Free Solo

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  • Free Solo
  • Premier Icon justinbieber
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    So, has anyone else seen this film yet? I’ve just come back from seeing it and I’m blown away. Amazingly well filmed, outstanding climbing and a gripping story. Lots of gasps, cheers and laughter from the audience too. I’ll definitely be getting it when it’s released on DVD!

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
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    Eldest_OAB went with pal and loved it
    His book is good too, and I’m halfway through Tommy Caldwell’s book also.

    flip456
    Member

    I’m going to see it tomorrow and been told it’s really good by a couple of bouldering mates.
    I saw Dawn Wall a couple of weeks ago and was blown away by it.

    Premier Icon justinbieber
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    I don’t climb anymore, and I still found it absolutely brilliant. The cinematography and editing are superb, and it’s a really interesting personal story with Alex too.

    Premier Icon lapierrelady
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    Such well rounded story telling made it gripping. Including the perspectives of the film makers and those closest to Alex opened up really interesting angles on perception of risk, quality of life and prioritising your goals.

    Premier Icon el_boufador
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    Yes, it was awesome!

    scuttler
    Member

    Off tomorrow night and utterly looking forward to it. I haven’t been on the sharp end of a rope for at least 10 years, but who the **** needs a rope anyway 😉

    Premier Icon chrisdw
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    Premier Icon Poopscoop
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    I’ll admit to being a little tired….. but I GENUINELY thought this thread was about a new Start Wars movie.

    Premier Icon oldtennisshoes
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    Poopscoop +1 🙄
    They need a better title or maybe they don’t
    Makes you think…..

    Any true Start Wars fan knows that Free Solo was covered in the first 20 minutes of ROTJ. 🙂

    Still not sure I can comfortably watch Honnold doing that kind of stuff. While I know he makes it, and his approach is as meticulous as it can be, I’m uncomfortable because of the feeling that he’ll die doing stuff like that at some point if he continues.

    Hopefully a switch will go off in his head now and he’ll find a different sort of challenge.

    Premier Icon root-n-5th
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    To paraphrase that French loon who walks on a wire:

    I might die yes, but what a beautiful way to die.

    They are wired different (sic).

    Premier Icon dazh
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    Saw it last week in the previews. It was very uncomfortable. Not for the climbing though, I was prepared for that. What was worst was the clear anguish his GF was going through and his nihilistic detachment. I know you have to be like that to do something like this but I couldn’t help think he didn’t come out of it looking very good. Then again, as a climber I always had a problem with soloing after a many nerve wracking days at the crag watching soloists who chose to do it on a busy weekend.

    wombat
    Member

    Wombat Jr and I are going to see it on Wednesday, looks ace.

    The film of his expedition up mount Ulvetanna is worth a look too, as are any of his films with Cedar Wright.

    Premier Icon justinbieber
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    What was worst was the clear anguish his GF was going through and his nihilistic detachment. I know you have to be like that to do something like this but I couldn’t help think he didn’t come out of it looking very good.

    It’s interesting you should say that – I didn’t think he came out of it looking bad at all. To me, he was funny and brutally honest. He never hid the fact that climbing comes first and he’s obviously wired differently to most.

    are any of his films with Cedar Wright.

    Yep. Love the sufferfest films. Good fun.

    wombat
    Member

    @thegeneralist, I stand corrected, I was thinking of Alex Honnold (still well worth a watch though)

    footflaps
    Member

    Yep, saw it last Tuesday at the Preview event. Much better than I was expecting – the relationship with his GF was very interesting…

    Spud
    Member

    Saw it last night, I was blown away by it, as others have said the cinematography, the perspectives on the sport and life and how he looked at relationships with others, including his GF. Very raw at times.

    Burchy1
    Member

    Saw it last week and really enjoyed it. Beautifully shot in a way that added enough suspense even though you know he doesnt die.

    footflaps
    Member

    but I couldn’t help think he didn’t come out of it looking very good

    I just think he comes across as Autistic (or whatever the PC equivalent is). He just doesn’t really get people / relationships, which isn’t bad, just who he is.

    Premier Icon yoshimi
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    Exactly what I thought

    Premier Icon convert
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    Looks good, but findanyfilm.com indicates I’ll have to wait until the middle of Jan until it comes to a cinema within 40 miles of me, and even then only two showings in a small art house cinema.

    Premier Icon brassneck
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    Mid Jan for me too convert, just can’t fit it in locally till then. Hoping Mini B doesn’t get too many ideas from it.

    Edukator
    Member

    I spent a morning bouldering with Ron on Stanage, I did the boulder problem starts then backed off, he finished each climb then climbed down a slightly easier one. Even though it was Ron at a time when he was soloing a hundred Es in a day I still felt a little uneasy watching – what if his finger tendon pully fails? What if he pulls a hamstring with his leg up above his head? Both things I’d done bouldering that had resulted in instant falls.

    Not for me. And I’m a little suspicious of the real motivation behind many of the these “exploits”. Take away a wish to impress peers, the film maker, the climbing media coverage. Just him the mountain, nobody else there, nobody else to tell about it who gives a damn about climbing. Would he still do it? Nahhh. People paying to watch the film are the problem, you’ll kill him one day.

    I stand corrected, I was thinking of Alex Honnold (still well worth a watch though)

    Now I’m confused. Free Solo is Honnold isn’t it. As is Sufferfest. So you don’t need to stand corrected do you….

    scuttler
    Member

    Not for me. And I’m a little suspicious of the real motivation behind many of the these “exploits”. Take away a wish to impress peers, the film maker, the climbing media coverage. Just him the mountain, nobody else there, nobody else to tell about it who gives a damn about climbing. Would he still do it? Nahhh. People paying to watch the film are the problem, you’ll kill him one day.

    Disagree. You simply can’t strip it with your ‘take away’ argument in the modern world. I’ve done things that in hindsight weren’t smart but I did them to test myself – no one else was there, and it was undocumented but for anyone at the pinnacle of their chosen field there will be focus – the only thing that really changed is that it can be so well documented in 2018. To me this is about the human condition (something clearly very different in Alex) and in all likelihood Alex will like many others before him die doing this. We debate this with Rampage every year – an event that pitches competitors against each other and in front of the cameras and I’m not comfortable with that but solo climbing has a purity – this wasn’t about a new hard route more death defying than the last but the ‘first solo ascent of the world’s most famous rock face’ which in itself has a purity. He’d have died if he had fallen off the first 100 ft.

    As I understand it the film explores some of these topics. I’ll post again tomorrow when I’ve (paid) seen it.

    footflaps
    Member

    Take away a wish to impress peers, the film maker, the climbing media coverage. Just him the mountain, nobody else there, nobody else to tell about it who gives a damn about climbing. Would he still do it? Nahhh.

    You need to watch the film then, and you’ll be surprised.

    whitestone
    Member

    Honnold soloed a lot, and to a high standard, before people started filming him doing it. It only becomes a problem if he starts soloing routes “for the camera” that he’d normally shy away from because of the nature of the climbing or the looseness of the rock.

    I used to solo a lot, to within a grade or so of my normal roped leading grade, looking back there were some definite “Uh oh!” moments – usually these weren’t on the harder routes but something several grades within my comfort zone, the type of ground where you’d mentally switch off.

    Soloing goes through cycles: it gets popular until someone, usually famous, dies and people step back and think about it. Then memories fade and it starts to become popular again.

    I really enjoyed the film. And Honnold is something special, without a doubt.

    I liked that it wasn’t all ‘yee har’ in that grating way that Americans tend to be with ‘awesome feats’, or at least that’s the way they are portrayed.

    The approach to risk and death can be over-simplified, and turned into soundbites and nonsense. This film doesn’t do that. It leaves you with a clear sense that something genuinely special has happened. Something that may never be repeated.

    hedley
    Member

    Valley Uprising on Netflix is also pretty good.

    Charts of the history of climbing at Yosemite and had my sphincter twitching during the free solo parts.

    Jimmy Chin, the main producer/cinematographer on this, produces some great stuff. Meru, another doco, involves him and is visually stunning.

    Premier Icon justinbieber
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    Oh yes, Meru is another great film. If I’m honest, I’ve probably got a bit of a man crush on Jimmy Chin – I’m a huge fan of his work

    andyl
    Member

    It’s nothing to do with Han Solo then? In that case I am out!

    Premier Icon P20
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    Watched it last night. I’m not a climber but I do enjoy watching the films. Especially Honnold. Really enjoyed it, well worth watching

    Premier Icon tuboflard
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    Soloing goes through cycles: it gets popular until someone, usually famous, dies and people step back and think about it. Then memories fade and it starts to become popular again.

    Seen this to some extent, remember when Jimmy Jewel died and it having an effect on how much I was prepared to push my neck out soloing as a youth.

    Remember climbing a bit with John Dunne when younger and him warming up soloing Wellington Crack in Ilkley Quarry, always made me feel a bit uneasy but only because I knew how pumpy it was.

    whitestone
    Member

    @turboflard – WC is one of those that’s probably easier (safer?) to solo than lead as you aren’t wasting strength hanging around putting gear in which is what I found hard about it (talking 30+ years ago). Keith Robertson (a mate of John Redhead’s) thought the same about Fingerlicker at Tremadog. Still wouldn’t have liked to solo WC though.

    I may have got the climber wrong in this but I think it was John Yablonski (Yabo) who was soloing a layback* crack at the base of El Capitan in Yosemite when his hands slipped and he fell out across the wall where he happened to grab the only hold on that wall. He then had to get back to the crack in the corner. Gulp!

    * for non-climbers a layback is a means of climbing a crack in an inside corner by putting your feet on one wall and your hands in the crack and pulling as if you were trying to prise the corner apart (harder to describe than I thought).

    Premier Icon tuboflard
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    @whitestone I can see what you mean but I’d definitely not want to solo it either. Technically straight forward but not a warm up you’d want to find you’re having an off day two thirds up and start getting pumped on!

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