Climb a Rock

climbarockThe REEL ROCK film tour scales new heights with a bevy of shorts and one feature-length offering

The life of a ‘rock star’ is typically adventurous, often living on the edge of sanity, scaling every bump along the way with fearlessness. There are two types: The musical ‘rock stars’ and the stars in the rock climbing sport—those who scale the earth one handhold at a time, risking injury and even sometimes their lives.

Santa Cruzans will get an intimate look at the latter ‘rock stars,’ a group of whom ‘star’ in a series of short films, and one feature, during the REEL ROCK Film Tour playing at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 23 at the Rio Theatre. There, guests will get a heavy dose of these adrenaline seekers who do what, really, none of the rest of us are interested in doing—creating real-life Spiderman adventures. GT caught the flicks early, to give you a taste of what you’re in store for:

Grand Canyon Walls (10 min.): The film opens up with a lone woman scaling an orange-encrusted wall in the Grand Canyon. From there, it follows her, Beth Rodden, and her two rock climbing partners as they paddle along a river that snakes through the Grand Canyon, where they make stops along the way to scale the sunset-colored cliffs. The cinematography is breathtaking, as are the stunts.

On Sight (10 min.): This one follows the concept of “on sight” climbing—no planning, no forethought. Just jump on a rock and climb. One climber claims, “it nourishes your soul,” while another offers this insight: “It’s scarier and harder than anything else.”

The Aerialist (10 min.):  The movie begins with a man doing a balancing act on a huge wire that’s strung impossibly high above a canyon. He’s quite possibly insane for this dare devil act, and later he flies off the wire, falling, falling, only to get dangerously close to the ground and pull his parachute just in time. The Aerialist follows this Spiderman, Dean Potter, as he climbs up impossible mountains and takes daring and dramatic dives.

Dosage (15 min.): Dosage follows an area of severely rocky terrain in South Africa where a group appear to be monkeys, scurrying up sheer faces, sometimes dangling at vertigo-inducing heights. And while there’s less commentary in this film, the unfolding climbing antics more than make up for it.

The Sharp End (feature length): This film is the one feature offered on the tour. It follows the idea of ‘the sharp end,’ which is when you leave the rope behind and go free style. The Sharp End features the adventures of the most risky rock climbers out there as they play with the idea of safety and danger.

The REEL ROCK Film Tour will play at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 23 at the Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $8/students; $10/general. $10/$12 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at Pacific Edge, 454-9254 or buy visiting ticketweb.com . For more information, visit reelrocktour.com .

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