In the middle of The Climber, there is a change of tone, smooth and perfect. Fellow climbers sing Marc-Andre Leclerc’s praises throughout Peter Mortimer and Nick Rosen’s documentary.
The 23-year-old Canadian put on unprecedented performances, isolated peaks, and recorded rock stars. Who were older and wiser, often with loose jaws. And then the admiration diminishes a little to make way for fear. “I’m really worried,” said one. “The place is a special and limited place, a very risky place.”
For those of us who aren’t sure of ourselves on the stairs.
To worry is there from the very beginning of the portrait of a climber as a young man. The filmmakers were in awe of Leclerc. In addition to being a climber, you’ve documented the lean crew that, sadly for the National Park Service, sued Yosemite in the Valley Riot. Mortimer also directed, with Josh Lowell, SXSW audience winner “The Dawn Wall”.
Mortimer was fascinated by a climber he had never heard. The “climber” begins to search for this elusive ghost. In a world of guys (because they’re almost always boys) who don’t care about hashtags and Instagram and make their adventures, Leclerc stands out because he’s mostly out of social media networks.
When the director found Leclerc, the climber turned into a sweet man with curly hair, a crooked smile, and no interest in self-promotion.
When Free Solo star Alex Honold was asked in a video. At the film’s start what impressed him, he replied, “That kid, Mark-Andre Leclerc.” While it’s bubbling which isn’t Honolds in nature. The camera provides an aerial view of the massive mountain range slowly creeping over it and slowly rotating around it. Wait, what’s that stain?
The pictures here are often dizzying and dazzling. A photo from above of Leclerc climbing a cannabis ice cream show his legs drooping while only using an ice axe to tread the ice sheet. It’s pretty mysterious that the ice is anchored to the precipice. But “Mark’s shooting in this precarious area was terrible,” Mortimer tells us. “But he couldn’t be calmer.”
Later in the film, a fast-moving blizzard stops his attempt to climb the Eger Tower in the Patagonia region.
The video he shot for his girlfriend Brit Harrington is funny and relatively calm, with an air of concern. He survived the night locked in a sleeping bag stuck to the rock face. An image from a distance gives us a sense of scale. A light indicating its location resembled the loneliest star glistening in the great darkness.
While 2018’s “Free Solo” isn’t the first documentary with multiple twists, this Oscar-winning film has taken the climb and its fans to another level. And it’s easy to spot ticks, tricks, and trends in this burgeoning genre.
Like last spring’s “Free Solo” and “Super Frenchie” (for BASE skier and jumper) Matthias Giraud, “The Climber” attracts both the intrepid male romantic partner and his parents for insight. Leclerc’s mother, Michelle Culpers, tells the story of an energetic child. He respects his curiosity and provides homeschooling to relieve his anxiety. When Marc-Andre had to attend a traditional grammar school, things got a little unsettled.
His wild boys – including parties – gave way to a severe relationship with Harrington and a new love for climbing. Harrington stands out in this genre because he is also a climber. His assessment of Leclerc’s exploits is based on a firsthand look at its risk and reward menu.
Mountaineering reflects what mountaineer and historian Bernadette MacDonald call “physical freedom, but also philosophical freedom”. Ascension without limitation and alone will be the brightest end of this liberation. “If death is not possible, getting out is nothing,” Messner said. “It will be a kindergarten. Not an adventure. This is not art.”
Mortimer admits that it was designed to capture the climber’s desire to experience the existential edge. He also admitted that “after 20 years of filming, I’m not even sure I understand.”