The Only Way Is What Exactly?

Friday, 4 December 2009

I got to see Alone On The Wall on Tuesday, having missed it at Kendal. It's one of those instant classics, mostly because what Alex Honnold does is so extreme it doesn't bear thinking about. Soloing E6 or hard 5.12 hundreds of feet above the ground actually left me feeling nauseous. Go see it. What struck me afterwards is how American film-makers have somewhere to go after they've explored their niche, specialist markets. It allows them to develop as film-makers and reach a wider audience. That doesn't happen here in the UK. Mainstream audiences aren't given authenticity, they get celebrities instead, or, even worse, stunt monkeys like Bear Grylls. You get that stuff in the States too – Bear is bigger there than here – but a film like Alone On The Wall shows that a documentary can work on several levels, satisfying experts and the non-climbing public alike.

Posted by Ed Douglas at 6.06 PM