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FREE SOLO - out 11th December

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6 hours ago, hmm said:

We watched this tonight too. What an extraordinary film, and a wonderful counterpart to The Dawn Wall, which we caught a couple of weeks ago. I think the most remarkable aspect is that while I was watching TDW, and expecting to see FS in the near future, I was sort of thinking about how Honnold's achievement was undoubtedly incredible but that, surely, the climbing itself couldn't possibly compare with what Caldwell and Jorgeson spent multiple weeks trying and failing on. And then I watched it, and discovered that while there might be a small technical distinction between the two - or perhaps, the sheer number of extreme difficulty pitches was higher in TDW - that it really was, to my uneducated eye, really much the same, except without ropes or rest or a partner or any rational hope of survival.

 

I mean, he's not only done something that no one else has ever done, he's done something that quite probably no one else on the planet right now could or would do, and it's entirely likely that it's something that no one else will ever do. I was glad that I watched his TED talk (linked somewhere upthread I think?) beforehand because it provided a really nice primer for his mentality and perfectionism. He clearly has no interest in dying, but he fully accepts the possibility of it. He was happy for a documentary to be made of what he was doing, but it was really just a fringe benefit and the entire enterprise and literal years of practice and preparation were, at their core, to ensure that his experience was the perfect high that he sought, and that his life had been working towards. I wonder if now, finally, he's satisfied.


its such a huge question. If he's satisfied and now goes on to have the moves like jagger and becomes xenu and lives forever then that fucks the rest of us so hard. 

Whereas if 3 years from now he says "ya know what? nothings changed. I still feel empty" then maybe we can all just down tools and stop being such pricks to each other and take a moment to breathe out.

I can't help but think that if he'd done this 2,000 years ago, with the right publicist, the world would be a very different place right now.

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11 hours ago, hmm said:

We watched this tonight too. What an extraordinary film, and a wonderful counterpart to The Dawn Wall, which we caught a couple of weeks ago. I think the most remarkable aspect is that while I was watching TDW, and expecting to see FS in the near future, I was sort of thinking about how Honnold's achievement was undoubtedly incredible but that, surely, the climbing itself couldn't possibly compare with what Caldwell and Jorgeson spent multiple weeks trying and failing on. And then I watched it, and discovered that while there might be a small technical distinction between the two - or perhaps, the sheer number of extreme difficulty pitches was higher in TDW - that it really was, to my uneducated eye, really much the same, except without ropes or rest or a partner or any rational hope of survival.

 

I haven’t seen Free Solo yet, I will, but is he not climbing an established route whereas Caldwell’s thing was all about finding new routes?

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6 hours ago, The Bag said:

 

I haven’t seen Free Solo yet, I will, but is he not climbing an established route whereas Caldwell’s thing was all about finding new routes?

 

Yep. Caldwell features a fair bit: basically saying that there’s no way in hell he’d go anywhere near it.

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I watched this last night and I thought it was incredible. There was a particularly tense moment where I said to my wife that I thought it was the greatest physical feat ever done and I got a very stern reply of 'what about childbirth??'. El cap suddenly seemed safer than my living room

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The Dawn Wall is significantly harder than Freeblast/Freerider. 5.14d vs 5.12d if I recall correctly. Almost 8 grade divisions harder. Yosemite grades are weird though, so in Sport grades 7c vs 9a/+

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6 hours ago, Muz said:

I watched this last night and I thought it was incredible. There was a particularly tense moment where I said to my wife that I thought it was the greatest physical feat ever done and I got a very stern reply of 'what about childbirth??'. El cap suddenly seemed safer than my living room

 

Put on the Bill Hicks routine about people who say childbirth is a miracle and run.

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I also watched this last night, and was properly enthralled all the way through.  As was my 11 year old daughter, who had absolutely zero interest in watching it, but happened to be sitting in the same room as us glued to her iPod when it started.  By the end she was cuddled up between my wife and I on the sofa, watching through her fingers.

 

Now I really wish I'd managed to catch it at the cinema, as the TV screen didn't really do it justice.

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I watched this last night after reading about it in this thread. I wasn't even aware of solo climbing till then. Fuck me, what an amazing film and feat. I was rigid watching it and couldn't stop thinking about it afterwards. Just incredible. 

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Physically shaking after just getting out of this at the cinema. Incredible. Great build up and the climb itself had my palms sweaty and many a sound escaping. The most incredible cinema experience by a mile?

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1 hour ago, thesnwmn said:

Physically shaking after just getting out of this at the cinema. Incredible. Great build up and the climb itself had my palms sweaty and many a sound escaping. The most incredible cinema experience by a mile?

 

Genuinely, if he did this 2000 years ago and said to a bunch of guys "hey watch this" there'd be structures standing in his name today all over the world 

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Saw this last night, absolutely incredible. I didn't know what to expect (hadn't seen any trailers or clips) but my preconceptions were that Alex would be some kind of "Woooh yeah life to the MAX dude!" character, of course the reality couldn't be further from the truth. Everything about this movie defied any of the ideas I might have had about the sport and the people involved in it.

 

I'd never really seen much footage of the mountain itself either and the surrounding national park, but what a remarkably shot and stunning location, it was breathtakingly beautiful.

 

Definitely going to the gym today.

 

 

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On 18/03/2019 at 07:40, El Spatula said:

The Dawn Wall is significantly harder than Freeblast/Freerider. 5.14d vs 5.12d if I recall correctly. Almost 8 grade divisions harder. Yosemite grades are weird though, so in Sport grades 7c vs 9a/+

 

The dawn wall is disgustingly hard. Can’t see anyone doing that without a rope...

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Watched it on Channel 4 last night. Man, they really butchered the ad breaks into it. Some of the worst transitions I've ever seen.

 

The film is obviously incredible. But I think the main memory for me won't be the incredible rock climbing achievement, it'll be the fucked-up personal relationships. His parents, his girlfriend. Wow.

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I have no head for heights in real life - I get dizzy just looking up at skyscrapers, cathedrals and cliffs! - but I watched the Channel 4 broadcast last night, and apart from a few moments (e.g. the Boulder Problem bit where he could either jump or karate kick) I was surprised I didn't find it as tense as I thought I would. An excellently made film recording an incredible feat by an interesting person - but the tension didn't get to me.

 

It's strange what we find nerve-wracking to watch and what we don't. Sometimes a story (either true or fictional) can make me feel nervous even when I know the outcome was safe, because I can't help but imagine the potential disastrous outcomes. In this case, somehow I wasn't thinking about that.

 

The techniques and physical feats of rock-climbing - even with ropes - are so alien to me, and he seemed so calm and in control throughout, that I just found it fascinating to watch the techniques he used. Like watching someone solve a continuous series of problems, which I knew he solved safely in the end. IIRC I felt similar watching Man on Wire, another documentary about an unbelievable feat in a high place.

 

I also found myself wondering how they got many of the camera shots - considering there was so much talk of keeping drones and cameramen out of his line of sight, I'm sure he must have been aware of their presence for much of the climb.

 

But then he got to the flat summit, and that was when my stomach dropped and I was thinking: arrgh, get away from the edge! Maybe because that was when it stopped being a feat that is just so incomprehensible that my brain didn't even try to imagine myself in his position, and became something (standing on a cliff edge) that I've experienced and found terrifying.

 

 

For example, take the clip below, where tourists - not experienced climbers - are running around the top of a windy cliff (the one from the end of Mission: Impossible Fallout). I find it stomach-churning! I think it's because I could imagine going there myself, alongside people messing about play-pushing each other, and with the wind affecting stability. If I went there, I would not be walking; I'd be lying flat on my front and crawling away from the edge!

 

 

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12 hours ago, Uncle Mike said:

Watched it on Channel 4 last night. Man, they really butchered the ad breaks into it. Some of the worst transitions I've ever seen.

 

The film is obviously incredible. But I think the main memory for me won't be the incredible rock climbing achievement, it'll be the fucked-up personal relationships. His parents, his girlfriend. Wow.

 

And the fridge he bought was way too small.

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12 hours ago, Nick R said:

The techniques and physical feats of rock-climbing - even with ropes - are so alien to me, and he seemed so calm and in control throughout, that I just found it fascinating to watch the techniques he used. Like watching someone solve a continuous series of problems, which I knew he solved safely in the end.

 

I think Tommy Caldwell says something about this that can be applied here, people who know about climbing can be a lot more on edge as they know exactly what the situation is whereas if you just see this and see him making a lot of it look simple (although it does show multiple roped attempts of some bits) it might take the edge off?

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