Valley Uprising: Documentary or Entertainment Film?


Original Post
Laronicus Lehmanold · · Salt Lake, UT · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 295

So, I finally watched Valley Uprising. It seemed to be lacking facts (the small amount of facts seemed distorted based on the personal opinion/perception of the filmmakers); tried to dramatize a relationship between two climbers who rarely met (robbins and harding- unless I am wrong, and they did in fact meet lots); barely touched the history of western climbing; and did not really focus on the climbing in Yosemite (scoring gasoline-lake pot is more important to discuss, not). Most of the movie focused on the group called, "the stone masters"; purportedly the best climbers of their day (according to the movie). To me, this was dumb.

I went into the movie hoping to learn more about who set what routes, what kind of work/time they had to log to complete the problems, and the various styles of climbing being performed (i.e. history). None of that was even discussed because Dean Potter Free Basing, pot lake, and the "war" with park rangers, was more important. (Dean Potter is my favorite climber/overall badass- but the only person I know who did that, and it did not seem relevant to a climbing documentary [especially on which claims to be about the history and evolution of climbing] because it is such an isolated act- R.I.P Dean). End rant.

What are your thoughts on this "documentary"?

Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 650

It's entertainment, and I love it. I've watched it 2 or 3 times since it's been on Netflix, and I saw it once before that!

Peter Beal · · Boulder Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,740

http://www.mountainsandwater.com/2015/01/valley-uprising-review.html
was my take on this film

Seth Jones · · New Lenox, IL · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 25

I liked it but it's impossible to be disappointed without expectations and I had none.

Rob T · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 10

Too much focus on the most documented portion of Yos history while all but ignoring the criminally under documented 50's and 80's climbing achievements. When it was being teased during the multi year run, up I was really excited to hear more about these periods after all the writing about the Masters and the Monkeys. Disappointed to see it was more of the same.

After this one I'm not looking forward to their Dawn Wall treatment(50 min of explaining free climbing, gratuitous Robbins/Harding montage, 5 min edit of climbing on the wall, #whatsyourdawnwall ?)

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

Excellent documentary. It can't be all things to all people. Unless you want a six-hour movie.

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65

1. it's both
2. I really liked it
3. You wanted a history - which is well documented in books - and the filmmakers provided a perspective on the time frame when the events happened instead
4. Documentary filmmakers always have a particular point of view - it's to be expected in a documentary
5. Did you watch the credits where they mention all the stuff they wanted to include but couldn't in a reasonable run length.

Michael Lagueux · · San Diego, CA · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 235

It's pretty clear that it was produced "for the masses" and not, like previous Reel Rock films, "for the climbers".

Either way, I enjoyed it!

Laronicus Lehmanold · · Salt Lake, UT · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 295
Marc801 wrote:1. it's both 2. I really liked it
I get the argument of the whole "time frame" thing with movies. Books are always better with being thorough. However, this movie seemed to want to discuss the actions of people away from crags, specifically the stone masters- glorifying their behaviors, and in my opinion, trying to depict all dedicated climbers as the hippie dirt bags they were (most of us do not prescribe to such a depiction/lifestyle, and we abide by local, state, and federal laws). Seems to me like they could have focused another half hour or more to some of those climbers listed before the credits, instead of stroking their own egos.
Jake wander · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 165

man, people always need something to be butt-hurt about.

Aashiq · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 0

I thought this documentary was rad and it got me really psyched to start climbing hard again.

I think it would be cool if there was a general climbing doc that went in depth, as there were tons of great climbing achievements made throughout the entire southwest, northeast, Pacific Northwest, south east and Canada during this time. Midwest had to road trip :p

And it seems wrong to talk about Robins without mentioning Tahquitz or The Organ.

Eric G. · · Saratoga Springs, NY · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 70
Jake wander wrote:man, people always need something to be butt-hurt about.
I don't detect one ounce of butt hurt in any of the above responses. Butt hurt is not synonymous with criticism.

Yes, butt hurt is measured in ounces.
will ar · · San Antonio, TX · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 250
Laron Lemon wrote: "the stone masters"; purportedly the best climbers of their day (according to the movie).
I haven't seen the movie yet so I don't know exactly how they were portrayed, but I think most would agree that they were very influential during that time period.
will ar · · San Antonio, TX · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 250
Nick Sweeney wrote:It's entertainment, and I love it. I've watched it 2 or 3 times since it's been on Netflix, and I saw it once before that!
Finally, something I actually want to watch on Netflix. Guess I know what I'm doing tonight.
Rob T · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 10
will ar wrote: I haven't seen the movie yet so I don't know exactly how they were portrayed, but I think most would agree that they were very influential during that time period.
Yep, as chronicled by their bard, John Long, photographer, Bullwinkle, and approximately a third of the climbing mags in the 90's. This is also probably why those who've seen/read all of the above were hoping for some new material this time.
Laronicus Lehmanold · · Salt Lake, UT · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 295
Nick Sweeney wrote:It's entertainment, and I love it. I've watched it 2 or 3 times since it's been on Netflix, and I saw it once before that!
Agreed. Excellent entertainment, even with my criticisms. (:
Laronicus Lehmanold · · Salt Lake, UT · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 295
Peter Beal wrote:http://www.mountainsandwater.com/2015/01/valley-uprising-review.html was my take on this film
Peter, thank you. Your input is greatly appreciated. I would love to learn more about the history of climbing in the United States. Where can I find a comprehensive history? Is there one?
Jacob Smith · · Seattle, WA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 230

This was what I thought about it:
fringesfolly.com/2015/02/16/valley-downfall-how-valley-uprising-distorts-climbing-history/
I literally watched it with a notebook and my finger on the pause button and kept track of how much they interviewed each person and what specific climbs they talked about, it was pretty illuminating.

I obviously thought Bisharat's review on Evening Sends was pretty good too and it's worth looking up.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

I was surprised at how little they talked about Choinard or the impact of climbing technology on the free-climbing revolution. It's s fun flick, though. Watched it about a week before Dean died, too...was eerie.

Em Cos · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 5
Laron Lemon wrote: Peter, thank you. Your input is greatly appreciated. I would love to learn more about the history of climbing in the United States. Where can I find a comprehensive history? Is there one?
I learned a lot from this documentary film:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XvJK5IuS5Z4
Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 549

Been discussed a couple of times already-

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/valley-uprising-women-underrepresented/109830554

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/reel-rock-9--valley-uprising/109462036#a_109507849

@EmCos-

Looks like a painful fall in your educational film.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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