You can see it in his eyes, in his movements, and hear it in his voice.
Giuseppe Marinoni is a passionate man.
In his youth he was a champion cyclist, but he put competition aside and began to craft steel bicycles. Yet, his devotion as a master bike craftsman was taking a toll on his health. Years of inhaling toxic fumes in his workshop were affecting his body. Marinoni’s story is told in the documentary film Marinoni: The Fire in the Frame. The film is being shown as part of TheatreOne’s Fringe Flicks series Sunday and Monday (Oct. 25-26).
“It’s the story of an immigrant who came here with nothing and built a new life. This film has been inspiring in that respect,” said Tony Girardin, the film’s director. “I couldn’t believe an old man could be so animated and have such a zest for life.”
Girardin learned about Marinoni because he was a bike collector. He bought a vintage bike and thought it had come from Europe but then learned it had been made in Montreal by Marinoni. For a few years Girardin would go to Marinoni’s bike shop and have bikes restored and talk to Marinoni about telling his story. Marinoni refused but eventually Girardin convinced him.
“Convincing him was one of the tough parts,” said Girardin.
When Marinoni was a champion racer in the 60s no footage was taken of him so he decided to participate to leave a legacy to his grandchildren, who are too young at the moment to understand the scope of his racing career.
“In the workshop he was really reluctant. That was the challenge of making the film. I had to earn his trust,” said Girardin.
At the heart of The Fire in the Frame is a good human story.
“I’ve seen people leave the film crying. It’s very emotional. It’s really just a fantastic story,” said Girardin.
Working with Marinoni convinced Girardin that no matter what, people need passion in their lives.
“He is always fully engaged in what he is doing. If you are not doing something that makes you tick you should find something that interests you,” said Girardin.
The film shows Sunday at 1, 4 and 7 p.m. and Monday at 7 p.m. Girardin will introduce the film and hold question-and-answer sessions after each showing. Tickets are $12 and are available at www.theatreone.org.