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Free Solo (spoilers)


Señor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
GabeO wrote: I found the relationship between Sanni and Alex to be a breath of fresh air.  Yes there were conflicts.  Yes, at various times the way they handled those conflicts made each of them look bad.  I think that's inevitable in a relationship where two people bring such different perspectives.  

In a time when people are existing in smaller and smaller personal bubbles of like-minded friends, and the animosity toward people who think differently is higher and higher.  In a time where we put no value in finding common ground with people who see things differently, the love and genuine appreciation that Sanni and Alex have for each other was a real ray of sunshine in a dark time.

Cheers,

GO

I agree. Though, apparently, Sanni climbs 5.12 outdoors, so maybe she's not entirely the newbie some think. Or she's a damn fast learner. 


http://climbingzine.com/sanni-mccandless-force-nature-joy-martin/
Hank Caylor · · Glenwood Springs, CO · Joined Dec 2003 · Points: 615

My Wife and I cracked up at Alex's line about Sanni "she's cute, tiny and really livens up the van".

Mark Andes · · Golden, CO · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 91
PosiDave wrote:

What was the reaction? 

As someone stated, he could be on the spectrum.
But I also agree the whole group involved has gotten a little to Bro for me, but so has climbing in general since it’s a real “sport” now. 

Climbing has always been a very bro sport from what I've seen.  Look at the pictures and stories from the 20's, 60's, 70's etc.  I think its actually less bro now than it was back then.

O · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 65
Mark Andes wrote:

Climbing has always been a very bro sport from what I've seen.  Look at the pictures and stories from the 20's, 60's, 70's etc.  I think its actually less bro now than it was back then.

It was male dominated for sure, but don’t think our idea of Bro is the same.

Borderline meathead Gym rats with the desire to be Alpha males, but fall short would be mine.
I have met a good amount of people with the Bachar style attitude, but they are gym climbers who only climb 5.13 there.
Ego should never exceed your abilities. 
Charlie Parker · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0
"There is ZERO tolerance for being a jerk in the Women's Forum"

As with others....is there tolerance elsewhere?

"Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk"  ...seems to apply to all forums. Are there more guidelines?

I didn't even know MP had a women's forum.

Are men not allowed to post here? That would be funny.

Like many others, I had no idea I was even looking at the Women's Forum until I read the thread. Banners are mostly ignored out of habit as is excessive text.

Maybe they should paint the page pink if they want men to look & post elsewhere.

Anywhos, the trailer for Free Solo made Sanni look like the exhausting emotional girlfriend. Haven't seen the movie. I'll wait for the DVD which should be out soon enough.

As for Alex, I can't believe that any film can make him look sympathetic. He's appears to be the opposite of his girlfriend: no emotions. Mater of fact, he reminds me of Chris McCandless.

I wasn't all that impressed with MERU but it did make me wonder if these folks do all this stuff because it's their job or because they actually enjoy it. If it was fun, I wasn't seeing it.

And really, what will Alex & Sanni do next to keep their Instagram feed buzzing.
Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 1,040
Hank Caylor wrote: My Wife and I cracked up at Alex's line about Sanni "she's cute, tiny and really livens up the van".

Ha! Yes, my husband and I both laughed at that one, too. 

Russ Keane · · Asheville, NC · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 170
"I don't see it the way you did, so maybe there is something wrong with me."

Welcome to MP!  In fact welcome to the internet, and also everywhere in the real world, it seems.   People have a hard time with grey areas about knowledge, facts, and the assimilation of these things into things called opinions.  We know it all, via the touch of a button.

This thread is a great discussion, though.  I thought the movie's emphasis on Sanni was a bit contrived, but it seemed a fair portrayal and if anything she seemed mature and confident.   I agree it was Alex who came off as bizarre and more "conventional" in the sense of a male who is emotionally constipated.
David Owen · · Bristol, GB · Joined Jan 2019 · Points: 0

Just come from watching the film.

I was a little 'put off' by the portrayal of Sanni, but I don't think the treatment was consciously unfair.

The dynamic I saw was one where 'the enthusiast' was more in love with the mountain than 'the romantic partner'. In this case 'she' filled a void in 'his' life, and vice versa. Given the film was predominantly about the enthusiast the partner was in a vulnerable position. At this point, in their lives, she is second to the mountain. That is a tough place to be when you are close to someone.

I empathise with the frustrations that created this post. We live in a patriarchal world and that dominants individual freedoms both sides and everywhere in-between of 'genders'.

I left wondering and hoping for Alex to find his next mountain in another person, (whether that be Sanni or someone else); and vice versa.

Jacob M · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2019 · Points: 0

Uh, I'll probably get banned for this or whatever, but have you considered that maybe she was a bit of an idiot, and was at fault for those mistakes? He hadn't been injured in 7 years and suddenly both his injuries involve her. Are you just assuming that all women are perfect and must be portrayed as such? That seems more sexist to me than anything, that you are angry when a woman is portrayed as anything less than angelic. Somehow I highly doubt that if a man was in the same position you'd be making this post...

O · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 65
Jacob M wrote: Uh, I'll probably get banned for this or whatever, but have you considered that maybe she was a bit of an idiot, and was at fault for those mistakes? He hadn't been injured in 7 years and suddenly both his injuries involve her. Are you just assuming that all women are perfect and must be portrayed as such? That seems more sexist to me than anything, that you are angry when a woman is portrayed as anything less than angelic. Somehow I highly doubt that if a man was in the same position you'd be making this post...

She’s so oppressed she cried her way to the Oscars. 

Nate Doyle · · Sierra Foothills · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 39
David Owen wrote: Just come from watching the film.

I was a little 'put off' by the portrayal of Sanni, but I don't think the treatment was consciously unfair.

The dynamic I saw was one where 'the enthusiast' was more in love with the mountain than 'the romantic partner'. In this case 'she' filled a void in 'his' life, and vice versa. Given the film was predominantly about the enthusiast the partner was in a vulnerable position. At this point, in their lives, she is second to the mountain. That is a tough place to be when you are close to someone.
...

There are some interviews where Alex addresses his apparent "calouseness" towards his gf's feelings at the time. I very much appreciate his honesty and think he's more human for it. I can see how others have trouble stomaching it, however.

Tim Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,477
Jacob M wrote: Uh, I'll probably get banned for this or whatever, but have you considered that maybe she was a bit of an idiot, and was at fault for those mistakes? He hadn't been injured in 7 years and suddenly both his injuries involve her. Are you just assuming that all women are perfect and must be portrayed as such? That seems more sexist to me than anything, that you are angry when a woman is portrayed as anything less than angelic. Somehow I highly doubt that if a man was in the same position you'd be making this post...

Think about this, however. Alex has primarily free soloed his whole climbing life, correct? This means he has completely avoided rope belays and the various issues they have like not tying a knot in the end of the rope on longer single pitches. So in that one aspect, he's really not THAT experienced and therefore he didn't teach her to do it and therefore both are at fault. 

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

Think about this, however. Alex has primarily free soloed his whole climbing life, correct? 

No.
Señor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
Tim Stich wrote:

Think about this, however. Alex has primarily free soloed his whole climbing life, correct? This means he has completely avoided rope belays and the various issues they have like not tying a knot in the end of the rope on longer single pitches. So in that one aspect, he's really not THAT experienced and therefore he didn't teach her to do it and therefore both are at fault. 

No. Not correct. Probably a 100/1 ratio of rope climbing to free soloing.

But I agree that the fault lies with the more experienced climber if you take a beginner out to belay you and don't make sure they have the proper knowledge and skills (like putting a knot in the end of the rope) to not drop you. I don't think the accident in the movie is nearly as much Sanni's fault as it is Alex's. 

plantmandan · · Brighton, CO · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 50

It's funny how the main topic of discussion here is the relationship between Alex and Sanni. Reading through the comments it's easy to lose track of Alex's athletic accomplishment, which was arguably the greatest in human history.

Credit to Chai, she is a brilliant director who got the entire story just right. Without her insight this movie is just more climbing footage.

Hannah Spendlove · · Reno, NV · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 15

I typically do not engage in posts like this, but I thought I might share my perspective. I have seen Free Solo 3 times now. I am a small female . I learned to climb from my boyfriend. He took me up multi-pitch routes despite my lack of knowledge and I made really noob mistakes that were embarrassing. I was actually super happy Jimmy and Chai portrayed Sanni the way they did.She was the human factor in the film that allowed you to connect. Most people are not like Alex Honnold, but there are many people like Sanni. I have been in the position where you make a mistake and are blamed, even though you were never given the knowledge necessary to succeed. If you can blame anyone for Sanni's short comings in the film I would say it would be Alex for not giving her the knowledge to succeed, on the climbing side of things that is. That being said, I think you miss the point that it takes someone gentle, yet fierce to love and support someone like Alex and to portray her in any other light would have been a disservice. I think Chai said it best as she accepted the OSCAR, for this amazing film --, "Sanni climbed her own mountain that day." And Alex whelp what he did was pretty awesome too to say the least.  

Chris Hill · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2007 · Points: 0

My wife and I have been married for over 25 years.  After reading all this I feel very fortunate that our relationship in its early years wasn't analyzed in public forums.

Jaren Watson · · Idaho · Joined May 2010 · Points: 2,506

Alex Honnold is a big deal in climbing and rightfully so. Free Solo has gotten a lot of attention and rightfully so.

I will add my opinion to that of many who predict a significant uptick in the popularity of free soloing and prophecy in the name of whomever that Alex’s achievement will be equalled if not outdone, and likely within a few years’ time.

We will then recall that we were rather rash in pronouncing the free solo of Freerider as arguably the greatest athletic achievement of all time.

I suspect I’ll get pushback, but remember that outliers are greatly magnified by very small samples.

Honestly, I don’t think half of just the climbing community considers it the greatest climbing achievement of all time.

Nate Doyle · · Sierra Foothills · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 39

I'm a bit confused by the "portrayal of Sanni" stuff. She was just as real as Alex was, imo (of course I don't know either of them but, whatever.)

This wasn't a portrayal. These weren't actors. This was a documentary. What should they have done, gone back and had Sanni play someone she wasn't/isn't? And for what reason? So you don't see her or what she is supposed to represent in the light that she cast?

And sure, they have to tell a story but, how much of that story wasn't based on the actual real story. Do you all think Chai and Jimmy manipulated the plot that much? I don't buy that. 

I've seen the movie 3 times as well. Initially I was "frustrated" with Sanni because she was a "needy" distraction and I thought it was going to get Alex killed. I still kind of feel that way but, after seeing it the second time that perspective has shifted towards a more balanced point of view. That is, it was a bit too one sided and not totally accurate, as Alex made his choice to be in a relationship only months before the climb of his life (no pun intended) and it's that decision that focuses the "fault" (and I hate to use that word) directly on him.

Anyway, this was a classic tale of man goes off to war and everyone else is left there to pray for his return. We love this story. And we hate this story. And that's why this story won an Oscar.

plantmandan · · Brighton, CO · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 50
Jaren Watson wrote: Alex Honnold is a big deal in climbing and rightfully so. Free Solo has gotten a lot of attention and rightfully so.

I will add my opinion to that of many who predict a significant uptick in the popularity of free soloing and prophecy in the name of whomever that Alex’s achievement will be equalled if not outdone, and likely within a few years’ time.

I'll believe it when I see it. Name one climber right now who is in the same ballpark as Alex Honnold when it comes to free soloing. You can't. Even if someone else free solos El Cap, Alex blazed the trail and will always be the first. Adam Ondra crushed the Dawn Wall, but even he says that Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson's FA was a greater achievement because they proved it could be done.

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