I’m all for climbers making movies. On rest days, there’s very little I’d rather do than pop in a climbing video and feel my hands sweat. I’ve found music full of extra send-o’s by watching climbing movies… and watching people take whippers on gear I wouldn’t trust to clip my summit pack into has been great for convincing my scared, risk-averse little brain that sometimes gear really does hold. So, when I get the chance to spend a snow day with a pile of climbing videos… my standards are appropriately forgiving, my expectations are not fine cinema, and I’m set to put up with some spray in order to get the good stuff out of any particular DVD. My most recent movie binge included Dosage V (two thumbs up) and The Australia Project (a thumb and a half down).
I’ll start with The Australia Project. The good. I’m a fan of Brian Solano, and Australia is a lovely character in this movie, made in 2004. This film definitely didn’t help quell my wanderlust. Ummmm… what else can I say… Emily Harrington is a cutie pie some of the time, when she’s not complaining. And, the boys in the film weren’t … totally abnoxious … at least part of the time. The bad… apparent recent high-school graduate rock jocks tossing wobblers, drinking wine and smashing up one of my all-time favorite vans. The climbing was… meh. The music was pretty good. But the temper tantrums made this look like a completely Un Fun Climbing Trip. Check out Brian’s newer stuff instead. I enjoyed Spray, though am still unsure of whether my interpretation of the movie is correct. If it’s serious, and the climbers (especially Chris Linder) aren’t spraying ironically, then I may knock my recommendation down a notch… but if my interpretation holds, and Spray is a climbing movie making fun of climbing movies (which is what I assume based on the title and the surfboard picture on the cover) then that one comes highly recommended (despite, according to interviews, some of the best girl-climbing on the trip being unrecorded and/or unaired).
Anyway… I’m not going to do a detailed Dosage V review since it’s pretty much just universally well-rated… I’ll just chime in that I thoroughly enjoyed the new-ish film from Big Up Productions and Josh Lowell. The music is awesome (I noted song after song I wanted to download and I think I’ll just suck up and buy the soundtrack — I haven’t bought a CD in ages)… the climbing is great and inspiring… and the special feature extra segments are as good quality and fun to watch as the main attraction (and feature more great climbing by Daila Ojeda who is a remarkable climber to watch, and who I refuse to identify by her association with a certain dude you might have heard of). The highlight for me was watching Beth Rodden work Meltdown. She’s one of my favorite climbers, and it was great to get to watch part of her work on such a scenic and noteworthy route.
Enjoy… my wish list still includes The Sharp End by Sender Films, which I’ve also heard pretty universally good things about… what’s your climbing movie wish list, and what are your thoughts on these films?
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