycling on a road in twilight.” He shot the film based on this image and Bowthorpe’s incredible solo journey around the globe. “I wanted the film to somehow give a sense of what James had achieved and the idea of him being alone, so I thought of shooting somewhere wild and isolated.”
Crook was working with Mogwai at time and the band had sent him some new demo tracks when he was in Norway. Listening to How to be a Werewolf? on repeat while driving around looking for locations, he says, “I was immediately drawn to this track of the demo because it seemed to fit perfectly with the landscape.” When the band members from Mogwai saw the footage, they decided to remix the song, tailoring a version of it for the completed film.
The result is moving image that captures the abstract notion of circumnavigating the earth, a journey from beginning to beginning. “We found the perfect backdrop to tell this story of somebody who points his bike at the horizon and then doesn’t stop pedaling. It’s a film about never giving up,” says Crook.
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