MEDIA


The Fanatic Search
Released: 2008
Run Time: 115min 
Directed and Produced by Laurent Triay
DVD: PAL, 16:9

European DVD productions, especially in a language other than English, rarely see the light in places such as the US and UK, so ‘The Fanatic Search’ is probably not something you have seen down your local climbing shop recently.  But if you have then you may consider putting this in your shopping cart.

The first thing that comes to mind when finishing this film is its length. It’s just over 2 hours in length which is longer than many feature films out there! Many people may then be thinking that 2 hours is too long, and they may be right, but this film does keep you entertained and if viewed in sections, kind of like Big Up’s Dosage series, you will certainly be coming back for repeat viewings.

The film opens with a Mallorcan DWS short - ‘PSIKO FANATICS. It gives a nice playful look at Mallorca DWS. Not just the big number crunchers but also some of the more attainable lines at grades around F6c. It’s a fun, laid-back film of a trip to the island and will keep you entertained especially with the cornflake rescue!

The rest of the film is quite simply a view of climbing and life. Predominantly set in northern Spain and focusing chiefly around Dani Andrada, it gives quite a voyeuristic view into his life as a climber and those climbers, friends and family that surround his life. It's presented in a much rawer format than glossier productions like Big Up and Sender Films, having a more personal interaction between the film maker and his subjects and also incorporating home movie footage. This part of the film could be easily be described as a loose portrait of Dani’s climbing life and is simply quite fantastic to watch and very insightful. There is a lot of honesty and no-holds -barred views on many subjects including Adam Ondra’s ascent of La Rambla. Dani’s training and the work made on Dani’s project Picacho 9b+? In the Ali Baba cave at Rodella is a great watch!

Where there is Dani Andrada there is normally Chris Sharma who also appears heavily in this film. Quite entertainingly it shows the great amount of work and effort involved in developing new areas. In particular there is a closer look at the equipping, cleaning and working of the 9b at Siurana called Golpe_De_Estado. What you get is a picture of just how hard it is to climb at this elite level, how many hours of hard work are spent creating world-class climbs (and climbers).

Another fine edition to this film is a look at family life in relation to full time climbers. Mariona Marti and her son Nil Morales Marti appear through the film and is something which some people may find unusual in places, but this adds immense character to the film and is very entertaining in a quirky way.

In a nutshell, you should get your hands on a copy as it’s a great film but perhaps could be enhanced by clearer definition between the chapters, somewhat like Pulp Fiction, and one or two technical oversights regarding the DVD production, but these do not stop your viewing enjoyment by any means.

The language is mostly in Spanish (Catalan) with English or French subtitles and also contains 40 min of extras to enjoy giving a total of 155min of entertainment for your money!

For more information and mail order click here.


________________________________________________________________________

Perfecto
Released: 2008
Run Time: 58 min
Directed and Produced by Mike Call

Perfecto is quite a hard film to categorise - is it a documentary, pure climbing flick or something else? It is only when you look back at the origins of this film you can begin to understand how it fits into the scheme of things.
Perfecto was born from the 2007 era of Momentum Video Magazine, which was quite simply an online video magazine about climbing. Every month they would release a very well-produced online flash-based magazine, with turning pages and everything emulating what you would find on the shelves of a magazine store, but instead it was filled with video shorts.

Mike Call (director and producer) and a team of talented climbers ventured out to Mallorca to experience the delights of the east coast and the result is a magazine article-style movie highlighting Mallorca’s better-known soloing venues and focusing on some of the classic lines, such as ‘Loskot and Two Smoking Barrels’ (8a+). It’s quite relaxing to watch, with entertaining insights into lines and the personal relationships the climbers have had with them. Climbers such as Ethan Pringle and Boone Speed were making a return trip, and in particular Pringle was intent with trying the Es Pontas arch - with surprising results, including finding a sequence of moves that removes the notorious dyno from Chris Sharma’s 9a+/b line on Es Pontas. A number of climbers appear in this film, some more well-known such as Katie Brown and Chris Lindner and others lesser-known but very talented climbers such as Paige Claassen, film-maker Chuck Fryberger and Jenn Walish. Miquel Riera makes an appearance being the local pioneer of the area.

Some impressive ascents and attempts are made in the film, including ‘Hupolup kempf’ (8b) and ‘The Weather Man’ (8a+) at Cala Sa Nau, and Ethan Pringle’s repeat attempts on Es Pontas. However, the most impressive line in this movie is ‘La Hostia’(8a+) at The Tower of Falcons, which is an epic roof climb which Ethan Pringle impressively crosses. The way this section is shot should be noted as for the first time this movie reveals the true beauty of this cave!

It’s nice to see such variety of areas filmed and for those looking to make a visit to the island I do recommend you watch this film to get a feel for some of the places. Areas covered are Porto Cristo area, Cala Barques, Cala Llombards, Porto Colom, Cala Sa Nau and a nice mix up with some sport climbing at Fraguel.

In a nutshell the DVD info explains a lot: “Perfecto captures the beauty, adrenaline and purity of the Mallorca experience”.
You could easily describe it as a climbing destination film, which would be of great interest to those interested in DWS and considering taking a trip to this soloing mecca.

Perfecto is best downloaded from Iclimb, a US Digital climbing film distributor, and at $9.99 it’s definitely worth adding to your collection.

Buy Perfecto from iclimb HERE!!!



---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
King Lines
Released: 2007
Run Time: 60 min
Directed and Produced by: Josh Lowell (Big UP), Peter Mortimer (Sender Films)

‘King Lines’ is a biographical portrait of a climber at the cutting-edge of his sport. The film follows Chris Sharma as he seeks out new hard lines in order to push the limits of what is possible, and on the flip-side gives a unique glimpse into this climber’s life and background showing how Chris became the climber and person he is today.

Some of the highlights are Deep Water Soloing in Greece, Chris ascending a new 9a at Ceuse in France, and a look at the next level of sport climbing on the line that became ’Jumbo Love’ (F9b) on Clark Mountain in the USA.

The main draw of this film though is the first ascent of the Deep Water Solo known as ‘Es Pontas’. This line, known at the time of filming as the ’arch project’, became famous in the climbing world as Chris Sharma reached new levels of climbing difficulty in a style of climbing which to many was quite alien. 

The film entertainingly shows the demands placed on Chris while trying to work the line. Amongst other things the lack of bolts to hang on made this a difficult line to work and requiring ground up ascent each time he failed. Chris was also reliant on conditions (calm enough seas) and his mental stamina to keep going even after taking 100 falls from the dyno move alone.

Chris finally succeeded in September 2006, with the film-makers there to capture his ascent as a fitting finale.

Those who enjoy soloing on Mallorca will be happy to see a number of additional areas featured in this film, such as Cala Barques, Cova Del Diablo, Cala Sa Nau and Cala Llombards.  Miquel Riera also appears in a sequence involving some risky DWS in very extreme sea conditions at Cala Serena. Even though in the film this look harmless enough it has become apparent that events unfolded at the time that say otherwise regarding a dangerous and difficult exit for Miquel

‘King Lines’ is a modern classic and should stand the test of time as a testament to the talent and vision of one of the best climbers of his generation. Anyone with a remote interest in climbing should have this in their collection to watch over and over again. 


For more information visit the Big UP site.

HD Trailer - Click Here

'King Lines' Rich Media Project



---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Psicobloc 101
Released: 2006
Run Time: 66min
Directed and Produced by: Udo Neumann
DVD: PAL

Following on from his 2002 short film to Mallorca, Udo Neuman had the opportunity in 2005 to document a small group of talented international climbers as they explored Mallorca’s potential.

Udo intended to use this footage and create a film that would “let other climbers benefit from the experiences of others like Chris Sharma, Toni Lamprecht and Klem Loskot”. I believe this must have been referring to the lack of a guide book at the time and therefore intended this to be a Mallorca Deep Water Soloing guided tour. But this film is not that really but more of an account of that week or two on the island.

There were a fair few climbers who attended the meet and are featured in this film: Gregor Selica from Slovenia, Justin Hawkins from South Africa, Mats Mosti from Norway, Miquel Riera from Mallorca, Nate Gold from the USA, Nora Dorian from Romenia and Torstein Eide from Norway.

The film opens with a conversation with Toni Lamprecht giving his honest and insightful view on his first time to the island. Watching this with friends soon revealed how they soon switch off quickly to this section with the subtitles and lack of action. But those who persist with this section then begin to understand Toni’s passion for the island and possibly even relate to his experiences in many ways themselves.

The film takes a closer inspection of such lines as ‘Kill Bill 2’, ‘Big XXL’, ‘Loskot and two Smoking Barrels’ and the first accent of ‘Mamasita’. These are all very entertaining and motivating to watch with good commentary from Udo.

The last sequence of the film shows the unearthing process of PONTAX which we all know later mutated into the line of ‘Es Pontas’ and includes some home footage of Chris first catching the dyno!

The film does take a drastic turn half way through as a photo montage sequence including some rough film footage shows the group partying for one of the nights. This includes a ‘morning after’ sequence involving Chris Sharma calling random girls from the night before (or so it seems) which it is believed to have been cut from the more recent pressings.

This film is a landmark film as far as Mallorca DWS is concerned, basically capturing on video a time when Mallorca DWS development was still in its infancy. Many first ascents were made on this trip and looking through the Rockfax guide you may now spot one or two route names that will give you a clue to the antics of that trip and the people who were there at that time.

Definitely something to add to your DVD collection - especially because it includes the historic 20 minutes Bonus film (no name for this film) which was originally released in 2002. This film artistically portrayed some of the original explorations of the east coast and gives an almost mystical and epic view of Klem Loscot and friends exploring and developing new areas. This film is great!!  Well-made, entertaining and motivating to watch, this is to be honest why most climbers watch climbing films.

To get hold of this film visit the udini shop here.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dosage Vol 2
Released: 2004
Run Time: 70 min
Directed and Produced by: Josh Lowell
DVD: NTSC

The second DVD in the Dosage series comprises six short films, two of which focus on Mallorca deep water soloing. One of these ‘doses’ is now generally considered a classic – the film that really generated interest in Mallorca as a DWS destination.’

Psicobloc Part 1 (the one I refer to as being a classic) is one of the original if not ‘the’ original film showcasing DWS on the island.  
Kelm Loskot and Tim Emmett are the focus of this film although additional footage of other climbers (although unaccredited) pops up here and there. These climbers were all part of the original trip to Cove del Diablo back in 2001. However, for some reason the film purely focuses on Klem and Tim as individuals and not the fact that they were part of a team of climbers that was in the process of opening up a new and exciting venue and additionally pushing DWS to a new level. This fact does not really alter anything in the way of quality, just something that may have been a nice addition to the piece.  

The epic opening shots reveal the venue’s immense possibilities but also its cutting-edge level of difficulty, which even some of the world’s best climbers were challenged by!  Slow motion shots of epic falls put you in the mood for this immense venue and Klems ascent of “Loskot and Two Smoking Barrels” finishes of the film nicely!

But in the long run it’s not quite enough to exist as a film in its own right. Maybe this is because for a long time the film floated in cyber space as a video short on the climbing website ‘Climb X media’ more as a taste of things to come.  But it was not until a return trip with Chris Sharma did additional footage emerged which then became Psicobloc Part 2.

Psicobloc Part 2 shows Chris Sharma taking his first trip to the island back in his early twenties. With Klem giving him a guided tour and sage DWS advice, Chris visits a number of venues and proceeds to climb some fantastic new lines at such places as Diablo, Sa Nau, Mitjana and Barques.

It makes a nice addition to hear that some of the world’s best climbers have battled mentally with the idea of climbing the bigger lines on the island, and it’s also motivating to hear that Chris also found it to be something he enjoyed mastering - the results can definitely be seen in this film and in subsequent films such as ‘King Lines’.

This film was made at a time when lines and venues were just being opened up and info was noted down on the backs of cigarette packets, and then left to locals and privileged insiders only. This is reflected in this film with a number of omissions regarding venue and route information (probably because they were still projects at the time) - but saying that, the Cala Sa Nau section hosts a nice introduction from Klem.

Most people will probably already have this in their DVD collection, but if not, grab your-self a copy as the additional films also make great viewing - especially the bizarre and entertaining ‘So ILL Summer-ized’

For more information visit Big up Productions Dosage 2 film page.
Video here.