Thursday, April 8, 2010

Core by Chuck Fryberger: First Impressions

Last night, I went to the Boulder Theater to join an enthusiastic crowd to see the premiere of CORE, the new climbing film by Chuck Fryberger. As I think about it, this was the first time I had seen a climbing film in a theater (I know, weird, but really I don't go out much). The energy level was high and I ran into a few people I hadn't seen in a while so it was worth the trip into Boulder right there.

But back to the movie. I should preface my comment by saying that I had to duck out to get back for my daughter's bedtime and that I will post a full review of the movie when I get the DVD. This is a first impression. But certainly the view on the big screen was stunning. The crispness, clarity and quality of the images was unparalleled. The editing was first-class and the soundtrack excellent.

If I was going to home in on portions that particularly stood out, certainly the opening segment where Sean Raboutou is wandering alone through an eerily lit and empty warehouse full of arcade games was one. Innovative and peculiarly effective, it set an edgy and almost macabre tone to what follows, maybe unintentionally so(?). I was very impressed by the Cheating Reality and Bandersnatch segments featuring Matt Wilder as well. Again more later when I can watch this film in more detail.

As ever, the film bears the hallmarks of Fryberger's other work. Obsessive attention to getting the right angle on the climb and climber, framing the scene to squeeze the most visual impact from it, flawless filming technique, lots of color, texture, and an everpresent sense of locale and pace. Great work, more later when I can replay and pause and think a bit more about it.

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