Over the past week I’ve been slowly working my way through a slew of new climbing movie releases being offered for download at iCLIMB.com. I’ve watched portions of Psyche 2 and The Fanatic Search 2 and may have thoughts on those once I finish, but today I wanted to say a few things about the highly anticipated movie from Nathan Bancroft’s Rogue State Films, Reach.
Reach follows Zach Lerner through a few problems near Flagstaff, AZ, Jon Cardwell and Felipe Camargo as they sample the boulders of Brazil, and Cardwell, Dave Graham and Daniel Woods as they do their thing at Lincoln Lake and RMNP. While the movie, at its core, is ostensibly a “bouldering flick”, it’s clear that Bancroft was aiming to make something different with Reach. In a recent interview with DPM he had this to say about the movie’s concept:
The goal from the beginning with Reach was to show climbing in a unique way. I have been heavily influenced by snowboarding and skating films, so I tried to take that aesthetic and evolve it into something that would work with climbing. I have been bored with a lot of the recent climbing releases and as a group we felt that there was always something missing, something that initially attracted all of us to the sport that wasn’t being conveyed in any climbing films. My goal was to produce something that excited my friends and me and that we could show to non-climbers in order for them to understand the sport better.
I could try to describe the style of the movie, but in this case the trailers are a great indicator of what the end product is like since the movie and the trailer are edited in basically the same style. Like the trailers, the end product is a continuous mix of montages and climbing shots edited to flow with the music with infrequent but generally interesting comments from the climbers themselves. In some sense the movie is literally a 45 minute version of either one of the trailers, so if you like what you see in the trailers you’ll probably enjoy the whole thing.
Personally I enjoyed Reach quite a bit. The combination of beautiful filming of both the climbing and the non-climbing and precise editing to match the music made the movie fly by (in a good way). At times it did seem as though some of the problems in the Brazil segment in particular were a bit over-edited showing several angles for each move, but overall the style was well executed in my opinion. The movie doesn’t lack for hard climbing either with over 20 V13+ boulder problems, and the flurry of hard climbs sent by Dave Graham at the end was a real treat for me personally since he has long been my favorite climber. If you’re into bouldering you’ll probably like this movie.
In the interest of full disclosure, this movie was provided free of charge from iCLIMB.com. This in no way affected my views on the movie since I would have been happy paying for it myself…