In Theatres: THE DAWN WALL

Coming to theatres today, Friday, September 14:

Josh Lowell and Peter Mortimer

IDFA 2017

Select Festivals:
SXSW, Banff Mountain, Mountainfilm, Melbourne, Greenwich

Two free climbers attempt to scale a seemingly unscalable rock face.

Named for the section of Yosemite’s El Capitan sheer rock face that captures the first light of the day, Lowell and Mortimer’s appealing film chronicles the 2015 effort of climbing partners Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson to ascend the granite monolith. The pair are free climbers, only using ropes as supports in case they slip. El Capitan has long been declared an impossible goal for free climbers, but Caldwell – whose background contains a few surprises – has been wanting to conquer it for a decade. The well-shot film is its most engaging and even thrilling as it shadows the two men for the nineteen days of their attempt, witnessing the punishing lengths they take to complete sections of the course, and celebrating their dedication and teamwork. The filmmakers struggle with pacing, however, interrupting the flow of their climb with sometime superfluous interviews apparently meant to inject more human interest long after it’s really needed, as well as with structure. Given the worldwide media attention the pair received, it’s a strange decision to have the entire narrative hinge on the foregone conclusion of their climb, only to abruptly end with very little reflection from the men afterward.

Leave a comment

Filed under Documentary, Film, Releases

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.