Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Crank Media Review: Free Hueco!


For the next few months, Crank is going to try and post consecutive film reviews that have a theme.   Think of it as a double-feature for folks who would take a dusty Subaru with a quickdraw hanging from the mirror to the drive-in theater.  Last time it was the two INERTIA films.  This time, its films that pay homage to Hueco Tanks.

Free Hueco!...Probably the first "Big Up" film to make it big.  How long ago was this film made?  Well, Chris Sharma was an awkward 16 years old.  V15 literally didn't exist yet.  Slashface was the hardest climb in the country, maybe even the world.  This film follows Jeff Lowell driving 40 hours to spend a few beautiful winter season in America's bouldering Mecca. The film follows a variety of climbing personalities through the park.  Obe Carrion brings the intensity, shouting instructions to himself mid-climb.  By contrast, Chris Sharma shows the beginnings of his mellow demeanor that would become his trademark.  Julia De Jesus and Emily Danti find differing motivations to send hard.  "Bob" doesn't take much seriously unless its chasing the next hard slot climb.  The film also takes some time to cover the historical significance of the park, and the access issues that Hueco faced that year.

Watched in 2015, the films certainly shows its age.  Dubstep didn't exist, but the soundtrack features 90s techno.  People smoke casually. Footage of V5s made it past the cutting room.  The footage is VHS quality.  Super close, dabworthy, spotting was the norm.  People actually climb highballs with less than a half dozen pads.  Heck, some people even miss the pads from time to time. People climb in wristwatches, and polos.

The first 5 minutes of climbing footage are spent watching Obe Carrion give the beta for, and then working, repeatedly, a V11. Don't get me wrong, Hueco V11 is not easy, but in a time when the ladies are sending V14 and the boys are flashing V13, I feared the epic nature of the act might be lost on today's audience that's inundated daily by the latest V15 on YouTube.  That is, until Obe sent.  The raw emotion that pours out of him in a scream of glory, followed by his bouncing victory dance, draws me in.  His happiness is palpable, and throughout the film he wears his emotions on his sleeve in a way that I think sadly may be lost in many of today's videos.  "Pinch it Obe!"

VERDICT: Borrow It

Filmed By: Big Up

Official Trailer

Availability: Trawl eBay, or find a friend

The WHO:

Chris Sharma
Obe Carrion
Julie De Jesus
Emily Danti
Boone Speed
Jeff Lowell
Bobby Harvitch

The WHAT:
Flying Marcel V11
Power of Silence V10
Disposable Heros V7
Dragonfly V5
Wellsite Dyno V10
New Religion V7
Double Boiler V8
Uncut Yogi V7
Triple Boiler V9
Full Service V10
Ruble in the jungle v12 FA
The Flame V12 FA
Jigsaw Puzzle V5
Slashface V14
Serious Legends V9
Daily Dick Dose V7
Crash Dummy V7
Notorious D.I.G V10 FA
Fight or Flight V4
See Spot Run V6
Birth Simulator
Black Forest V10 FA
The Feather V11
Slim Pickens V5
Mojo V10

Reviewer: Justin Meserve

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