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Paul Diffley, Chris Alstrin, 2012
UK | 50 minutes
Filmmaker Chris Alstrin in person!
This film features bloody knuckles, all-out grunt sessions and willful participation in pain. Welcome to the world of off-width crack climbing, a sub-genre that attracts a rare breed willing to jam elbows, knees, torsos — whatever it takes, really—into large cracks for climbing ascents. It’s painful, tough and occasionally downright awful. But two British climbers, Pete Whittaker and Tom Randall, love it. WideBoyz follows the off-width-obsessed pair as they undertake an insane two-year training regime—most of it spent hanging upside down in the “dungeon of doom” they set up in Whittaker’s basement—in preparation for a trip to the holy land of off-widths: the American West. After touring some of the country’s best known big cracks—and ticking them off with impressive swiftness—they head to the ultimate test. The Century Crack, 120 feet of overhanging off-width in the Canyonlands of Utah, is considered the world’s hardest off-width. After dreaming about the first ascent of it for years, the British duo finally gets a shot at this beautiful, hellish crack.
Joachim Hellinger | Germany | 2012 | 13m
You’ve never seen a climbing film like Je Veux. Joachim Hellinger, who has been bringing his inventive and well-produced mountaineering and adventure films to Mountainfilm in Telluride for 20 years, is a bit of a Francophile. He fell in love with the music of French singer Zaz (one of the most popular and identifiable musicians in France today) and was in the unique position to help her carry out her dream: performing on the top of the tallest mountain in Europe. At an altitude of 15,781 feet, climbing Mont Blanc is no small feat, especially considering that Zaz’s small band includes an acoustic contrabass. Those not familiar with Zaz will fall in love with her unassuming songs that are rooted in jazz and traditional French music; the mountaineers in the audience will be impressed, as well.
The Gimp Monkeys
Fitz Cahall & Mikey Schaefer | USA | 2012 | 8m
After four nights and five days, Craig DeMartino, Jarem Frye and Pete Davis scrambled to the top of the 1,800-foot Zodiac Wall on Yosemite’s El Capitan on June 9, 2012. It’s a route that’s been climbed countless times, but not like this: the first all-disabled ascent. DeMartino (who lost a leg in a climbing accident), Frye (who lost a leg to bone cancer) and Davis (who was born without an arm) didn’t accomplish the feat to raise awareness or champion their cause. They did it because they are climbers first and disabled second. Martino says, “If a climber is what you are…you want to climb El Cap.” So with four legs, five arms and three heads, they tackled the towering expanse of granite. Gimp Monkeys follows the trio’s monumental trip up the wall and examines where passion, tenacity, perspective and toughness can lead. Because, as Davis says, “The right attitude and one arm will beat the wrong attitude and two arms every time.”