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Dawn Wall and Free Solo films (Read 16357 times)

duncan

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Dawn Wall and Free Solo films
October 10, 2018, 09:22:45 pm
Dawn Wall

To get the most important point out of the way first, it does answer the “how do you poo up there” question. It also answers the inquiry posed to Caldwell in the first lines of the film “what makes you want to climb something like Dawn Wall”. Some climbers may be uncomfortable with the answers it provides. 

I went with slightly low expectations being over-familiar with the stories and having heard it was a Hollywoodisation of Yosemite history (Sender + BigUp have form with Valley Uprising). It’s clearly targeted at the Netflix audience that made that film a breakout and measured against that aim it is a great success. I really enjoyed it and not just from the obvious joy of seeing Yosemite in a proper cinema. 

It’s largely a portrait of Caldwell rather than a climbing film. The first half will be familiar to readers of The Push: his unusual childhood and Father’s idiosyncratic parenting, the fateful trip to Kyrgyzstan (very powerful), marriage to Roden and divorce (both interviewed, treated more even-handedly than in the book), subsequent depression then channeling this into the seemingly Quixotic attempts on the Dawn Wall.  The second half focuses on the climb itself and especially Jorgeson’s increasingly despairing efforts to finish ‘the pitch’ until, with perfect timing, he snatches victory from the jaws of defeat. My hands were sweating even though I knew the outcome. The final scene features Caldwell’s two year old son bouldering, completing the narrative arc.

The film is exemplary in how it presents modern rock climbing to a wider audience. Explaining the process of multi-pitch climbing was elegantly done. We got a real sense of the long-term project, the drama in the emotional commitment not the risk-taking. Occasionally, the buttons are pressed a little too blatantly for the taste of an uptight Englishman and there is too much space given to the mass media coverage, an opportunity for some knowing winks to climbers, and the one point where the film allows itself to be distracted from the main story. The ruthless distillation of the tale to its essence has upset some cognoscenti: there is no sense anyone other than Caldwell, Jorgeson and Roden have ever climbed El Cap; no mention of the aid climbers who had passed that way (I can live with that); no acknowledgement of the supporting sherpas and, of course, no mention of Adam Ondra!  Historical rigour would have diverted the flow of the story.

The biggest star of all is El Capitan and doesn’t she look glorious on the big screen.

teestub

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#1 Re: Dawn Wall and Free Solo films
October 10, 2018, 09:36:09 pm
Great write up on Dawn Wall, agree with a most of it, particularly going in with moderate expectations which probably helped a lot!

Thought John Long’s context sections were really great at distilling the essence of the challenge in a plain English way.

Thought it was great that Rodden got to share some of her side of the story to balance out The Push.

If people want a potted history lesson about Yosemite then luckily there’s another film that does just that!

Agree re: Ondra too, just a small section at the end as per the women’s sport climbing film would have been enough, but I guess that may have dispelled the mythos of the impossible challenge.

Will Hunt

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#2 Re: Dawn Wall and Free Solo films
October 10, 2018, 10:17:43 pm
Very much agree re: Dawn Wall. I had quite low expectations and really really enjoyed it. I can see why they obliterated any mention of aid climbing and tactics - they clearly want this to get onto Netflix and going into depth on those issues would detract from the story.
I particularly liked how the difficulty of route finding was so well conveyed. It's obvious to any viewer what the scale of El Cap is, and for it to be inspected on abseil and for it to come down to a 9a traverse on tiny crimps, followed by a huge dyno is just mind blowing. As if THAT is the line of least resistance!

habrich

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#3 Re: Dawn Wall and Free Solo films
October 17, 2018, 08:05:47 am
Free Solo. Managed to get tickets for the first showing here in BC.  I had high expectations of this film, but they were surpassed.  A very classy film. Honnold made a good choice to work with Jimmy Chin. Great music, thoughtful build-up to the main event, almost no discernible dumbing down for a non-climber audience, no John Long, great cameos from Peter Croft and Tommy Caldwell, and amazing footage of the actual solo. Now I need to see it again on a really big screen.

tomtom

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#4 Re: Dawn Wall and Free Solo films
October 17, 2018, 09:32:25 am
Found this site which seemed to list future screenings in the UK.
No idea how it works or if its legit etc.. but....

https://uk.demand.film/dawn-wall/


galpinos

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#5 Re: Dawn Wall and Free Solo films
October 17, 2018, 09:34:44 am
Does anyone know if free solo is coming to the UK?

Seeing Dawn Wall on a big screen has made me realise Free Solo will probably look really good on a massive screen.

It also transpires that the Odean in Manchester don't check your ticket is you're wearing a scratty down/synthetic jacket. Anyone looking vaguely like a climber was just pointed at the door to the screen and could wander in!

galpinos

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#6 Re: Dawn Wall and Free Solo films
October 17, 2018, 09:35:41 am
Found this site which seemed to list future screenings in the UK.
No idea how it works or if its legit etc.. but....

https://uk.demand.film/dawn-wall/

It is legit, it's wear I got my ticket for the Manchester Dawn all showing.

T_B

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#7 Re: Dawn Wall and Free Solo films
October 17, 2018, 09:46:50 am
Does anyone know if free solo is coming to the UK?


Premiere at Kendal Mountain Festival 17 November http://www.mountainfest.co.uk/tickets/buy/780127

duncan

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#8 Re: Dawn Wall and Free Solo films
October 17, 2018, 09:50:53 am
Free solo in cinemas 14th December?
https://freesolofilm.co.uk


sdm

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#9 Re: Dawn Wall and Free Solo films
October 17, 2018, 10:11:54 am
Found this site which seemed to list future screenings in the UK.
No idea how it works or if its legit etc.. but....

https://uk.demand.film/dawn-wall/

It is legit, it's wear I got my ticket for the Manchester Dawn all showing.

It's legit. But you must book your tickets in advance.

I didn't know if I could get out of work in time. I got there in time but only just and didn't have a chance to order tickets. The odeon had no mechanism to allow me to purchase a ticket on the door and there was no signal or WiFi so I couldn't "prebook" on my phone.

I was at the cinema, wanting to pay them money for a screening that was half full but they wouldn't take my money or let me in.  :shrug:


So I sacked it off and trained at the near deserted wall instead. I'll just watch it at home for free later on instead.

Coops_13

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#10 Re: Dawn Wall and Free Solo films
October 17, 2018, 10:56:22 am
Found this site which seemed to list future screenings in the UK.
No idea how it works or if its legit etc.. but....

https://uk.demand.film/dawn-wall/
Sick, just booked some!  :2thumbsup:

duncan

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#11 Re: Dawn Wall and Free Solo films
November 01, 2018, 07:35:15 pm
What if He Falls?

Short making-of discussing the morality of filming Free Solo. Footage of The Phoenix, Excellent Adventure (Rostrum), Freestone (Upper Yosemite Falls), Les Revieras Pourpres (Taghia) and Freerider itself.

habrich

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#12 Re: Dawn Wall and Free Solo films
November 01, 2018, 10:01:58 pm
Which parts are the Phoenix? I thought the footage at the start and around 3:00 was all on the Rostrum/ Excellent Adventure?

SA Chris

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#13 Re: Dawn Wall and Free Solo films
November 02, 2018, 11:17:05 am
For Free Solo, do they crack straight on with the film? What is approx running time?

It's showing in Aberdeen, but i have a small time window (it starts at 6:15, wife has pilates at 8!)

spidermonkey09

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#14 Re: Dawn Wall and Free Solo films
November 02, 2018, 12:02:51 pm
Is there a list of showings anywhere?

Edit: yes there is! https://freesolofilm.co.uk/watchincinemas#watch

Can't see where you book tickets though. Presumably through each individual outlet.

teestub

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#15 Re: Dawn Wall and Free Solo films
November 02, 2018, 01:03:12 pm
Can't see where you book tickets though. Presumably through each individual outlet.

Seems so, for Leeds Leeds Leeds
https://www.myvue.com/cinema/leeds-the-light/film/free-solo/times


SA Chris

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#16 Re: Dawn Wall and Free Solo films
November 02, 2018, 01:11:02 pm
Run time is 1:37 btw. A bit marginal for me...

teestub

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#17 Re: Dawn Wall and Free Solo films
November 02, 2018, 01:14:40 pm
From the description it looks like there might be a Q+A at the start too (assume recorded elsewhere) so that may push the time up some more too.

andy popp

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#18 Re: Dawn Wall and Free Solo films
November 02, 2018, 08:50:39 pm
What if He Falls?

Short making-of discussing the morality of filming Free Solo. Footage of The Phoenix, Excellent Adventure (Rostrum), Freestone (Upper Yosemite Falls), Les Revieras Pourpres (Taghia) and Freerider itself.

I thought that was worth watching. For the first time ever probably, some footage of soloing actually made me feel a bit queasy, and to think about my own soloing.

Duma

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#19 Re: Dawn Wall and Free Solo films
November 11, 2018, 10:17:27 am
Anyone got tickets for this? The UK site was showing screenings on the 11th Dec but it's offline atm and the Bristol screening is not showing on the cinemas website?

teestub

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#20 Re: Dawn Wall and Free Solo films
November 11, 2018, 10:39:49 am

Duma

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#21 Re: Dawn Wall and Free Solo films
November 11, 2018, 11:06:18 am
Cheers teestub, the website was originally showing a screening at the Watershed cinema too, which is much more convenient for me, but it's not on their site now?

teestub

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#22 Re: Dawn Wall and Free Solo films
November 11, 2018, 11:14:14 am
Ah weird, is that an independent? May be worth giving them a bell, but I guess you’d expect it to be on their calendar by now.

I noticed that it wasn’t on the website for the Hebden Bridge independent last time I checked.

Duma

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#23 Re: Dawn Wall and Free Solo films
November 11, 2018, 11:29:39 am
Yeah it's an indy, they've only just published their calender for Dec and it's not on there. Shame as it'd have been nice to go there rather than a chain in the horrific temple of consumerism that is cribbs causeway...

teestub

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#24 Re: Dawn Wall and Free Solo films
November 11, 2018, 11:41:54 am
Yeah man I fed the same about having to got to The Light in Leeds which is a very similar offering!