So then, the weather (I know. Still on this tack.)
Here in Sheffield we are heading for a white Easter. As well as making egg hunts finger numbing; the forecast has rather smothered any spring ambition. We’ve got a four-day weekend coming up and limited options left, other than pushing it up a level on the plastic and usurping the office ‘Wad’ hierarchy; SteepEdge ambition knows no bounds.
It does mean, naturally, there’s more time to watch films on SteepEdge (not Game of Thrones guys, resist. A dwarf or Dawes…)
We’ve been keenly reviewing our recent additions, so to give you a round up, here’s our top new films on Steep Edge:
(The best way to stay updated with what we’ve got is to register for our enews– honest reviews, free stuff, nice pictures.)
This is Jen Randall’s first feature film. It’s outstanding. Brilliantly edited, imaginatively shot and, despite a directorial narration, refreshingly lacking in ego. Films about female climbers are uncommon. Films by female climbers are almost non existent. We are very excited to support Jen in what we expect to be a groundbreaking trajectory! Featuring Mina Leslie-Wujastyk crushing in Magic Wood, Natalie Berry cruising at Malham, Vicki Mayes trading in Dunkeld and Jen herself, with her newfound partner Jackie Sequeira, attempting the big dream of El Capitan.
“Push It does away with the myth that only ground-breaking achievements are worth picturing…It’s an open invitation for everyone to keep pushing it.”
‘Up That Rock’ Review
In his first ever production, Lucas Brunelle blows open our conception of risk with his deft footage of Alley Cat cycle races across the World. The film is a culmination of ten years of racing, put into context by Benny Zenga’s direction and final edit. Brunelle rides with two cameras strapped to either side of his head, one pointing forwards and the other back, weighing in at ten pounds. He has to keep a straight line of sight while chasing the racers through traffic to achieve an unbroken perspective. A witty soundtrack punctuates the relentless rhythm of the film, but further blurs the line between video game and adventure film as, torn between admiration and condemnation, you can’t take your eyes from the scene. Line of Sight is exactly that: one man’s unwavering pursuit of a very compelling story.
This was the original window to the mind of a legend. Alun Hughes caught Johnny Dawes at the height of his powers in the 1980’s, pushing the boundaries of how we understand (or don’t understand) movement. Dawes is still considered to be a revolutionary in the ‘art’ of rock climbing, and this film goes some way to depict the arc of his efforts that transformed climbing, and thrust a then underground sport into the national consciousness.
A maverick, deeply intuitive, and of course a showman, Stone Monkey reveals the humour and genius of this ‘character’. Carefully constructed? Instinctive and charming? What Hughes managed to edit into this award winning film is a compelling picture of a man in his extreme element, perhaps at the edge of it.
“The Great Wall saga and the unfinished story of the Indian Face is one of the most hallowed tales in British climbing. The line between genius and insanity has never been so blurred.” Leo Houlding
Mark Harris and Mitch Corbett attempt to discover how ‘California cool’ arrived on Britain’s ‘bracing beaches’. From pioneers on the 50’s holiday beaches of Cornwall, to surf’s inextricable relationship to cultural shifts (‘No I don’t wanna work, I wanna go surfing!’). A great insight into how a sport develops into an identity for its enthusiasts, common to so many adventurous pursuits that engage with the elements, be in rock, sea, snow or wind. With awesome animation by Simon Ball, Endless Winter goes where no other surf movies have gone before, not only in location, but humour, observation and photography.
“The aim of Endless Winter is to give credit to the charming, hardy and occasionally barking mad characters of the British surf scene” The Directors
Taking climbing seriously this year? How’s that going for you? Swell if it’s going well, but in case it’s not, here is George Smith with a fruit salad of a climbing film to refresh your mind, if not your palate (theres no accounting for taste). This is a truly bizarre, but brilliant film, with hilarity and self depreciation at every corner of every cave in Wales. A warped insight into the dank mind of overhang climbers, creatively edited together by a lucid dreaming team of Smith, Alun Hughes and Ray Saunders.
“George Smith is guilty of his own brand of lunacy. By his own admission, he’s the kind of guy to take a guide book, ignore the lines and look for the gaps between them.” UKC Review
An exhaustive step by step tutorial that allows you to make the move steps from indoor walls to the intimidating world of ‘real climbing’, undesigned, outside. This comprehensive film is a brilliant resource,
promoting rock climbing to those who wouldn’t get introduced by parents, clubs or friends, and de-veils the secrets, complications and elite reputation of trad.
Neil Gresham and Libby Peter introduce the essential skills progressively whilst also taking you on a tour of some of the UK’s classic venues including Swanage, Stanage, the Roaches, Dinas Cromlech and Gogarth; whatever rock type takes your fancy, they will demonstrate the best techniques and systems.
Get Out on Rock is a no nonsense, no glamour approach to the nuts and hexes (sorry) of the sport, suggesting all venues are accessible to anyone, given the right preparation.
‘Great things are done when mountains and men meet, this is not done by jostling in the street’
Birdman of the Karakoram begins with a poetic nudge from William Blake, which John Silvester follows quite literally, flying through the biggest concentration of the worlds highest mountain peaks and glaciers at 7,000m, with filmmaker Alun Hughes strapped to the front of his tandem paraglider. Together they create a mythical piece of exploration history, as the pioneering Birdman of the Karakoram charts highly technical new routes in an extreme and remote landscape.
“The most engaging parts show Silvester wrestling and cajoling the wing above his head in scenery that is beyond spectacular with the nauseously green Al Hughes trying to hang onto his breakfast as he records Silvester in his element..” Calm and Fearless review
Available for the first time to download, Best Forgotten Art is, as you would expect of Johnny Dawes, poetic and persuasive. Rolling prehistory under the feet and around the jammed hands of gritstone crack climbers, Johnny refutes the ‘baloney’ surrounding the development of this revered technique, interviewing the seers said to have invented it. Along the way he demonstrates his incredible agility, and his pioneering insight into the curious movement required by gritstone.
Featuring John Allen, Joe Brown, Johnny Woodward, Boone Speed, Chris Plant, Arthur Dolphin, Airlie Anderson, Ruth Jenkins, and Leo Houlding, all crushing their appendages into gaps on the grit, while Johnny jumps into handjams with startling alacrity. The film finishes up with a group attempt on Ray’s Roof. Sandbagged much?
Hope you have a great weekend, wherever you are. Enjoy the SteepEdge entertainment with your Easter Eggs, Just don’t don’t get square eyes as well as round bellies…