The trailer from 12 O’Clock Boys uses the wildness of kids, teens, and adults riding dirt bikes down city streets to create an atmosphere of danger and mayhem, but you can tell that the bravado of pulling off the 12 O’Clock stunt isn’t where the movie stops. It uses this as a starting point and a thread throughout the movie to explore the choices a kid in this part of Baltimore might make. It’s not an easy part of town to grow up in. Within the story of the dirt bike gang is the story of young boys who use this group as a means of rebellion and belonging to something. They appear to be taking on an image of masculinity that requires them to grow up quickly. What does this mean for Pug, the boy who will be our guide through this culture? What does it mean for the people who living with and around these boy? The filmmaker said the gang actually has a degree of mentorship within it where the older bikers mentor the younger ones.
I listened to an interview with the filmmaker and he talked about the different and divided ways people are viewing the trailer. Does it glorify this rambunctious group of kids who are breaking the law, disrupting traffic, and putting themselves in danger? Does it highlight a sport and a subculture that should be celebrated because of its rebellious nature? He spent 3 three filming with the bike gang, and even though the trailer is short, you can tell that he really developed a relationship with the group. Though Pug may be young and posturing, there is an honesty to his character. This is a tough city and difficult neighborhood, so you need to posture in some way, and you might need something like a bike gang to get by. The filmmaker actually said it was easier to get close to them and present their point of view than it was to talk to the cops and the city about their perspective on the group’s activities, which is something he wanted to do and tries to do in the film.