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Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Oct 21, 2018 - 08:18am PT
I have read this thread in preparation of seeing "Free Solo" midweek. So far the director's decisions on telling the story and, separately, the process of actually filming Alex sounds more interesting than the movie itself.

Our tribe's understanding of statistics and probability is not very good. Even if you had an x-sided die to roll to represent past experience, the odds of Alex falling on the slab pitch would be affected by whatever was happening inside his head on the day he free-soloed it. The odds of falling are never zero, but there is no prior that doesn't get swamped by the affect of taking off the rope, whichever way it moves the odds.

The comment upthread which assumes Tommy's beliefs and opinions are accurately reflected in what is shown in the movie doesn't understand how movies get edited.

Jim gets the prize for best one-up-manship with free-solo guiding.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Oct 21, 2018 - 08:46am PT
"died soloing"
This is not what was said. What a piss poor display of reading comprehension. Tommy's quote nails it precisely, and they are all in fact dead.
hacky47

Trad climber
goldhill
Oct 21, 2018 - 08:58am PT
tommys quote was accurate...JLP is correct.....he never said anybody died while free soloing....it may have been implied in the movie though
Matt Sarad

climber
Oct 21, 2018 - 02:19pm PT
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1702680/Searching-for-Obscure-Climbing-Video-Dano-on-the-Gun-Club
Outside

Trad climber
Truckee
Oct 21, 2018 - 08:44pm PT
The purpose seems to be to create a false impression of how dangerous free soloing really is.
false impression huh....you might want to rethink that...
gunsmoke

Mountain climber
Clackamas, Oregon
Oct 21, 2018 - 09:40pm PT
tommys quote was accurate...JLP is correct.....he never said anybody died while free soloing....it may have been implied in the movie though
Just saw the movie with some non-climbers. It left them with the impression that the list of dead were due to free-soloing. When I saw Ueli Steck on the list I knew he didn't die on rock. And while the pic of Ueli was on snow, the impression to a general audience is that free-soloing has taken out these climbers because why mention them unless that's the point?
Archie Richardson

Trad climber
Grand Junction, CO
Oct 22, 2018 - 05:44am PT
The purpose seems to be to create a false impression of how dangerous free soloing really is.
false impression huh....you might want to rethink that...

OK it is dangerous. How about this:

"The purpose seems to be to create a false impression."
Archie Richardson

Trad climber
Grand Junction, CO
Oct 22, 2018 - 06:02am PT
Makes me wonder though, if Alex's free solo of El Cap was more "dangerous" for him than the Fitzroy traverse or the Nose speed record, both of which were done with Tommy.
bit'er ol' guy

climber
the past
Oct 22, 2018 - 07:54am PT
saw this yesterday-badass.
hailman

Trad climber
Ventura, CA
Oct 22, 2018 - 09:25am PT
So far the director's decisions on telling the story and, separately, the process of actually filming Alex sounds more interesting than the movie itself.

Couldn't agree more. You can digest even more backstory on this by listening to Alex's interview on the enormocast:

https://enormocast.com/2017/07/episode-133-alex-honnold-kind-of-a-big-deal/

He describes the day before the climb, where the filmmakers were teasing him about going off to climb something else themselves, then he says...Ugh maybe you should get ready, it might happen tomorrow....while meanwhile of course the filmmakers were monkeying all over the wall strategically placing cameras and getting ready in the least intrusive way possible. And, in watching the film this attention to detail really shows. I'd pay a fortune for say a Climbers' Edition DVD with the film and a second disc with every last scrap of Freerider footage pieced together. Maybe it's like 20 hours long, I don't care!! :)

This was a uniquely intimate documentary film. Not your typical Reel Rock rah-rah pump you up affair. (Although this one did make me want to go climb. I was so stunned I had some trouble finding my car in the parking lot afterward!)

The heart to heart conversations shown between Alex and his girlfriend, Tommy, Peter Croft, and the filmmakers (more moments with his mom would have been nice) all touched on big themes and revealed a lot about his dedication to the craft. If I was Alex I'd be carrying a baseball bat to interviews to bludgeon anybody that asked 'well what if you fall? don't you get scared?' And I'm glad the film got that out of the way early on and then went deeper so to speak. I'll try not to spoil too much...

PS. He hints this in the interview on the enormocast, but I'd love to see his next big thing be something with his foundation. Milk the celebrity thing as much as possible. Maybe get in touch with Bill Gates. America needs more Honnold!!! The baby boomers got the moon landing, millenials got the recession and impending environmental disaster but thank goodness for Freerider.

PPS. So many mainstream sports stars from my childhood turn out to be total lowlifes (between the doping/drugs, cheating on/abusing spouses, gambling, you name it) and here's a guy acutely aware of social inequality and threats to our environment and positioning himself to do something big about it. What a guy and very proud effort!
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Oct 22, 2018 - 11:22am PT
I've never waited so long to see a movie and it didn't disappoint. It's got me thinking, but I'm not sure yet what about. I'm going to get skinny again though!
splitter

Trad climber
Somewhere South Of Heaven
Oct 22, 2018 - 03:20pm PT
Maybe he does, and they couldn't show that part.
Rattlesnake Arch

Social climber
Home is where we park it
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 22, 2018 - 04:00pm PT
Now playing in 251 theatres nationwide, grossing $3.6m to date.

https://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=daily&id=freesolo.htm
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Oct 22, 2018 - 04:50pm PT
Just saw the movie with some non-climbers. It left them with the impression that the list of dead were due to free-soloing. When I saw Ueli Steck on the list I knew he didn't die on rock. And while the pic of Ueli was on snow, the impression to a general audience is that free-soloing has taken out these climbers because why mention them unless that's the point?

Remember: this film is about Alex, not about the climb. The purpose semed to be "what kind of a person would do that?".

Ask your non-climber friends, like I have. Seems like the universal response is that he is crazy. I deal with crazy, and he is not.

He may have some attributes that the average person was not born with. It makes me wonder if anyone not born with such attributes can ever get to that level?

When it addresses the free soloists that have died, to me it speaks once more, to the kind of people who do this. When they are not free soloing, they are NOT participating in low Risk Activities! This speaks loudly about their psyche!

It comes back to the question: what kind of person does free solos at the highest levels? I think it really is answered: by people who are willing to REALLY risk their lives significantly in their activities, even if not rock climbing.
Rattlesnake Arch

Social climber
Home is where we park it
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 22, 2018 - 04:51pm PT
You can digest even more backstory on this by listening to Alex's interview on the enormocast:

https://enormocast.com/2017/07/episode-133-alex-honnold-kind-of-a-big-deal/

The BEST interview, for those who have watched the movie.
Rattlesnake Arch

Social climber
Home is where we park it
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 24, 2018 - 05:56am PT
Free Solo wins Mill Valley Film Festival documentary award "Valley of the Docs-Gold Award".

https://www.facebook.com/MillValleyFilmFestival/
Don Paul

Social climber
Washington DC
Oct 24, 2018 - 07:48am PT
When it addresses the free soloists that have died, to me it speaks once more, to the kind of people who do this. When they are not free soloing, they are NOT participating in low Risk Activities! This speaks loudly about their psyche!

Ken explains this well, maybe TCs statement was a little confusing but this was the point. The list is actually a lot longer if you remove the soloists and just count the number of climbers who died BASE jumping, alpine climbing or backcountry skiing. Most rock climbers aren't taking these kinds of risks.
Larry Nelson

Social climber
Oct 24, 2018 - 08:40am PT
Just saw the documentary and concerning Alex...we are not worthy.

I was fascinated by the logistics of the camera crew and would love to see more on their story...good job to all.

The psychology of capturing the solo...both with the crew and Alex.

Also the pull between climbing and a relationship or responsibilities. Many here have known a friend who died leaving behind a spouse and/or children. That is the age old question...do you want to change who that person is?

Great documentary on so many levels.
Rattlesnake Arch

Social climber
Home is where we park it
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 24, 2018 - 12:25pm PT
The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) gives Free Solo an 8.7 out of 10. This is a weighted average of ratings by 785 users.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7775622/?ref_=tt_rt

The film review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives Free Solo a Tomatometer rating of 98%. This means that one film critic out of 57 didn't like it. Christopher Lloyd of the The Film Yap wrote on Oct. 17:

"Free Solo takes us into the mind of the world's foremost ropeless mountain climber and finds... not much there."

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/free_solo/reviews/?sort=

Fifty-six critics disagree. But it takes only one rotten tomato to spoil a perfect rating. Free Solo has since been removed from Wikipedias "List of films with a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_with_a_100%25_rating_on_Rotten_Tomatoes
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Mill Valley, Ca
Oct 24, 2018 - 02:38pm PT
Someone should throw a rotten tomato at that critic.
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