Felicia Pearson

Baltimore's urban dirt-bike riders lead the pack at the maryland film festival

Early in 12 O'Clock Boys, Lotfy Nathan's new film about Baltimore's urban dirt-bike riders, we see a group of riders in slow motion, reaching for glory with their front tires. A guy with a Batman shirt and dreads does a long wheelie, taking one hand off the handlebars and reaching for the camera. The look on his face is calm and serene, while another guy behind him grins as he kneels on the seat, hoisting his front wheel toward noon. Behind this, a hypnotic score swells to fit the exquisite cinematography, capturing the transcendent calm one can feel in such intense situations.

And on top of the music, there is the voice of Pug, the film's main character, sounding like a cross...