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Free Solo (2018)

Old 10-25-18, 07:39 AM
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Free Solo (2018)



From award-winning documentary filmmaker E. Chai Vasarhelyi (“MERU”) and world-renowned photographer and mountaineer Jimmy Chin comes National Geographic Documentary Film’s FREE SOLO, a stunning, intimate and unflinching portrait of the free soloist climber Alex Honnold, as he prepares to achieve his lifelong dream: climbing the face of the world’s most famous rock ... the 3,000ft El Capitan in Yosemite National Park ... without a rope.

Celebrated as one of the greatest athletic feats of any kind, Honnold’s climb set the ultimate standard: perfection or death. Succeeding in this challenge, Honnold enters his story in the annals of human achievement. FREE SOLO is both an edge-of-your seat thriller and an inspiring portrait of an athlete who exceeded our current understanding of human physical and mental potential. The result is a triumph of the human spirit.
I can't say enough good things about this documentary. I loved it. See it in a theater if you can.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/films/free-solo/
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Old 10-25-18, 08:15 AM
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Re: Free Solo (2018)

Alex is a Vegas resident and my wife has met him while hiking in Red Rock Canyon. We will go check it out this weekend or next. Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 10-25-18, 08:24 AM
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Re: Free Solo (2018)

I thought MERU was excellent. I’ll definitely check this out when I come across it.
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Old 10-25-18, 10:36 AM
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Re: Free Solo (2018)

I have some ethical issues with free soloing. But these guys live within a subculture that is like a foreign country.

I’m someone who has been on the sidelines of Yosemite climbing my whole life. I’ve never done it, but I’ve been in awe of these guys and ladies and I think this goes too far. I don’t like the idea of someone dying.
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Old 10-25-18, 02:31 PM
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Re: Free Solo (2018)

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
I have some ethical issues with free soloing. But these guys live within a subculture that is like a foreign country.

I’m someone who has been on the sidelines of Yosemite climbing my whole life. I’ve never done it, but I’ve been in awe of these guys and ladies and I think this goes too far. I don’t like the idea of someone dying.
It's just an ego trip for a few folks who are bored with life.
Let 'em fall and send their family the bill for the cleanup.
You can't fix stupid.
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Old 11-04-18, 07:12 PM
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Re: Free Solo (2018)

Watched this yesterday. Yes the free solo climb seems phenomenally stupid and selfish. But what I guess surprised me was how thoroughly prepared Alex was before his attempt. Really it's remarkable how carefully he documents and works through everything. Watching a climb you might think he's kinda winging it, but nothing could be further from the truth. And he's aware that he might be the last Free Solo legend who is still alive. Hope he quits while he's ahead.

In any case it's a pretty spectacular movie. Really enjoyed watching it.
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Old 11-04-18, 07:20 PM
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Re: Free Solo (2018)

One of my favorite genres of documentary. This looks fantastic and I will see it in the theater.

No comment on people who actually do it, though it seems like complete madness to me.
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Old 11-04-18, 08:00 PM
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Re: Free Solo (2018)

Incredible film...especially because it's partly a character study of what makes an individual such as Alex who is willing to take the risk of death to achieve a goal.

My friends and myself (we all climb but not hardcore as the people featured in the movie) somewhat agree that Alex may have a bit of Asperger's.
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Old 11-04-18, 08:10 PM
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Re: Free Solo (2018)

My friend keeps telling me to go see this due to how phenomenal it is.
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Old 01-10-19, 08:14 AM
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Re: Free Solo (2018)

Looks like this is getting re-released in IMAX for a week starting tomorrow. I'll use A-List to check it out this weekend since there's not much out that I haven't seen.
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Old 01-11-19, 07:37 AM
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Re: Free Solo (2018)

Nice documentary.
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Old 01-14-19, 09:13 AM
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Re: Free Solo (2018)

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
Watched this yesterday. Yes the free solo climb seems phenomenally stupid and selfish. But what I guess surprised me was how thoroughly prepared Alex was before his attempt. Really it's remarkable how carefully he documents and works through everything. Watching a climb you might think he's kinda winging it, but nothing could be further from the truth. And he's aware that he might be the last Free Solo legend who is still alive. Hope he quits while he's ahead.

In any case it's a pretty spectacular movie. Really enjoyed watching it.
Yup. This was fascinating. What a good year for documentaries. Highly recommend seeing this in IMAX this week if you can. I was surprised at how many people were there when I saw it.

Here are some good supplment/companions to this:





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Old 01-14-19, 09:28 AM
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Re: Free Solo (2018)

What’s the point of seeing something in IMAX that wasn’t filmed with IMAX?
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Old 01-14-19, 09:37 AM
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Re: Free Solo (2018)

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
What’s the point of seeing something in IMAX that wasn’t filmed with IMAX?
Generally, I'd agree it wouldn't be worth it. But the cinematopgrahy is in enhanced with a larger screen. It really adds to it.

It was remastered for IMAX:
The Imax release of Free Solo will be digitally remastered into the image and sound quality of The Imax Experience with proprietary Imax DMR (Digital Re-mastering) technology.

“Imax’s differentiated, immersive theatres make audiences feel as though they are there with Alex in Yosemite National Park, climbing El Capitan, and we’re really pleased to be able to bring this incredible, historic story to fans so they can now experience it in Imax,” said Craig Dehmel, head of distribution at Imax Entertainment.

“The grandeur of El Capitan and the film’s breathtaking cinematography will be spectacular in Imax,” said Courteney Monroe, President, National Geographic Global Networks and Documentary Films. “Audiences have been filling theaters for months, uniting together to cheer for Alex’s staggering achievement. We are so grateful to Imax for providing audiences the opportunity to experience the scale and ambition of this film in Imax theaters.”

“When we were making this film, we could not have imagined the response we have received,” added directors Vasarhelyi and Chin. “To be able to share Alex’s story of courage in the immersive Imax experience is something we’ve been working towards for over a year. It’s the ultimate reward for us, and offers filmgoers and a chance to now see his historic and remarkable journey on the big Imax screen.”
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Old 01-14-19, 10:05 AM
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Re: Free Solo (2018)

That’s nice. Maybe they should have filmed on imax film and help keep the format alive? It’s just a big pet peeve of mine. IMAX is an amazing thing that’s being killed by stuff with watered down fidelity calling itself IMAX.
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Old 01-14-19, 10:52 AM
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Re: Free Solo (2018)

I would imagine it would not a good idea hauling a big, heavy IMAX up the side of a mountain. Plus the film cannisters.
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Old 01-14-19, 11:46 AM
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Re: Free Solo (2018)

They should use a quote in their re-release movie ad saying something like :

"The Best Movie of 2018 with the Word 'Solo' in the Title!"
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Old 03-03-19, 12:55 PM
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Re: Free Solo (2018)

This premieres on NatGeo tonight.
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Old 03-03-19, 01:08 PM
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Re: Free Solo (2018)

Originally Posted by dex14 View Post
This premieres on NatGeo tonight.
Thanks! I have it set to record.
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Old 03-03-19, 04:11 PM
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Re: Free Solo (2018)

Thank you for the reminder.
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Old 03-03-19, 09:04 PM
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Re: Free Solo (2018)

I wonder how someone can have no sense of danger and death the way these people seem to be.

isn't it inevitable that this guy is going to fall off a mountain side?

btw I had to put closed caption on because I can barely understand what this guy says.
It sounds like mostly grunts.

These Solo guys must have super strong hands and fingers
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Old 03-03-19, 10:12 PM
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Re: Free Solo (2018)

Originally Posted by whotony View Post
I wonder how someone can have no sense of danger and death the way these people seem to be.

It's in the movie. He has an MRI to test his amygdala, and it's muted. So there's no fear response.
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Old 03-04-19, 10:25 AM
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Re: Free Solo (2018)

Okay. Watched it.

I never had a good feeling about this guy, and the film did nothing to assuage my discomfort. This is a documentary about a guy with a severe personality disorder. It was chilling to discover that as he trains for this big event he falls into a relationship with a woman who appears to have an even more severe personality disorder. Like a groupie that tears a band apart, it was frustrating to watch this naive and narcissistic woman attempt to have a relationship with this severely damaged guy.

Bottom line is, the climbing is amazing, but the personal stuff is shocking. There’s a part of me that thinks the woman was a conceit of the filmmakers to make the guy more relatable. He admits to a life of being unable to meet girls, but then suddenly he has an onscreen romance. A little fishy me thinks.

As as far as the sport goes, I really pray this remains a fringe stunt. This cannot become the future of rock climbing. As I said earlier, I’ve grown up on the sidelines of the sport and this dude is a serious outlier. He does not represent the typical Yosemite big rock climber. I HIGHLY recommend a much better documentary called Valley Uprising. That film does a much better job of telling the story of the men and women who (mostly) took consideration for one another and were congenial, gregarious, generous personalities, who imbue the sport with beauty of mind, body, and spirit. This dude shimmying up the crack literally reminds me of Andy Sirkis’ Gollum character skittering across the rocky landscape. I just can’t stand the guy.

Sidenote: Since watching this I have not been able to get the Luc Besson film The Big Blue out of my mind. That film, which I have always loved, has also always troubled me. (FYI for those that haven’t seen it, it’s a narrative fiction film about competitive deep sea free diving.) I’ve always been drawn to the film, but also extremely frustrated as it’s main character is emotionally distant and his actions become more and more selfish and indefensibly reckless as the film progresses. It’s hard to love a film where the main character is so unlikable. But I felt major correlation between Alex and that film’s diver. Both of them so recklessly in love with their dangerous hobby. Both of them refuse love and human attachment. They throw away the miracle of their life to dwell in places where most were not imbued with the ability to ever venture. Enigmas. Both of them are hard for me to fully wrap my head around. If Free Solo has any value to me personally, it’s that the documentary confirms to me the very real existence of the type of personality depicted in that 1988 film.

Last edited by Mabuse; 03-04-19 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 03-04-19, 10:58 AM
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Re: Free Solo (2018)

Another note. I don’t see how this filmed-on-video thing could have possibly looked good in IMAX. There are times when the depth of field is so shallow! IMAX looks like you’re looking through a window. Deeeeeep focus all the way to the background. This was just ordinary looking.

In IMAX, a shot like this would have everything in focus.






Last edited by Mabuse; 03-04-19 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 03-05-19, 05:54 AM
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Re: Free Solo (2018)

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
This dude shimmying up the crack literally reminds me of Andy Sirkis’ Gollum character skittering across the rocky landscape. I just can’t stand the guy.
They need to make a sequel with Werner Herzog where Alex free solos up another height, and promptly gets eaten by a bear.
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