Chris Parker, writing in this week’s TNB for Rock & Ice:
Excuse the extended metaphor, but five-minute Internet videos or short films packaged and viewable only in a film festival format have all but replaced the narrative/character-driven, feature-length climbing movies of yesterday.
I’ve been a bit nostalgic lately myself for climbing movies of yesteryear, but I don’t think it has anything to do with filmmakers abandoning the feature-length format. As Parker points out later in the piece when he reviews two feature-length movies that were just released, feature-length films are still being made1. In fact, my favorite movies from “back in the day” were the Dosage movies which were, at a base level, a series of short films with no real inter-connected storyline packaged together.
I wonder a lot about whether or not the high esteem we hold older movies in is more a factor of where we were in our progression as climbers when those films were made. I was just getting started climbing when movies like Rampage and Dosage 1 were made, and they played a formative role in shaping my growth as a young climber. Watching them got me really psyched to go climbing, and me and my friends would, of course, try our best Obe Carrion or Dave Graham impressions out while we were flailing on V5s pretending we were climbing The Flying Marcel or something. Re-watching those movies now elicits all kind of nostalgic feelings that movies made now can’t approach. It seems likely that this was the case for Parker and the movies put out by Sender Films.
Am I just a sucker for nostalgia, or is there something more to this? Let me know in the comments.
- Quite a lot of them actually: Island Vol 1, The Network, Chasing Winter, Western Gold, The Abyss and so on ↩